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NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Aug. 1) – The ten days of mourning for the Royal Funeral of the late Prince Tu'ipelehake and late Princess Kaimana Tuku'aho was completed today, with the pongipongi tapu, or the sacred mourning, held at the Royal Palace, in Nuku’alofa.

The traditional ceremony marks the end of the mourning period for the Royal family. It began with the ha’amo, or the carrying of pigs and food baskets to the Royal Palace by the people from Tu'ipelehake’s estates in Pelehake and 'Alaki, Tongatapu. There were 50 tohos, large pigs, and 100 tunu or baskets of food.

The traditional ceremony included the taumafa kava, or royal kava circle, which was presided over by the Prince Regent, HRH Crown Prince Tupouto’a. The kava of the Prince Regent was presented by Honorable Sinaitakala Fakafanua, a niece of the late Prince Tu’ipelehake.

The Pongipongi Tapu and the Taumafa Kava was followed by the bestowment of Honorable Mailefihi to the hereditary title Tu’ipelehake.

August 2, 2006

Matangi Tonga: www.matangitonga.to/nav.html

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