The Dowager Lady Tunakaimanu Fielakepa at Langafonua Womens Centre Nukualofa, Tonga 2020-© Photographi by Mary Lyn Fonua.
Monday, 28 December 2020, Nuku’alofa, Kingdom of Tonga: The Prince Claus Award 2020, an international recognition, honouring outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development, was presented to the Dowager Lady Tunakaimanu Fielakepa at a special ceremony held at Liku’alofa Resort, Tonga National Cultural Centre in the kingdom’s capital.
HRH Princess Pilolevu, The Honourable Lady Tuita of ‘Utungake, presented the award at a function hosted by the Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The annual awards are usually presented in the Grand Hall of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam by HRH Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, the Honorary Chair of the board of the Prince Claus Fund, however travel was not possible this year due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The Honorary Consul, Mrs Petunia Tupou KC, said that 83 nominations had been submitted from around the world. Forty five were short-listed. “Only seven laureates were selected based on their inspirational leadership, and this is the very first laureate for the Pacific islands,” she said.
Tunakaimanu Fielakepa was honoured for her immense contribution to the ongoing vitality of women’s textile arts, demonstrating that koloa is a living cultural form and an integral part of Tongan culture.
She received the award in an online ceremony from the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on 2 December for being a committed activist for Tonga’s living cultural heritage, its language, traditions, values and customs.
The awards are supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and thus non-resident Dutch Ambassador Mira Woldberg in dispatched a video message to Tonga for the event from the embassy based in Wellington, New Zealand.
For further information
Cultural profile of The Dowager Lady Tunakaimanu Fielakepa: https://princeclausfund.org/laureate/tunakaimanu-fielakepa
Award Ceremony 2020: https://princeclausfund.org/awards-ceremonies