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Polynesian Cultural Center Showcases Cook Islands Group

The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) in Laie, Hawaii in parternship with leaders from the Cook Islands government and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have coordinated efforts to showcase a group of 17 Cook Islands Maori performers and their leaders from July 17 through August 24, 2017.


PCC senior manager, William Mahoni, said, “We have had a few small groups and special visitors from the Cook Islands over the years, but this will be the first time we will have a group stay and perform for six weeks."

Mr Mahoni added, “The Cook Islands Maori, as they are called, are particularly well known for their ‘symphony of drumming’. The beats are very different from Tahitian, for example.

“The group consists of five drummers, four female dancers, four male dancers, and two weavers, plus the group leaders,” he said.


In addition to the performances and display of crafts, Mahoni said group members will also talk about their history and traditional medicine.

“With the Cook Islanders, we will see a culture that is similar, for example, to the Tahitians, but also unique in many ways,” said Mahoni.   

He also noted that his wife, Tania Sadaraka Mahoni, a Cook Islander who grew up there has been helping with logistics for the group as has William Numanga, another Cook Islander who now lives in Hawaii.


David Akanoa, a leader of the performing group, said, “We’ve been waiting for this a long time, so it’s really great to be here.”

The group will perform each afternoon in a temporary mini-village near the canoe landing between the Hawaiian the Tahitian Villages, and several evenings each week in the gazebo at the PCC’s Hukilau Marketplace.

Newsroom contributor: Mike Foley

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