Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Joyful Reunion With Gifts and Talents

Elder Hawley and I have never experienced anything quite like the Liahona Alumni  celebration held every 3 years in Tonga with hundreds of alumni from all over the world.116And of course we love the Liahona Brass Band!078When a musical program includes performers, it is traditional for Tongans to spontaneously join in the dancing right along with the performers, including this brother from Ogden who sings in the  Tabernacle Choir!  His daughter was one of our talented BYU-Hawaii interns.  The Liahona  HS band majorette is a delight.088  Many of the students are dressed to perform traditional Tongan dances.  Anyone can join in to show their appreciation give them pa'anga (money) on their lavishly-oiled arms.   090Winnie  bows to the queen after leaving the field.  Inoke rewards the majorette as well.Sister Nau bows to queenInoke gives Pa'anga for the danceLiahona student dances a welcome to the queen mother 113 These lovely students wear dresses made from colorful leaves on the island: 075Giving is an tradition of the lower rank to the higher rank,  and the Tongans give liberally and appreciatively.   The celebration for the afternoon concluded with more gifts for the Queen Mother:  several dozen homeade quilts and long lengths of beautiful tapa cloth (bark cloth pounded from the inner bark of the  mulberry tree.)  According to the booklet, Making Sense of Tonga, "Tonga is the king of tapa.   People use tapa as gifts at weddings or funerals, as blankets, wedding clothes, dancing costumes, and to decorate their homes.  Typically, Tongans are wrapped in tapa when they are buried.  Tongans measure their wealth in their tapa and their mats.  If you are Tongan, you can have a million dollars, but if you have no tapa and no mats, you are poor. "  118125 129155 135 152 New Zealand performs for the Queen:163 A Maori warrior:164 166 Goodbye to the Queen Mother, Halaevalu Mata’aho. 170LIAHONA EDUCATION EXPO IN DOWNTOWN NUKU'ALOFA:  Silu (PBO) and Ministry of Tourism, Fineasi Funaki, open the Liahona Alumni Expo:073_thumbSister Fehoako and  Sister Hawley pose at the Old Tonga display wearing the woven hats with flowers she made.    Her husband is the stake president who has re-established Old Tonga to preserve the Tongan heritage and traditions of the islands.047_thumbMaking a canoe:055_thumbBeautifully woven and embroidered materials are fit for a queen:067_thumbThese cute home economics students model the dresses they sewed from Tapa Cloth.  Red dirt is mixed with coconut oil for the color.  And the black is done with charcoal.  Impressive, right?068_thumbCan't believe these are the same girls who wear pigtails and uniforms to school each day!  076_thumb

069_thumbHand-carved Kava bowls:048_thumbHats are always stylish:060_thumb

1 comment:


Very impressive! And such craftman/womanship!
Elder Hawley Jr thinks you two have a party a week -- and maybe you do! If so, it looks like you are enjoying all of it! E/S Hawley from London.