Under the moonlight | By Lisa Williams in Cook Islands

If there’s a papa’a song that reminds me of the Arapo theme to the Te Maeva Nui this week, it’s David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ chorus. But anywhoooooo while that lets all you young generators know my age, what a week of passion and beauty it’s been.

When the papa orometua took to the stage last night to deliver the closing prayer, he gave a small but pointed reminder— the stories we have been celebrating all week, the traditions, moves, and moments delivered with dynamic creativity, were all replaced and ditched with The Coming Of Christianity.

Whether you believe or not, there’s little doubt that this has been one theme which was stood out from others in past years.

You don’t need to know about the lunar tides or night of the moon cycle to sort out when to to conceive twins– but there’s a high chance the vegetables and fish you buy from locals at the market or on the roadside may have been harvested using the Arapo knowledge.

And it bears remembering that the Arapo, in many ways our polynesian moon festival, covers a universal fascination with that big old orb in the sky.

Composers and poets everywhere have sung its glory, everyone has a love story involving the moon somewhere (and its either glorious or sad)….yep. Anyone who’s human and looked up can’t help but be drawn into their own moon moment.

So as the five nights of Te Maeva Nui 2018 wrap up this weekend with drumming and the imene tuki categories, I’m wishing the judges panel all the best in the hard task of deciding who gets to take home the trophies on Monday….and sparing a thought and a smile to celebrate how our ancestors worked the land and sea by the moon: including the sexy bits where they worked with the moon’s power to get out there and ensure more Cook Islands bloodlines for the generations to come.

#ipukareastories #TMN2018 #CILW The moonlight brings the magic.

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