WITH the Independence celebrations just around the corner, it is unfortunate that one of the Motuan villages which is said to be the original village where the first Hiri Lakatoi was established in the old days, will not take part in this year’s celebrations.
The Boera village along the Hiri-west have been told to settle their differences in the village and not to take part in this year’s Hiri Moale festival which will be staged on Sept 14-16 at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium and Ela Beach in the National Capital District.
This was revealed last week by the chairman of the Motu-Koita Assembly Miria Ikupu in reference of the mini-Hiri Moale festivals held in all 22 Motuan villages.
The National was told that by legend they (Boera) were the first village to conduct trade with the Erema people of Gulf province with the lakatoi.
Motu-Koita Assembly chief of staff Thomas Willie said the other 21 villages did also take part in the dangerous expeditions in their own lakatois.
Mr Willie told The National the assembly withdrew K7,500 funding for Boera village because of infighting between the Boera Gadona lead by Sir Moi Avei and the Boera, Rearea, Porebada, Papa villagers regarding the LNG project.
“Hiri Moale is about happiness and sharing and appreciation.
“We do not want to cause a fight that will ruin the spirit of happiness and oneness among us,” he stressed.
“We have told them to solve their differences and they have agreed, so maybe they can join next year when unity is restored in the village.”
This year’s festival has been slightly changed seeing each village having their own mini Hiri Moale festivals in their respective villages with the crowning of their queens.
Funding of the mini festivals was given according to the population each village has and Gabagaba, with the highest, received the biggest funding of K10,000, followed by Roku village with K5,000.
“This year is the year of trial and error for the mini Hiri Moale festivals and we hope to learn from it and make it bigger and better next year,” Mr Willie said.