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Two Norfolk Island Tours for Creatives

Sometimes, when on holiday, it’s nice to take a break from both adventure and relaxation and find activities to do that get our creative juices flowing. At Norfolk Island, there is plenty of opportunity to get involved in some creative activities, especially those where you can learn about the history of the island at the same time. At Spacifica Travel some of our favourite creative and cultural activities on Norfolk Island are the art of the woven hat and, visiting the wearable art extravaganza. Continue reading below to learn more about these activities. 

The Art of the Woven Hat 

Traditionally, the headwear worn by the Tahitians was a palm leaf band or flower crown.  With the arrival of the missionaries in the late 18th century, so too came the introduction of European fashion, and the full brimmed hat.  Utilising existing weaving and plaiting skills, the Tahitian women experimented with different natural fibres to create their own hat styles and shapes. 

When the Mutineers departed Tahiti with their Tahitian wives and settled on Pitcairn Island, they brought over 22 different styles of weaving baskets, brooms and hats with them.  Over the centuries, the styles and methods of weaving have been handed down through the generations.  The most common fibre used to weave hats is the palm frond, however corn husk, banana bark and flax are also used.  Weaves include the 3-strand starting plait, 4 strand common plait and the Heritage plait. 

Whilst weaving was only practiced by women, there are a few males who have become skilled weavers.  These skills are showcased every 4 years as weavers, dancers, writers, artists and musicians from Norfolk Island proudly wave the Norfolk flag and share their unique culture and traditions at the Festival of the Pacific Arts.  A concept created by the Pacific Community, the festival ensures cultural practices are exchanged and celebrated amongst the Pacific Islands.  

Visitors are able to experience this tradition first-hand at the free weaving class held on Wednesday mornings at the Golden Orb Cafe. Take home your own piece of Norfolk culture with a woven hat, available for purchase from the Visitor Information Centre.  

Periwinkles 

The common periwinkle is a small species of sea snail.  The scientific name is Littorina littorea, however on Norfolk Island, they are simply known as HiHi.  They live on rocks and in small tide pools and collecting HiHi is a time honored tradition to make the delicious HiHi pie. It is a wonderful family event as children carry their upcycled hessian sack satchels down to the rock pools to collect HiHis.

Do as the locals and make your way to Cemetery Beach to collect HiHis to make your own traditional pie during your stay.  Crest Apartments are only a one-minute drive to the beach and their 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments feature a full sized kitchen with an oven.  The guest picnic area with panoramic ocean views is the perfect spot to enjoy the evening and your homemade HiHi pie. 

Traditional Recipe for HiHi Pie

There are several ways that Islanders prepare their HiHi, but the most important thing is to not overcook.  The traditional method to make a hihi pie is to prepare a very basic pastry with 2 cups flour, dripping and lemon juice, however you can use milk and butter as an alternative.  Roll out the pastry thinly to make your pie base and lid.  

Fill your pie base with a layer of well seasoned hihi and a little vinegar, sprinkle liberally with plain flour, repeat process and cover with a pastry lid.  Bake in a moderate oven for up to one hour or until golden brown.  

Wearable Art Extravaganza 

Upcycling and recycling has been practised on Norfolk long before 1856 when the Pitcairn Islanders were gifted the island by Queen Victoria.  Previous settlements utilised every available local stone and natural fibres to build sustainable communities.   

Celebrating its 14th year, the Norfolk Island Wearable Arts Extravaganza is based on a concept which first originated as a small local competition in New Zealand over 30 years ago. Organised by the Norfolk Island Community Arts Society, the Extravaganza is an opportunity for talented local artisans to get together to showcase their designs of all things recyclable. As an isolated, remote island, the creative ability to turn trash into art is an ingenious example of how to reduce waste.  

The event categories include recycled, illumination, and natural fibre designs which are sourced locally.  The talented entrants range from young children through to Island elders displaying the art of weaving as handed down through the generations by their Tahitian foremothers.  The designs are modelled by locals, including the Baunti Beauties who perform the graceful movements of Tahitian dancing. Traditionally, Tahitian dancing was used to enthrall a potential mate, challenge an enemy, worship a god, and even offer up prayers.  Each dance is unique and the technique is learned from a young age. 

The head dress and open categories are a stunning showcase of the creativity, skill and craftsmanship of the entrants. Using traditions, culture and imagination, the Norfolk Island Wearable Arts Extravaganza demonstrates the benefits to all communities to reuse and recycle.  

Spacifica Travel specialise in value packed Norfolk Island holiday packages. To enquire about your next holiday, contact our friendly team on 1800 800 722.  

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We know the South Pacific like the frond of every palm