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Te Waa mai Kiribati

Eritibete Bob

I am the second born child and I have three brothers and two sisters. My responsibilities include cooking and cleaning for my family. I am joining Water Is Rising because I love to dance and sing.

Babai Ioane

I am the third born in my family. I just completed my form six, the last year of primary education. Right now, I live at home and help my family. I am joining this tour because I enjoy dancing.

Rabangaki Ioane

I am married and have one daughter. I do not work, but I stay at home and help my family. I am a great fisherman and a good dancer.

Toaea Kakiaiti

My name is Toaea. I am married and I have one daughter. I stay at home to help my wife and family because I love to help people.

Aana Mareko

I am the first born in my family and I have only one sibling. I live with my mother at my uncle's house. I completed my form seven certificate and am currently looking for a job. Singing and dancing are my two passions.

Kauongo Rereia

I live with my father and mother. I am the eldest in my family and I have two sisters and one brother.

Arieta Tanginako

I am the fourth born in my family. I have five sisters and one brother. I graduated school three years ago and now I mainly stay at home and do housework, but I'm still looking for a job. I love to sing and dance because I'm good at it.

Francis Tebau (Tour Manager)

I am the eldest in my family. I have graduated from school three years now, but continue to search for better opportunities. Right now, I am helping my family with their small business selling yagong fish. I have a great interest in computer technology and communications and I really love to dance. My family has been active in music and dance for as long as I can remember. As the administrative coordinator of Te Waa Mai Kiribati, I assist my Uncle Ioane Takaai, the founder of Te Waa Mai Kiribati, in organizing our touring projects. While our group is only 2 years old we have already received invitations to Taiwan in 2011 and to Peru in 2012. The Water is Rising tour will be our first opportunity to go to the United States. We are proud to represent our country all over the world and hope that American audiences will come away with a better understanding of our culture and how we are being affected by Climate Change.

Nantonga Tebau

I am the fourth born in my family and I completed my form seven (first year of secondary school) last year. Now, I'm living with my family and looking for a job. I am a member of the Te waa mai Kiribati dance group.

Katii Tebungata

I am a fisherman. All my male ancestors lived by the sea. I am a great fisherman and I love to dance and sing. I have two sisters.

Nabaua Tetan

I am the first born in my family. I live by the main road in Bairiki with my family. Every day, I go out fishing to provide food for my family. I'm joining the Water is Rising tour because enjoy performing with others.

Boraueanimakin Tiannere

I am short with brown skin and black hair. I finished school and I'm looking to work for Tobaradi Travel. I am the youngest in my family.


Kai Te Gali Mai Nukunonu (Tokelau)

Tangaloa Pio Engeliko

My name is Tangaloa Engeliko. I am 34 years old. I love fishing, dancing, singing and learning about my culture. I am concerned that climate change will bring an end to my beautiful Island.

Visesio Gogo Hope

I am the only kid in the family and I work for the village force. I am thankful for this opportunity to see the world and enable me to showcase my culture through dance and singing.

Mateo Seufagafaga Ioane

My name is Mateo I am the third son in my family. I love fishing and I work building houses in Tokelau. I also love dancing and singing.

Detlef Suega Isaia

I enjoy learning about my culture especially fishing methods, dancing and singing. I have two brothers and two sisters and we all work together to look after our family. This will be the first time that I travel outside of Tokelau and I am looking forward to the experience of the tour. My small atoll is sinking because of the rising water and I hope after this tour the world will at least see my beautiful culture through our dance and singing.

Petranila Juliana Lemisio

My name is Julie Lemisio I enjoy playing netball, volleyball and reading. And certainly I enjoy singing and dancing.

Mikaele Maiava (Artistic Director)

I was born and brought up in Nukunonu an atoll that is part of Tokelau. I went on scholarship overseas and worked 8 years at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Samoa Multi Country Office and within these years I had the opportunity to also work at the United Nations Volunteer Head Quaters in Bonn Germany in 2008. I attended the first Indigenous People for Climate Change Forum in Alaska 2009, and the Climate Action Network Pacific meeting in Rarotonga, Cook Island 2009 as a Pacific Youth Warrior. As a dancer and choreographer for Tokelauan dance I have toured Germany, been featured at World Culture night in Alaska, and dance my way around the world whenever I get the opportunity. The highest point on our atoll is the tallest coconut tree. Tokelau is now directly affected by Climate Change.  The Water is Rising Tour is our opportunity to share with you our unique and beautiful culture through our dance and singing.

Suliana Eheta Quinel Peha

I was born and raised in Tokelau by my loving grandparents. Growing up on the Island, I learned to appreciate and be content with what we have. It is very important to work hard to achieve my goals. I am honored and very proud to be part of this dance group and share with the rest of the world how climate change is affecting our home.

Aloisio Tio Ineleo

My name is Tio and I attend the University of the South Pacific. I love dancing and I am thankful for this opportunity to show the world my unique culture.

Lui Tumua

I enjoy fishing with my father and looking after my family. I study at the University of the South Pacific Nukunonu Centre and work part time as sales rep at the local handicraft store. I love singing and dancing. 

Luisa Tumua

My name is Luisa Tumua and I work as a nurse aid in the hospital in Nukunonu. In 2004, I had the opportunity to travel with the Nukunonu Dance Group from Tokelau to participate in the South Pacific Art Festival in Palau. I love dancing and singing and I believe and support the purpose of this tour.

Savelio Tumua

I have four healthy beautiful kids and two of them are on this tour. I am a fisherman and look after my family. I look forward to this tour especially for the opportunity to take my kids to see the world and promote our beautiful culture through singing and dancing.

Teina Tuta Laura Tumua

My name is Teina Tumua I am the second oldest of four siblings. I currently study at University of the South Pacific in Nukunonu. I enjoy my life in Tokelau, but am very happy to have this opportunity to see the world and show my unique culture through dance and singing.


Pa Laumilo (Tuvalu)

Alasa Malau

My name is Alasa. I am married with five children and I work as a farmer. I graduated from secondary school, but would still like to learn more. I’m awaiting a chance to pursue my dream.

Kaupoe Sema Malona

Hi, my name is Kaupoe. I have five children. I worked as a mechanic for the Tuvalu Co-op Society for 23 years, but I am now a fisherman. I love music and enjoy playing many instruments. I am excited to travel to the U.S. to promote the music and dance of Tuvalu.

Maaia Moupa

I am a local farmer and fisherman. My wife is deceased so I work very hard to earn money for my family. I want to instill in my sons the things that are important in life -- dancing, fishing and cultivating local produce.

Ioane Malologa Paulo

I am now retired, but worked many years teaching in primary school, secondary school, and the community training center. I was also a representative for the Tuvalu Teachers Association where I was given the opportunity to attend both the World Teachers and Pacific Teachers meetings abroad. I was also the first teacher in Tuvalu to accompany school children to the Fukuoka Children’s Convention in Japan.

Laumanu Penitiki

I graduated secondary school in 2008 and help my mother with housework. I’ve joined the other youth of my country to assume greater responsibility for Tuvalu. I also enjoy dancing and singing.

Moeaogo Puga

I’m a secondary school graduate and am enrolled at the University of South Pacific, Funafuti. In 2010, I worked as a clerk at the Tolise Primary School. I look forward to playing music and dancing in America.

Samola Puga (Artistic Director)

Samola Puga fell in love with the guitar and ukulele and began her career at 25. She was mentored by Antipa and joined the Ocean View Girls group and performed with them for six years. She has worked independently as a teacher, composer and choreographer. Samola received a medal from the Tuvaluan Parliament in 2010 for her distinguished contribution as an artist and cultural leader. She has led the Tuvaluan delegation to the Pacific Island Festival in Noumea, New Caledonia in 2000. In 2005, she brought Tuvaluan artists to New Zealand for two months. She has toured in Guam, Palau, and the Mariannas as a soloist. She has four children, two of which are on this tour. She has enjoyed sharing her unique talent in Tuvalu. She continues to try to build artistic confidence by bringing her group to the U.S. – her most ambitious tour yet.

Andrew Semeli

  I am the son of the group leader, Samola Puga.  I am also a husband and a father to two daughters and one son.  Being brought up in the musical traditions of my country has given me a great love for music. I am not only a singer and dancer, but a composer as well. I am also one of few people from the island of Vaitupu who have studied abroad. I earned my certificate and diploma in Workplace Training and Development from the Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea. I am a passionate civil servant and have been serving Tuvalu in various positions since 2001.  Currently I am working in close proximity to the political administration of Tuvalu as a Parliamentarian Assistant.  I look forward to sharing the beautiful culture of Tuvalu through music and dance with audiences in the United States and hope to bring further awareness of climate change on the Water is Rising tour.

Tila Viliamu Taape

I’m a local farmer and I primarily raise pigs. I used to dance for my village entertainment group. I’m hoping to learn more about music and dancing during this tour. I’m a secondary school graduate.

Toalima Taicataica

I graduated from Motufoua Secondary School and also University of South Pacific at Funafuti. I am a competitive volleyball player and am recognized on my island of Vaitupu for my singing and dancing. I am interested in our new forms of economy and am studying to become an accountant.

Sakema Teoti

I am a secondary school graduate. I’m the only girl in my family. I like to sing and dance. I represent the youth of Tuvalu and the hope of my country.

Epati Tepoutoa

I am the father of four children. I work in the agriculture department. I am a member of the band Fagogo Malipolipo.