Heiva de Rurutu 2008

The heiva is a month long cultural festival celebrated every year across French Polynesia. In Tahiti it's a large and rather professional festival, but in the islands it remains charmingly rustic. This year was the first year that I've really done the whole heiva in Rurutu. The festival includes a huge variety of competitions ranging from sporting events like paddling,


and, of course, the bareback horse race along the beach.....

(Viriamu got third this year, but his little brother got first! It's supposedly a friendly race, but there's definitely some pride at stake)

There are also dance, singing, music, flower-arranging and weaving competitions, as well as the country-fair sort of things, the longest/heaviest bunch of bananas or taro root, coconut husking and taro-pounding competitions, all in all it's a lot of good fun for the whole family!!

manioc (tapioca) roots (above left), varieties of bananas and taro (above right)

a prize-winning bunch of bananas weighing in at >40kg

poi-poi making (taro-pounding)