Arts, Crafts &
Culture of Niue
due its isolation
and contact with other cultures in the past, didn't bring
to the present a very strong cultural variety. Besides embracing diverse religions, and being very
religious themselves, Niuean's today have basically one
cultural event in their life that is very import to them. It is
the Hair Cutting Ceremony for boys and the Ear
Piercing Ceremony for girls.
ceremonies are huge
and very important for Niuean's and their families. During
Haircutting ceremony, the boy will have his long time uncut
hair cut, symbolizing his passage to adulthood. By this
time he is something around 13 years old. In exchange, he
will receive presents from all guests including cash. The
family who promotes the ceremony supply a big banquet to
all guests, including, piglets, fish, taro, vegetables and
fruits. While in Niue, we were on the road at the moment
that one of these ceremonies was happening and we were really impressed with the size of the
event. The Ear
Piercing ceremony is similar to this one. Just letting you
know, you don't need to be invited to one of these ceremonies.
Just pop in. Here are some photos of the Hair cutting ceremony....
house of the ceremony and guests
piglets waiting to be cooked in the earth oven
and natural than burring the deceased in the family's
home backyard or around the Church. You will see
hundreds of graves both sides of the road, all of
them, decorated with fresh and beautiful flowers.
There are many different styles of graves. Some have
pedestals, plates, and even a roof to protect the
area from the elements. One of the most notorious
graves in Niue is the one that belongs to Nukai
Peniamina, the person who started Christianity
in Niue and one of the most important personalities
history. There is a national day to honour this man.
in Niue are not very diverse
due to the isolation of Niue along the years and
lack of outside influences. What Niuean's do in terms of crafts is absolutely beautiful and
very well done. Woven works such as baskets and other objects are made
by hand basically from Pandanus in complicated designs, and
you may find some in the market or ask at the tourist
office where you can find some to buy. If you wish, also
at the tourist Information, they can arrange classes for
you to learn how to do it. They
produce a large wall disk that fits nicely and very
elegantly on any wall. There is also a necklace made with
tiny yellow shells and seeds as beads, but unfortunately
the necklace was confiscated by Australian Quarantine.
The basket we received as a gift is amazing and we never
looking at it. It always makes us think about how long it
took to weave. (large photo on the top of this page.
the arts of Painting,
Mark Cross, a New Zealand artist who lives in Niue
has one of the best works we've seen in the Pacific.
Some of his works are for sale in his gallery in
Niue or at his
website and his wife does beautiful woven
If possible, while at the airport, in customs get a declaration
of the material you're bringing back home. We had the
necklace confiscated because neither I, neither the
quarantine officer knew the name of the ball shaped seed
in the necklace. ( They want the common name AND
scientific name - the officer told me if I had the name, he could
allow it to enter Australia). The necklaces were
confiscated and we had to pay AU$ 30 for the fumigation of the
basket and disk.
We had no problem entering New Zealand with the products above mentioned.