Tonga is the only sovereign indigenous monarchy in Oceania. Starting from King George Tupou I, the first king of Tonga, who changed Tonga from a heathen belief to a GOD fearing country by dedicating the land and its people to LORD JESUS, it has been left with a legacy of radical progression in terms of changing mindset and yet retaining it’s core traditional values. This painting is my expression of depicting the lineage of the reign of the Kings in Tonga with the “Niu” tree (coconut) and to show the huge abundance that has come into the nation. Niu (coconut) in my culture stands for sustenance and strength.
The big coconut tree represents the first king of Tonga, who, because of his decision making started an inheritance of blessings for it . The four other coconuts denote the reign of the four precedent kings, while the new kernel is symbolic of the recently crowned king of Tonga, King George Tupou the VI.
This pattern is so reflective of this verse from the Bible- “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” John12:24
Mediums and material used:
Tapa: is made by beating the bark of the Tongan Mulberry tree for hours, until thin strips finally flatten and stretch out. These pieces are then joined together firmly to form a canvas like surface.
Tongo Ink: is made from the extracted fluid of Mangrove bark. This fluid is boiled at various temperatures to get a variety of hues. Acrylic Paint
Size: 36 (l) x 21 (b) inches
About the Series: Tonga holds an agricultural show annually, in its six main islands namely – Tongatapu, Vava’u, ‘Eua, Ha’apai, Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou. It is a time when farmers, fisheries, artisans and handicraft makers come together to display their best products and also get commended for their contribution to the development and progress of the nation.This year the show was very special, as Tonga also got it’s sixth King – King George Tupou the VIth. Hence the name “The Royal Agricultural Show”. It was personally inaugurated by the King and Queen, who also visited all 6 islands for the respective shows. For us to be a part of this event was being a small part of our nation’s history.