Stop in at any village in Tonga and you’re bound to come across a Kava hall or Club, a place to socialise, relax and partake in the age-old custom of a Kava ceremony.
Find out more about one of the most valued root crops in the Pacific, how its prepared and how its served at a ‘fai kava’ circle in Tonga.
At the head of this mostly male circle, is the often controversial figure of the Tou'a, who serves and oversees the fai kava ceremony.
There are many ideas about this role and whether it has become increasingly exploitative of young girls in the modern age but the Tou'a continues to be an integral figure in fai kava ceremonies both in Tonga and overseas.
At these informal fai kava ‘kalapus’ the Tou'a is an unmarried young woman, but there are other formal occasions where the Tou'a will be a male chief who for example, will preside over the highly prestigious pongipongi kava ceremony.
Join Tou'a -Veisinia Tukuafu as she talks us through her role as a Tou'a and of the significance of Kava across the Pacific.
Let us know your thoughts on this role, and your experience of kava ceremonies in the Pacific!