The umu

How to make an umu

  1. You first have to get half of a drum and cut it in half.
  2. Dig a hole with a shovel and put the cut drum in.
  3. Put the rack inside the drum.
  4. Cut the firewood with the toki (axe) into little pieces.
  5. Bring the pulu and kapikola and put it inside the drum.
  6. Light the pula and kapikola, put pieces of wood on top to build up the fire.
  7. Add bigger pieces of firewood and some rocks inside the drum.
  8. Put the metal thing on top of the rocks and firewood gently.
  9. Wrap up the food you have prepared for the umu. Use heated banana leaves to wrap up the food.
  10. Use foil paper to cover the outside of the food, so it does not fall apart.
  11. When the umu has died down a bit, bring out the rocks and pieces of wood
  12. Put the wrapped food inside the hot umu, and put the stones on top. This will help cook the food from all sides.
  13. Cover the umu with lau le leaves and old sacks.
  14. Wait 3 hours before opening the umu again.

By Topui. I am from the village of Hakupu.

How to make an umu

Firstly you bundle up some leaves and paper. You grab a lighter and you carefully light the bundle then throw it on the umu. If you like you can go around your house and get some leaves to put in your umu too. You also need a lot of firewood and rocks to keep the fire burning. You need to wrap the food up in foil or banana leaves. With the banana leaves you have to heat them up for a while so they can be soft to wrap up your food. Once your food is all wrapped up and the umu's ready you can put your food on to the umu and let it cook.

By Rhiannon. I have recently returned to live in Niue with my family. My grandfather is going to be the next pastor for the village of Lakepa. We are originally from the village of Hakupu.