Te Maeva Nui festival attracts hundreds from throughout the Pacific

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Te Maeva Nui festival is the largest and most prominent event on the Cook Island cultural calendar, with thousands of performers taking part in the festival every year.

Over 1000 people from the 15 islands of the Cook Islands have gathered in Rarotonga to take part in the Te Maeva Nui festival and this year's theme is "The Crown of your Community".

It's Te Matatini of the Cook Islands.

Dressed from head-to-toe in traditional clothing, 14 groups take to stage for six items.

For many of the performers, it's not just dancing.

One performer says, “For me its life changing, I want to prove to my family overseas what I can do for my culture, our country.”

With hundreds travelling from Australia, New Zealand and throughout the Pacific, the performers try their best to entertain.

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the islands, Te Maeva Nui's main focus is to maintain Cook Island culture for years to come.