29 Jul 2016

Non-stop rehearsals for Cook Islands anniversary

3:54 pm on 29 July 2016

Nightly drum and dance rehearsals have been going non-stop for the past two weeks in preparation for the Cook Islands celebration of self-governance, which starts tomorrow.

Cook Islands drum

A drum similar to this will be used alongside many others for the Te Maeva Nui celebrations in the Cook Islands. Photo: RNZ Daniela Maoate-Cox

Te Maeva Nui is an annual week long event which celebrates nationhood and the country's self-governance.

This year's theme is celebrating family, village, and tribe, and will include a parade, market days and church services.

But our correspondent Florence Syme-Buchanan said it was the drum and dance competitions that were commanding everyone's attention.

"A lot of rehearsals and you drive through the villages here on Rarotonga and you can hear the drums, you can hear the singing, you can hear the chanting because everyone's been rehearsing so hard for this and you know the fever is starting to reach pitch levels, you know, reach the mercury, it's just going to be such an exciting time," she said.

The festival includes the national day on August 4 and will end on August 6.