First Night of the Raivavae Festival
We had a wet journey in on Baby Beez on a chilly evening, but we were so looking forward to the festival. The ‘mall’ we had seen the first time ashore had been transformed into a spectacular show ground, much work had been put in. A stage had been built and decorated, a formal area had been cordoned off with bamboo posts filled with sand and finished with a plant. The fencing planted and softened with leaves.
At six the first village paraded in.
Then the other three. Red is the team from this village. Blue is near the airport, green where we went for our bimble and yellow just beyond.
When all four teams had paraded once around and lined up, we listened to many speeches in Polynesian, Bear was wetting himself as the only word we could make out was “tattoo” and there were many of them. At the end we understood Amen, the festival had officially begun. The judges were introduced and their first duty was to make an official pass through the teams. We have been told we will not know the winners until the very last minute of day three.
During this time we had a good look at the beautiful skirts.
The amazing headdresses.
Each village then sang a traditional song.
Then performed a traditional dance.
Peggy Spencer of Penge eat your heart out, this was wonderful.
The men featured in equal part to the ladies.
The ladies, very elegant.
Our favourites of the evening, by a short whisker.
Tradition, an enthusiastic crowd and dedicated competitors. We had it all but went home frozen to the bone, must put more clothes on tomorrow.
ALL IN ALL SUCH A WONDERFUL SPECTACLE
VERY COLD BUT SO JOYFUL