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The 1000 pallbearers known as the Kauala carry the catafalque as the coffin is removed and the Nimatapu ('scared hands') prepare the grave during the funeral of the late King of Tonga, Taufa'ahau Tupou IV. The pallbearers, who were drawn from across the villages of Tongatapu, carried the four-metre catafalque structure from the Royal Palace to Mala'e Kula (the royal burial ground). King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, one of the world's longest-serving monarchs, died in Auckland on 10 September 2006 following a long illness. His body was returned to his homeland and he was buried on 19 September 2006 at Mala'e Kula in the Tongan capital.