Samoan dance

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Boy performing a Samoa fire dance - siva afi

Samoan dance traditions reflect contact between Samoan culture and other cultures from the East and West. Influences from rap can be detected, but traditional Samoan styles of movement and traditional clothing are also used. The space in which dance is conducted has been interpreted as a microcosm of Samoan society.[citation needed]

Samoan dance has been characterized as a means of maintaining Samoan identity in contact with other civilizations.[1] According to subjects interviewed by April Henderson in an essay on hiphop in the Samoan diaspora, second-generation and emigre Samoans incorporate elements of Samoan dance into the musical traditions they learn elsewhere in the world: "Me, I don't know a lot about Samoan dance... there are a lot of kids who are shy of their dance- but I reckon you can get over that shyness through Samoan dance. There are close links between islands dance and rap and now that we have broken through the confidence barrier with our bob we're starting to mix island culture in our dance and show off with pride. ..." [2]

Traditional dances[edit]

The traditional Samoan dance is the Taualuga. The name is the Samoan word for jumping; the performer, dressed in pants (called tuiga) composed of leaves and human hair, usually sits and portrays an everyday action. The dance represents the relationship between ali'i, a ruler, and his tulafale, an orator or spokesman.[citation needed]

Another dance, performed in groups, is the Sa'asa'a. Male performers wear a headdress of flowers, called the "sei" or rose. This dance commonly begins a formal program of dance, and is regarded as one of the most significant performance events.[citation needed]

In Sasa, or the "clap dance", performers clap their hands and slap parts of their bodies in synchrony. This style is sometimes said to have begun as a way to ward off mosquitoes.[3]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Henderson, April K. “Dancing Between Islands: Rap and the Samoan Diaspora.” In The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture, ed. by Dipannita Basu and Sidney J. Lemelle, 180-199. London; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press, 200
  2. ^ Henderson, April K. “Dancing Between Islands: Hip Hop and the Samoan Diaspora.” In The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture, ed. by Dipannita Basu and Sidney J. Lemelle, 180-199. London; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press, 200
  3. ^ Samoa - Dance