Niue’s Biennial Arts and Culture Festival 2019

One of the organizers of last month’s Niue Arts and Culture festival said there was a lot of emphasis on the language at the event. The week-long Taoga Festival, in its sixth year, was well attended by locals and visitors from overseas.

Organizer, Glen Jackson, said one of the highlights of the biennial event was a discussion on the local language, which academics have warned is at risk of becoming extinct. He said one of its roles is to promote the language, which was reflected in the name change to ‘Taoga Festival’.

“We cannot be naive to the little place that we live in, in this beautiful little bubble in the middle of nowhere, that we have to be very careful about our language and to make sure it was emphasized through this festival,” Glen Jackson said.


Glen Jackson also expressed that they are already thinking about how they can take the festival forward in the future. “We’re looking at setting up what we can do to make sure the next 10 years of the festival is great so we’re collecting data, we have a website that we get registrations. So in regards to people coming through this is the opportunity that we like to kick start collecting data for that reason,” he said.

The Taoga Festival is designed to celebrate Niuean culture and traditions and reconnect families and friends with the motu. The Festival is open and inclusive of all forms of expression. This year the festival was officially opened by the Minister for Social Services and Taoga Niue Honorable Billy Talagi who highlighted the significance of preserving the Vagahau Niue, adding the festival is  an integral part of Taoga Niue. Mr. Talagi also encouraged the visiting artists to perfect their craft and to bring their talent back home.

The festival opened with an inspiring performance by Tukuola Group and sweet melodies from Tamatoa’s Tafiti Savages. It showcased Niuean Traditional and Contemporary activities including music, dance, theater, art, song-writing, sculpture, textiles including wearable arts, printing, film, writing, carving, and weaving.

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