A tumunu is where the local men gather to drink their home brew (made of oranges, malt, yeast and sugar) and talk about island events. It is a ceremonial ritual and visitors are welcome to take part. It is similar to the Fijian kava drinking ceremony but with a more alcoholic brew.Tree of Life at Atiu School
Tumunu can be translated as coconut trunk and refers to the hollowed out barrel that contains the brew. The participants all sit around the tumunu (which these days is as likely to be a plastic barrel as a coconut one) and are handed their drink in a coconut shell, one after the other around the group. You finish the drink and hand the shell back for a refill that is passed to the next person. When you have had enough you raise your hand in a stop sign to indicate that you are finished or that you want to miss a round.
The brew is more alcoholic than its fruity taste indicates so it is wise to be careful!
There are six tumunu on Atiu that meet at different times and days of the week. Your accommodation can organize an invitation if you want. You should take a small amount of money to contribute to the kitty which is used to buy the ingredients for the next brew.
As a visitor you will also be invited to introduce yourself and say where you come from. A visit to the tumunu is a good opportunity to meet and talk with some locals. It is especially good fun when the guitars come out and the singing starts along with lots of laughing.