Friday, 11 July 2008 10:23 AM

Lord Howe Dancers Maintain Culture

A huge crowd at the show ground enjoyed a spectacular show of cultural dances from around the various provinces in the Solomons.

One dancing group from Lord Howe of the outer islands of Malaita Province also put up a few dances which attracted the crowd with their cultural dressings and make up.

The group was dressed culturally with women having their body powdered with turmeric.

Speaking with the leader of the group, Nick Nuia said that most of the dancers are living in town "but their culture is still strong to them".

Asked about the use of turmeric in all their town performances, Mr. Nuia said that they always use the heavy scented powder for their cultural activities.

He said that the common use of turmeric powder goes back to their heathen days when hosting a huge celebration.

"Before the days of the discovery of the nation, a priest's daughter was getting ready for a village celebration but over some disagreements with her mother, she drifted away in a canoe and got lost," he told Solomon Times.

However, he said that after some custom rituals, the girl safely arrived in another island where she got married and had children.

He explained that in the absence of the girl, one villager brought in a turmeric fruit to the girl's village and they made a big plantation of the turmeric.

Mr. Nuia said that some years passed and the girl returned to the village.

"In celebrating the return of the girl, the village women powdered themselves using the turmeric fruit," he said.

Mr. Nuia said that from that celebration to this day, "women always cover their bodies with turmeric powder when celebrating any special events".

He explained that the turmeric is also widely used by the people of Lord Howe for cultural weddings "and the odor is to please the husband".

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