The festival’s theme is “What we own and what we share,” and team tour manager Papatua Papatua says the team have quite a few numbers that will really make other Pacific Islands in the competition sit up and take notice.
“We have been working extremely hard on our rehearsals given the limited time frame we have had.
We are still rehearsing with the core numbers that we need to take across,” said Papatua.
“There are eight female dancers and six male dancers, seven drummers plus our two mamas and the management team, so in total around 35 people will be travelling to Guam.
The festival opens on May 22 and on their way to Guam, the team will make a three-day stop in Auckland for two public shows.
“The team will depart on May 12 through Auckland and we’ll be doing two public shows there to help raise some funds for the team before flying off to Nausori via Japan and then to Guam.
We will have about two to three days in Guam before the actual festival begins, so it will be a good chance to acclimatise the members of the troupe. We’re not too sure what the weather will be like in Guam and for most of us, it’s going to be our first time there.”
Papatua said the team would fly the Cook Islands flag with so much confidence that it would make all Cook Islanders proud.
“The whole idea of the festival is to share what you have and (our aim is to) share what the Cook Islands have today in terms of culture, dance and history.
“I have been to three other festivals and I know other Pacific nations are really competitive.
Cultural Development secretary Anthony Turua said the team not only had the support of the government but the nation as a whole.
“It’s all about the preservation of our culture and the exposure of our identity.
“The Cook Islands are unique, we retain our culture and we promote our culture through tourism, the schools, the communities and we want to show the Pacific that we are very conscious of our culture and its preservation.
We want to go out there and show other countries in the Pacific that our culture is very much alive.”