The poetry of the late Queen Sālote Tupou III will be brought to life in a performance at Auckland Council’s Mangere Arts Centre tomorrow.

Dance group Pukepuke ‘o Tonga will give the first New Zealand performance of  Lomipeau Fika ‘Uluaki ‘o Aotearoa, an album based on the work of the late queen.

The album was developed as part of Auckland Council’s Taonga Pasifika pilot project to create an archive of Pacific music and dance.

Her Royal Highness Princess Mele Siuʻilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili will be a guest of honour on the day.

The Queen’s poems  were originally translated into music and dance by one of her composers, Lapaha Punake Vili Pusiaki.

Sesilia Pusiaki, the composer’s great-great-granddaugher ,told Radio New Zealand the late Queen had a vision of preserving the kingdom’s myths and legends through traditional song and dance.

“We’ve kept the songs and dances alive in our family for four generations, and this is the first time these historically significant songs have been professionally recorded and produced,” she said.

Pusiaki, who leads the Pukepuke ʻo Tonga group, said the album was created after the project received Lord Kalaniuvalu’s blessing.

The album launch will be part of what is expected to be one of the biggest gatherings of Auckland’s Tongan community to celebrate their community’s arts and culture.

It will begin with a kava ceremony followed by the live performance, talks and a film about how the album was made.

Pukepuke ʻo Tonga means to hold onto or uphold Tongan culture through dance and music.

The main points

  • The poetry of the late Queen Salote Tupou III will be brought to life in a performance at Auckland’ Council’s Mangere Arts Centre tomorrow.
  • Dance group Pukepuke ʻo Tonga will give the first New Zealand performance of Lomipeau Fika ‘Uluaki ‘o Aotearoa, an album based on the work of the late queen.
  • The album was developed as part of Auckland Council’s Taonga Pasifika pilot project to create an archive of Pacific music and dance.
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Mele Siuilikutapu Kalaniuvalu Fotofili will be a guest of honour on the day.

For more information

Album with royal connection shares stories of the ancestors

Tongan royal blessing makes music history

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