Humans of The Cook Islands

My name is Daniel Mataroa (you can call me Danny). I am over half a century and I grew up with my Grandparents. I wanted to go to university but when I fell short of the marks; the costs was too much so started my life in the Tourism & Hospitality Industry first working at Manuia Beach Hotel with Steven Kavana Snr. I moved to the Rarotongan Hotel with Bill Sheedy and Tamure with John Welsh. I guess my university learning came from all those years. I moved to private sector exporting taro to Hawaii; had a pie-cart in town just after Cyclone Sally. I am a farmer growing nita (pawpaw), noni, bananas, vegetable and carrots. I have been and am still involved with the Ta’akoka; Korero Maori; Tupapa Maraerenga; Tumutavarovaro and Orama Dance Troupes. I have notice the changes in dance and music. It went from traditional style (in the early days) to modern style now back to traditional again. The modern groups changed to suit the needs of the modern tourists but now people want to experience the traditional performance which tells the history of our culture and our island. I am an Elder, Sunday school Teacher with the LDS Church. I hold the Uri Mataiapo title under the umbrella of the Tinomana of Arorangi. Both these positions is very special to me. “Can you teach me to dance like a Cook Islander?” I asked Danny (many years ago).
“How can I teach you in 10 minutes what’s taken me all my life to learn!” was Danny response. “Our own people need to be passionate about our culture, identity (Genealogy), Reo and our Mana”.