Marcellin College

Fa’a Samoa: The Samoan Way

The Samoan Group at Polyfest 2006

by Maligi

The Samoan students at our school entered the Polyfest again this year ( 2006). To get ready for this we had lots of after school practices to learn all the moves.

The first time our Samoan group performed was at school on Fia Fia night. That night all our cultural groups performed in front of the parents. Everyone was ready but we were scared to perform for the first time in front of so many people. We got dressed up for the occasion. The girls' uniform was a plain white dress with a border of Samoan kava bowl patterns. Ashley was the taupo for our group. A taupo represents a village maiden of high status. She has a special costume. She wore a fala (a Samoan mat) and birds' feathers in different colours and a tall hat full of mirrors.

The boys' uniform was a patterned tapa cloth and a strip of plain tapa cloth. I got my tapa cloth from my Mum. We also wore a red necklace called an ula fala. This necklace is made from wood. The wood is carved into beads and after this it is painted with red paint.

For the Polyfest performance the tutors gave a lot of thought as to what our uniform should be. The gilrs wore a necklace called an ulo nifa which is made from long shark's teeth and also ula pua.

Our tutors were Antoinette, Liui, Florence and Fatima. But the real tutors were Josie and Carol. Rex also helped. He was our ta fala which means drummer in Samoa. He used a mat that is rolled up for this.

On the day of the Polyfest we were well prepared so we were not afraid. Our performance was alright and we came third for our uniforms.

After the Polyfest we went to my Auntie's place to have a party. We gave gifts to the poeple who had looked after us. They were Miss Topless (a teacher at our school who supervised our group every day), Carol, Josie and Rex.

The team on stage.

The team on stage.

The girls on stage again.

The girls on stage again.