Speaking during the occasion, Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta reaffirmed an earlier commitment he made during the crowning of the Hiri Hanenamo Queen in September this year; to assist the Motu Koita Assembly (MKA) with an appropriation in the provincial government’s budget.
This is to help with vital services in areas on MK land where Gulf people reside.
Governor Haiveta said Gulf people are living on prime land belonging to the Motu Koita people, and must show appreciation and give something back to them.
Both governments also agreed to work together to host the next Hiri Moale Festival in 2018, which will be an actual re-enactment of the voyage beginning with the travel by Motuans with clay pots with the south-easterly wind and return with sago, betelnut and logs from Gulf with the westerly winds.
MKA chairman, Opa Udia, also expressed his gratitude for the kind gesture by the Gulf Governor and his provincial government. He was present with some of his council members and the current Hiri Hanenamo, the runner up and Miss Hetura.
Paul Ipai, an elementary teacher from Ikinu village, Baimuru, said it is time people know and appreciate that the Hiri Trade was an important event and a daring voyage to survive during difficult times.
The second day of the Gulf Mask Festival saw groups from various parts of the province showcase traditional songs, dances and sacred mask ceremonies in front of a crowd of about 10,000 people.
(One of the many dancing groups during the event)