These anava were frequently carved with serrated edges and jagged "teeth" which characterized the unique Samoan weapon called the "nifo'oti". Favorite Add to Printed Samoan Fire Knife Dance Malu Kpohana. Says event founder Pulefano Galeai, “This unique event combines great athletic skill, unflinching bravery and ever-present danger to bring out the best in these competitors. Rice, taro, and coconut are other staples of the diet. It is probable that the danger of sharpened blades and the demand for multiple daily shows by top performers has caused the sharpened blade to disappear entirely from commercial performances. It is customary for the older family members to eat first, followed by the younger ones and the children. Fire Twirling Baton 3/8" 4.3 out of 5 stars 7. Enjoy. Film and edit by Amir Zakeri Music was created by my brother Alexander. This particular design is an open wrap with a tie string so it is highly suggested that you use tights underneath. Samoan culture has many visually exciting dances, or siva, such as the Siva Afi (“fireknife”), in which dancers twirl and toss a single- or double-bladed knife lit on fire. The competition began in 1992 and is always held during the third week of May. Letuli was performing in San Francisco and noticed a Hindu Fire eater and a little girl with lighted batons. The fire eater loaned him some fuel, he wrapped some towels around his knife, and thus the Fire Knife Siva Afi Dance was revived. From shop ALOHABRUSHART. Dec 1, 2012 - This photo captures the exciting finale in the physically demanding Samoan Fire Dance. The traditional Samoan dance is the siva. Since Uluao’s fire knife performance was such a success, the rest of the Polynesian dancing instruments such as poi, staff, and hoop were quickly modified to become fire-dancing toys. It’s a tradition that has been passed from generation to generation, with each adding a new layer of style, boldness, and skill. “I stared at the fire-eater, then the baton twirler. This story struck him deeply, because he had never heard of this from his elders. The Manu'a warriors were renowned throughout Eastern Polynesia for their strength and ferocity.[3]. For the wrestler, see. Their exhibitionists would almost rather die than seek medical care for injuries incurred while performing. The “father” of the Samoan Fire Knife Dance was 84. When he was able to come to America, he went to school, worked, and danced. Notice the strain in the performer's face and body. 4.5 out of 5 stars (31) 31 reviews $ 35.00. Boy performing a Samoa fire dance - siva afi Samoan dance traditions reflect contact between Samoan culture and other cultures from the East and West. Samoan Fire Knife Dance Lava Lava Kpohana. The Tongans who were not killed eventually boarded boats and left Samoa for good. When European and American whalers and traders began commercial ventures in Samoa, they introduced the natives to the long-handled blubber knife and the hooked cane knife. Flaming Sword of Samoa is available at Hawaii bookstores as well as through the publisher. MAUGA MU: The Fire Knife Dance Club. The use of the umu is a hallmark of the traditional Samoan cooking. He was determined to incorporate this treasure into his island dance routine. The Expulsion of The Tu'i Tonga Talakaifaiki (King of Tonga) & The Birth of Malietoa (King of Samoa), The Birth of Siva Afi. Originally it was created by machete wrapped in tissue or towels on the ends. During night dances, torches were often twirled and swung about by dancers, although a warclub was the usual implement used for ailao in remembrance of the three brothers Tuna, Fata, and Savea and their defeat of the Tongan invaders. Siva afi is a spectacular fire knife dance. In his recently published book, Flaming Sword of Samoa: The Story of the Samoan Fire Knife Dance (2004, Watermark Publishing), Letuli revealed how he got the idea to add fire to his knife dance routine. One common claim is that the word "nifo'oti" means "tooth of death", but this is not linguistically accurate as Samoan syntax places the modifier after the subject; according to Samoan grammar, the term "nifo'oti" would actually mean "dead tooth", hardly as intimidating as the former translation. A fast, energetic slap dance, the fa’ataupati is performed by men wearing traditional lavalava and women wearing puletasi, a two-piece garment. The female siva is with gentle movements of the hands and feet in time to music. Today, of course, the Samoan fire knife dance is a show-stopping staple in Polynesian revues or luaus. Although today many commercial performers perform the dance with short staffs or knives without blade, this is not authentic fire knife dance and is unacceptable in Samoan cultural practices except for training purposes. The characteristic metal hook of these tools was readily incorporated into the Samoan wooden nifo'oti, which bears the unique hooked element whether carved from wood or forged from steel. Mauga Mu is a name that is spreading like fire with its growth in multiple locations throughout O'ahu and its popularity beyond the Pacific. Fire was a part of Tavita's dance as he found it just as it was described in the book from the library. Mrs. Tavita Vaoifi wrote, after being married to him for 12 years, from 1979 until his death in 1991 from Cyclone Val, the information about fire not being a part of the "Fireknife Dance" until 1946 is a mistake. Bride’s traditional dance: After the ceremony, the reception occurs immediately. The sasa is a group dance performed sitting to a drum rhythm. In 2010, the event expanded to four nights including a two-night, three-person final competition. Boy performing a Samoan fire dance (siva afi). They danced and pointed out the locations of the buried weapons to other Samoan warriors, who were waiting in small paopaos (canoes) offshore. The Samoan fire knife dance is more than a popular spectacle that adds sizzle to a Hawaiian luau. [4] Upon his departure, the Tongan monarch delivered a short speech that praised the brave fighting qualities of the Samoan warriors and conceded victory to his once-subjects. It was the favorite weapon of the Tui Manu'a Empire in the time of King Maui Tagote of the Eastern Samoan Island groups. Originally a knife dance using the Nifo Oti, it's grown into an activity that is done all over the world and eve Siva afi -- Samoan Fire Dance The space in which dance is conducted has been interpreted as a microcosm of Samoan society. A Samoan fire knife is used in traditional Pacific dance perfomances known as ailao. Tribal performers of fire knife dancing (or Siva Afi or even "Ailao Afi" as it is called in Samoa) dance while twirling the knife and doing other acrobatic stunts. These performances are often part of Luau festivities or Polynesian shows that include Poi Ball performances. Favorite Add to Samoan Practice Fire Knife Custom Siva Afi Fire Dance Prop Spin Tool Learning ALOHABRUSHART. [1] Today, modern competitions are held annually at the Polynesian Cultural Center to name the World Fireknife Champion. Polynesian historians and authorities on Samoan cultural history state that the training of Toa warriors in the art of hand to hand combat with the Nifo Oti, the serrated-edged Samoan war club, came into prominence between 900 - 1200 AD. Siva Afi. [2] It was conceived on the Island of Upolu between the years 1200 - 1250 AD, coming into cultural prominence during the reign of King Maui Tagote. Therefore, the most probable derivation of the term "nifo'oti" stems from the resemblance of the weapon's hook to the curved horn ("nifo") of a goat ("'oti"), or from the serrated teeth ("nifo") that formed the weapon's cutting edge ('oti). There are fire knife dance competitions held throughout the Pacific, including the annual World Fire Knife Dance Competition at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) on Oahu. From shop Kpohana. [1] These war clubs were often edged with the teeth of sharks, saw fish, swordfish, and other sea creatures. Letuli Olo Misilagi was the first man to add fire to the traditional Samoan ailao, or knife dance. The Tongans had ruled parts of Samoa (Upolu and Savai'i) but were not able to conquer the Eastern Samoan Islands, namely Manu'a and Manono, whose warriors famously held off Tongan and Fijian invasions on numerous occasions. The Samoan warriors arrived to prepare their entertainment for Tu'i Tonga Talakaifaiki. “(In 1946), I was asked to perform my knife dance at a Shriners Convention in San Francisco,” he wrote. However, it did not actually become a tool for fire dance until the mid-20th century, after Uluao Letuli performed the first ailao (Samoan knife dance) on fire. 5 out of 5 stars (52) 52 reviews $ 300.00. There was fierce fighting all the way to the sea, whereon the Tu'i Tonga reached his superior navy vessels and called out to those on the land. 5 out of 5 stars (60) … The We Are Samoa Festival was established to perpetuate the values and traditions of the Samoan culture through learning and performance, thereby increasing knowledge, harmony, and respect for self and others. He had won a scholarship from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Eventually, the exposed portion was part of the handle. The bride changes into her second wedding gown and performs a traditional Samoan dance (Taualuga) for the guests. The photo was taken in a low light setting in February 2010, with an Olympus digital camera. The Samoans buried weapons (nifo oti) in the sand all around the beach area as they plied the Tongans with "bush gin". After that, for years he taught the dance and judged many contests in Samoa and other countries. Driven westward from Aleipata, Upolu (where the Tu'i Tonga's birthday festivities were underway) to the coast of Mulifanua, the Tongan king and his bodyguards were cornered against the sea. It’s a tradition that has been passed from generation to generation, with each adding a new layer of style, boldness, and skill. Each May, competitors from around the world gather on the island’s North Shore to display their fire knife skills. And just like that, I had an idea to add ‘sizzle’ to my fire knife dance.”. Letuli died in July 2003 in Honolulu during the writing of the book. The Samoan fire knife dance is more than a popular spectacle that adds sizzle to a Hawaiian luau. Fa’ataupati. Slow and fluid, the siva is a graceful storytelling dance that is traditionally performed by a young woman. The modern fire knife dance has its roots in the ancient Samoan exhibition called ailao – the flashy demonstration of a Samoan warrior's battle prowess through artful twirling, throwing and catching, and dancing with a war club. Samoan Fire Knife Double, Wick Made of Kevlar, Sold Each - Polynesian Competition Spec. Now, when one travels to Hawaii, it is quite common to see commercial 'Fire Knife Dancing' performed with wooden or aluminum poles wrapped in towels. Samoa has a long history of Siva afi or firedancing. Along with performing, Freddie was also the teacher to the early fire knife dancers. It was the favorite weapon of the Tui Manu'a Empire in the time of King Maui Tagote of the Eastern Samoan Island groups. Because of the close familial tribal ties with the aforementioned Islands and the Samoa Islands, the fire knife dance has almost become homogenized as part of those Islands' own culture. The history of the dance is hundreds of years old and is supposed to highlight a warriors prowess in battle. Then, they utilized their nifo oti, which have remained the same design for the last millennia as those favored when the Samoans were actually head hunters, to behead the victim, while the hook carried the trophy. The Malietoa title is taken from the opening phrase of that speech: "Mālie toa, mālie tau," meaning "great warriors, well fought.". As such, they are often performed at accelerated speeds. Food is baked, smoked, or steamed in the umu. Information from Viator Tour description. The fire knife dance dates back to the ancient Polynesian demonstration of ailao, which was a Samoan warrior's display of strength using a war club and was typically performed at ceremonial processions. Fish and other seafood are widely eaten in Samoa. by:Trick Concepts 5.0 out of 5 stars 1. The art of dipping poi balls into fuel and lighting them on fire did not occur until the mid 20th century, as a progression of the Samoan fire knife. After many cuts, burns, and narrow escapes, he was able to perfect this dance, to the point where he performed it nightly at clubs and shows throughout not only the San Francisco area but the entire country. Samoan dance is most famous for the siva afi, or fire knife dance, nowadays the capper to nearly every Polynesian revue and luau. Some of the moves performed in shows now are more modern and flashy than traditional battle preparations. The ailao could be performed with any warclub, and some colonial accounts confirm that women also performed ailao at the head of ceremonial processions, especially daughters of high chiefs. This was while WWII was being fought in part in his beloved South Pacific. There’s even a Junior World Fire Knife Competition, which spotlights youngsters ranging in ages from 12 to 17. The knives used by performers in American Samoa are still made of machetes, although they are often dulled for younger dancers. The Fire Knife Dance by devinsupertramp There was also a young girl practicing her baton twirling, and the baton had light bulbs attached to each end. The crowd in America, which came to find out what he had discovered about Samoa, were frightened when they saw him whirling the fire. [1] These war clubs were often edged with the teeth of sharks, saw fish, swordfish, and other sea creatures. The lava lava is sewn for a more contoured fit and is naturally worn short for increased The three brothers and their nephew eventually lead a wide-scale campaign of civil disobedience, which ultimately escalated into the military overthrow of Talakaifaiki. The seeds of rebellion were planted, according to legend, by three brothers—the "sons" of Atiogie, namely Savea, Tuna, Fata—and a fourth Toa warrior, Ulumasui (who was actually a grandson of Atiogie). It was originally composed of a machete wrapped in towels on both ends with a portion of the blade exposed in the middle. The fire knife is a well known traditional Polynesian (Samoan) cultural specific prop used by various ceremonial dancers. The towels are set afire during the dances, hence the name. Local high schools showcase their Samoan cultural skills in chiefly oratory, cultural games and in the song and dance presentation. From shop Kpohana. Traditional competitions were hotly contested. Many other Polynesian Islands have implemented the Siva Afi into their own Island shows especially in the Islands of Tahiti, Hawai'i, Cook Islands Fiji and Tonga. It’s a tradition that has been passed from generation to generation, with each adding a new layer of style, boldness, and skill. In Samoan culture, all girls are taught from a young age to do this dance… They had wrapped both ends of their nifo-oti with dry palm sennit, which was then dipped into the fires to create a blaze on one end of the knife. $49.95 - $57.95. The location for the Tu'i Tonga Talakaifaiki's upcoming birthday festivities was a beautiful famous stretch of beach in Aleipata, a region on the Eastern side of Upolu. "Siva afi" redirects here. The towels are set afire during the dances thus explaining the name. The Fire knife dance or Siva Afi is the most popular Samoan dance among tourists in Samoa. After he read this information, in his spare time, he researched anything that he could find about his homeland. Pork is the most popular meat eat… When pronounced with the glottal stop, the word 'oti does not mean "death" at all; as a verb, 'oti means "to cut" as in 'otiulu ("hair cut"), or, as a noun, it refers to the domestic goat. Ancient legend speaks of 400 warriors who trained with their Nifo Oti. As night set in, the Festivities and party progressed, more "bush gin" was consumed, and the Samoan warriors "performed" for the king. The warriors then stormed the beach, recovered the weapons and set them ablaze as they proceeded to drive the Tongans in a bloody battle all the way across the island, from east to the westernmost point of Upolu. The baton twirler, then the fire-eater. One more linguistic issue remains to be worked out in regards to 'oti (with the initial glottal stop) and "oti" (without the glottal stop). Siva Afi Entertainment has been teaching Samoa's youth the art of Fire Knife dancing for over 22 years. It’s exciting to see the culture of Samoa take center stage with participation from people around the world.”. Siva AFi Nifo Oti Samoan Fire Dance Blade Torch Polynesian Fire Dancer Hawaii Luau ALOHABRUSHART. He was rewarded for the notices and tourists he encouraged to visit his beloved homeland with the High Chief Title, A'e, from the head of state Malietoa Tanumafili II. “A number of entertainers were practicing their routines at Golden State Park. Polynesian historians and authorities on Samoan cultural history state that the training of Toa warriors in the art of hand to hand combat with the Nifo Oti, the serrated-edged Samoan war club, came into prominence between 900 - 1200 AD. The Fa'ataupati or slap dance, performed by males, consists of fierce slapping of the body in rhythmic motion to drum beats. The Superintendent of the Mormon school where Tavita was teaching at the time was able to calm the audience and assure them that no harm would come to them. Letuli Olo Misilagi was the first man to add fire to the traditional Samoan ailao, or knife dance. This Lava Lava is a wrap-around the dancer uses when performing the Samoan Fire Knife Dance. Fire performance is a group of performance arts or skills that involve the manipulation of fire.Fire performance typically involves equipment or other objects made with one or more wicks which are designed to sustain a large enough flame to create a visual effect.. Fire performance includes skills based on juggling, baton twirling, poi spinning, and other forms of object manipulation. Tribal performers of fire knife dancing (or Siva Afi as it is called in Samoa) dance while twirling the knife and doing other acrobatic stunts. The umu is an earth oven where food is cooked by trapping it in a pit in the ground. There were no towels used, only palm fronds and dry leaves. The young man Tavita Vaoifi revived the Samoan ailao Siva Afi dance to eventually bring it home to Samoa from Hawai'i. 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