Photographer Jocelyn Carlin

Pacific News - Tonga2

The King of Tonga Taufa'ahau Tupou 1V died after a long illness in Auckland, New Zealand on the 10th September 2006.

The RNZAF bought the body and the Royal family in attendance back to Nuku'alofa, the Kingdom's capital on the Pacific island of Tongatapu, and to the Royal Palace to lay in State for 10 days before the burial ceremony.

The official mourning period across Tonga was deemed one month. People wear black and a ta'ovala a woven mat tied around the waist in a style appropriate to their relationship to the deceased, other constraints such as no music and dance normally intrinsic to the culture are observed. The Royal family's mourning extends for six months, in traditional times it could have lasted two years.

Elaborate ceremony not seen since the death of the late King's mother Queen Salote in 1967 occurred for ten days in the lead up the state funeral when Tongans and dignitaries from across the globe were present. Ceremony continued for another ten days until the Pongipongitapu and Taumafakava, the new king's name HM Siaosi George Tupou V was heard for the first time as he sat at the head of the Royal Kava Circle.

These pictures are a small representation of what occurred in The Kingdom of Tonga at that time.

Other Galleries in this exhibition
Pacific Kiribati 09 | Environmental Stories from the Pacific Region | Pacific News -Tonga | Pacific News - Tonga2 | Another War Story | Tuvalu | Legacy Tuvalu - The Footprint on Funafuti | American Samoa and Samoa | Solomon Islands | Nauru/Kiribati/Fiji