Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Installation of king of Tonga in 2008
the pictures are of Tui Soso from Lakeba walking with the King of Tonga and gifts of food for the occasion.
from w. This is the important Pacific tradition of an installation of a king or high chief. Perhaps all the other ceremonies this week in Tonga are of lesser importance, the crowns, the robes, the gilt chair and so on.
Traditional coronation for new king From correspondents in Nuku'Alofa, Tonga
July 30, 2008 01:13pm
Article from: Agence France-Presse
TONGA'S king was officially anointed in a traditional ceremony today in which his subjects presented dozens of pigs and hundreds of baskets of food in tribute.
King Siaosi Tupou V sat alone on a raised platform in Nuku'Alofa as more than 200 of Tonga's nobles and chiefs surrounded him in a circle, dressed in white with woven ta'ovala mats around their waists.
They took part in a kava-drinking ceremony, with the king offered the first bowl of the mildly narcotic drink, made from the pounded roots of a plant, to recognise that he was first among Tongans.
The 60-year-old king, whose name is George Tupou V in English, will also be crowned head of the tiny South Pacific nation in a Western-style coronation on Friday.
But for Tongans, today's ceremony was "the true coronation", said the Master of the Royal Household, the Honourable Tu'ivauavou.
One of the king's talking chiefs, who speaks on his behalf agreed, saying the ceremony installed the king as the 23rd holder of a dynasty founded in the 17th century before European contact.
"This is our traditional ceremony for the coronation, the western coronation is much more recent," Ma'u Kakala said.
"I'm so proud to have taken part in it. Everyone here in this field took part to celebrate our own culture."
The king walked to the grassy meeting place next to the newly renovated royal palace on Nuku'alofa's waterfront, led by a spear-wielding chief whose job was to drive away evil spirits in the ceremonial area.
Strict protocol means no Tongan can walk in front of the king or touch his food, so a ceremonial presentation to Siaosi Tupou was accepted on his behalf by a friend in traditional dress.
Up to 75 pigs, dozens of kava plants and hundreds of baskets of cooked food presented to the king were to be later distributed to Tongans.
The king, a controversial figure in the island country due to his widespread business interests, is better known outside Tonga for his taste for elaborate uniforms and for being driven around the capital in a London cab.
Shortly after he took power in September 2006, riots sparked by a political reform rally left eight people dead and large swathes of the centre of Nuku'alofa were looted and burned.
The coronation was due to be held last year but was postponed as the poor country of 115,000 recovered from the riots.
Siaosi Tupou, who assumed the monarchy after his father Taufa'ahau Tupou IV died two years ago, made his strongest statement yet this week that he plans to hand over some power to his people.
The last three pictures were from Matangi Tonga.
One story about Archbishop Bryce: we were staying at an Anglican flat in Auckland one time courtesy of a Fijian friend and the phone rang: Is Archbishop Bryce there? A Tongan woman's voice. I said, No, but you can talk with Pope Peceli if you like! Then I realized it wasn't the time to joke at all, but well, that's life and we sometimes say the wrong thing. Apparently Bryce had been there the week before!