HIRI Moale is a time to be happy and merry and this is the kind of atmosphere you will get when you set foot on the white sandy beach at the coastal Motuan village of Lealea in the Central province.
Ward committee chairman Konio Morea told The National last Thursday that the lakatoi which will leave their shores to join in the main event at Ela Beach from today till Wednesday, was ready to set sail.
“The lakatoi is ready, it only needs the ‘palai’ to go up and we are set to sail to join in the festivities,” he said.
Lealea has been taking part in the Hiri Moale festivals for several years and this is the fourth time they have been asked to build a lakatoi.
“The owner of the lakatoi at the moment is Rousi Veri and it will be captained by Naoani Morea along with 12 women and 18 men on board to bring it into Ela Beach,” he said.
The village celebrated its mini Hiri festival on Aug 30 and crowned their Hiri Queen, Kimberly Gauma, who is a Grade 10 student at the Redscar High School in Porebada.
“We will be supporting her all the way through and I would like those living in the city to come out and support our young lass,” he urged his people.
The Gabagaba village is the other village building the lakatoi and both will sail from their side and meet at the Ela Beach to be judged according to how best it has been built and all the materials used to build the lakatoi must be traditionally made with vines and ropes.