Learn to make an ei katu (head garland) this Tourism Week

Fe'ena Syme-Buchanan
Photography By
Fe'ena Syme-Buchanan

Kia Orana, keep up to date this Tourism Week with our fabulous Intern Fe'ena as she brings you along for the ride with daily updates on the festivities.

Ei Katu making was the activity of the second day of Tourism Week. It was a joyous event; the tables were laden with flowers of variety. Whites, pinks and purples, and an assortment of greenery. The whole tent was heavy with the fragrance of Tiare Maori and Tiare Teina (Gardenia) and full of eager tourists, enthusiastic to learn how to make a customary Cook Island ei katu (head ei) and ei kaki

Ei, in Cook Island Maori translates to necklace, garland, wreath, chaplet or scarf. It is most commonly used to describe a flower garland, either worn on the head or around the neck. It is customary to greet your family or friends arriving on the island with an ei kaki, made from tiare teina. It is an old traditional to give an ei poreo (shell necklace) to someone you are bidding farewell to. But in many celebrations and at special events, or even to wear casually, men and women alike adorn ei katu. 

It was an enjoyable event to participate in, who ever thought learning could be so much fun. There were young children having an absolute blast, and even the parents and grandparents were having an excellent time. It was very pleasing to see how much fun the families and couples were having, learning about and creating ei. 

Following the creation of ei, our guests were then invited on stage for a group photo and also a little ura! (some practice before the main event on Friday) With the guidance of Aunty Nan and Aunty Lydia, the tourists followed the choreography and performed an entertaining show! 

We hope to see a huge turnout for Ura Fitness on Friday! Bring your pareu, some water and an eagerness to shake, shake, shake!