fakatonga

In some of the outer islands of Tonga, kava is drunk almost every night, but on the main island, Tongatapu, it is usually drunk only on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Kava drinking frequently lasts as long as eight or nine hours. With the introduction of television, rugby is usually watched by the kava drinkers, and the songs are sung in the commercial breaks. On Saturday nights, a short pause for prayer is made at midnight (as the day moves to Sunday), and then hymns replace the love songs. These hymns are mostly traditional English melodies with new words in Tongan. All important occasions are also marked by drinking kava, including weddings, funerals, and all church-related functions. For example, when a new king takes his throne or a new chief is established in his title, he must participate in the pongipongi, ancient kava ceremonies to make his rule official. These formal kava parties follow completely different rules. A male chief is now the touʻa, and the kava is very solemnly prepared by pounding the roots to powder (instead of buying of bag of already pounded kava powder). Once the kava is the right strength the ceremony master will call out the nickname of the first recipient using an old archaic formula (“kava kuo heka”). The touʻa will fill the cup and the cup is then brought, often by a young lady, to the intended chief, and brought back afterwards. Then the next name is called, and so forth. #kava #tonga #kavakouheka #fakatonga #polynesia (Taken with instagram)