Harry and Meghan Fiji visit: 100-plus men to perform traditional war dance

Part of the men of Nakelo who will be performing a traditional dance for Prince Harry and Meghan. Picture: MATILDA SIMMONS

MORE than 100 men from the district of Nakelo in Tailevu will take part in the meke vakavanua or traditional war dance during the welcoming ceremony for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, at Albert Park on October 23, 2018.

According to the spokesperson for the district, Levani Tuinabua, the men had been rehearsing for seven weeks ahead of the historic event.

“This traditional war dance is only done for special occasions, including the welcoming of high-level dignitaries and royalty,” Mr Tuinabua said.

“The last time we performed this meke was in 2015 when former New Zealand Prime Minister John Key visited,” he said.

He added the meke was first performed for Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, the Duke of Gloucester and third son of George V and Queen Mary in 1935 and had over 800 men taking part.

The traditional meke was presented to the Tui Nakelo on Friday, October 19, ahead of the rehearsal last night at Albert Park.

The royal couple is scheduled to arrive in Fiji on October 23 for their three-day tour of the island nation.

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