Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fair to Middlin'

Still shot of the baby pigs.  Some
of the pigs have the strangest markings.
Yesterday and Today was the Tonga Agricultural Show in Veitongo (similar to a State fair in the U.S. I suppose). They had all of their livestock, fruits, veggies, arts and crafts etc. on display.  Veitongo is a pretty central location on the main island (not that anything is very far).  We took several photos and I will use the photo captions to do my best to give you the local flavor of the Fair.

We spent about 2 hours walking around taking photos and just enjoying the atmosphere.  There was lots of music and some dancing and even an appearance by the King of Tonga with his entourage.  The people of Tonga do love and honor their King.

This first short video if of some suckling piglets.  You have probably seen some of the other photos I have posted of pigs (large and small).  The "dalmation" type of markings is not as unique as one might think.  I have never seen them in the U.S. but then I haven't been hanging out on many pig farms either.

Fruits and Vegetables display.  Notice the elaborate Tapa table cloth pounded
from tree bark and hand painted.  They display these tapa cloths everywhere,
as floor mats, as wall or fence decorations or as in this case, as a table cloth.

This photo shows one of the fish displays.  You can zoom in and read the
names of some of the fish (they are in Tonga however).  This was the only
display that had ice.
This fish display just has the fish laying out in the open.  Surprisingly enough,
it didn't smell bad even though the fair started yesterday.

One more fish display
Great vegetable display as you enter the fairgrounds.  If you click on the photo
your will be able to recognize some of vegetables on display.

More of the vegetable displayed.  Notice the handwoven baskets.  They are
also very common here and vegetables are frequently sold in the baskets.

These are some of the root crops grown here (along with some bananas
top left and right).

Hand-carved whale bone (towards the front) and cow bone jewelry (top 3 rows).
The whalebone jewelry can bet pretty expensive as the larger pieces sell
for $2,000-$3,000 (Paanga - $1,000-$1,500 USD) 

This is Tevita's wife Uku, she also handles the business side.  They told us to
pick out what we liked and we could pay them at our next class this week.

Our favorite Tongan artist, Tevita.  We have been training him on the use of the
computer and hopefully we'll soon have a website to better display his work.
His wife, Uku pounds the tapa cloth and he does the art work and framing.
Lepeka talking with Tevita about his art.  You can see Uku in the background.

Notice the large octopus carving.  I'm not sure if they found a piece of wood
that looked like an octopus or actually carved it but it was indeed interesting.

Dancers at one of the clothing displays.

Large bull tied to a pole.  You could walk right up to most of the animals
if you were brave enough and wanted to.

Chicken and eggs are also a big part of the culture here.  The organic eggs
can be pretty strong tasting.

Goat tied to the sheep pen.  Very interesting markings on this goat.

We haven't seen many sheep over here but they do exist.

One more short video clip of some singing while
others are pounding out a tapa cloth in the front.

The King of Tonga and his entourage.  He had lots of security and several
dignitaries with him.  The security detail would come through first and more
everyone over to the side so he could pass.
King Tupou VI (ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho; born 12 July 1959) is the King of Tonga. He is the younger brother and successor of the late King George Tupou V. He was officially confirmed by his brother on 27 September 2006 as the heir presumptive to the Throne of Tonga, as his brother (a bachelor) had no legitimate children. He served as Tonga's High Commissioner to Australia, and resided in Canberr auntil the death of King George Tupou V on 18 March 2012, when ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho became King of Tonga, with the regnal name ʻAhoʻeitu Tupou VI.
King Tupou VI of Tonga as he passes by us.  He is the one in the black shirt.

Not much else to report on from Tonga this week.  Becky and I speak and sing in Church tomorrow so we hope that goes well.


  1. Pictures are worth a 1,000 words. Thank you for giving us a taste of Tonga. I was jealous of the vegetables. Tomatoes are not edible here. Great traditions. Love your blog.

    1. This is a great time of the year for vegetables here in Tonga. By far the best we have had to date. We're hoping they stay around for a few more months at least.