A 17-strong multicultural CINAT team will be represented at the Cultural Centre for six weeks under the leadership of well-known entertainer, MC and traditional leader Danny Mataroa. He will be supported by top musician Junior Tapurau along with a strong group of cultural performers who participated in this year’s Dancer of the Year contest.
The Polynesian Cultural Centre (PCC) attracts 33 million tourists a year - an average of 5,000 tourists a day, says Cultural Development secretary Anthony Turua.
“Other Polynesian ethic groups already have an established village in the centre, including New Zealand Maori, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti and Hawaii.
“In the long term we intend to establish our own village to promote our culture and make the point that the unique culture of the Cook Islands is not the same as that of Tahiti. It will also be an opportunity for our young generation to earn a scholarship at the Brigham Young University and work at Cook Islands Village to promote, preserve and enhance the sustainability of our Cook Islands culture.”
The cultural team’s main aim is to promote and showcase Cook Islands culture and products, says Turua.
“The cultural team will display and give away tourism and trade materials together with demonstrations of our carving, ukalele, weaving, drumming and medicine-making.
“The team will perform for 20 minutes four times a day, six days a week. They will showcase Pukapuka mako, the Manihiki drum dance, the Aitutaki box dance, the favourite action song “Pare Ukarau” and our own symphony of drums.”
The team thanks the Government of the Cook Islands, Polynesian Cultural Centre and Brigham Young University Management, Hawaii Cook Islands Community, Air New Zealand, BTIB, Cook Islands Tourism, T&M Heather, TAVs, Ministry of Health, Edgewater, Moana Gems, Raro Safari, Prime Foods, Tarani Crafts and the extended cultural team families.
The CINAT team is made up of Danny Mataroa, Junior Tapurau, Louis Mokoroa, George Ama, Teariki Unuia, Elizabeth Pitomaki, Tiaia Taime, Edward Nga, Joshua Brown, Travel Purua, Tamaiva Mateariki, Louisa Purea, Elizabeth Terepita, Ngatokorua Hosking and Teuira Napa.