Tura, a bird that is actually a hornbill, is the creation of 13-year-old Taka Seigori (PNG), a year-five student from Tubuseria Primary School in Central Province, Papua New Guinea.
Seigori put forward Tura as her submission in a nationwide school competition launched in late 2013 to determine the official mascot of Port Moresby 2015.
The aim behind the competition was to come up with a mascot that was unique to PNG, would incorporate all the different traditions and cultures of the country and would directly reflect the spirit of the Games.
The word Tura means friend in the Motuan language, which fitting describes the friendly and cheeky characteristics of the hornbill.
Tura is a modern version of the hornbill, known in the country as Kokomo.
The colourful crown on Tura’s head symbolises the colours of the 2015 Pacific Games and reflects a once in a lifetime opportunity for athletes and the whole of the Pacific to shine and be remembered.
The colours also represent and describe the host city, Port Moresby, as welcoming and friendly.
Tura was unveiled in the middle of last year in Port Moresby, and it has since travelled to other provinces around the country spreading the message and spirit of the 2015 Pacific Games with everyone it comes across.
The executive manager of marketing for the Games, Ken Siminji, said that sending Tura around the country was a good way of creating a sense of national pride. “Tura represented the perfect symbol to be able to go around the country, raise the excitement and get people to understand and appreciate that they can still be part of the Games regardless of where they are,” Siminji said.
“Yes the Games are happening in the city, but people everywhere around the country are united in celebration because of Tura’s work in connecting the rest of the country to the Games.”
Tura the Kokomo, the shining ambassador for the Games, will be helping to share people’s experiences and the excitement for the duration of the Games that will last a lifetime. [PNGFacts]