Documentation and inventory of peu karioi (performing arts) in the Cook Islands

  • Financial assistance:
    • US$ 99,983 granted in 2021
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 08/10/2021 - 08/04/2023
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Cook Islands


To be implemented by the Cook Islands Ministry of Cultural Development, this eighteen-month project is geared at documenting and inventorying peu karioi (performing arts) in the Cook Islands, which constitutes a traditional technique of telling stories, proverbs, myths and legends. Conventionally, the elders of each island transmit knowledge about the peu karioi to the next generation orally. However, this approach is now challenged by over-commercialization of peu karioi, a decline in interest amongst youth and the migration of many Cook Islanders abroad. This project has several objectives: (a) to engage community members in documenting their intangible cultural heritage; (b) to enhance the role of the Are Korero (houses of knowledge) as repositories of living heritage; (c) to work with performing arts practitioners and publish relevant resources; (d) to work with educational institutions to accredit practitioners so they can teach performing arts in schools with a set syllabus; and (e) to assist communities in developing standard guidelines to ensure the safeguarding of traditional performing arts and prevent their over-commercialization. The information collected will be stored in a database and the Are Korero will serve as a vehicle to enhance the awareness, transmission and safeguarding of peu karioi.

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