Auckland Polynesian Festival
Cardiac's Story: Fia Fia Night Costumes and Dances
We had our fia fia night on Tuesday 21st of March, a week before the Polyfest. A Fia Fia night is held to give our parents and the school community an opportunity to see the dances we will perform at the Festival, to show the results of all our hard work, and to raise funds. All our cultural groups, Maori, Samoan, Indian, Fijian and Tongan took part, It was a great event.
The Tongan group performed 2 items, the Lakalaka and the Taufakaniua. The Taufakaniua is a war dance. For this the boys were all in white, white manafau, tekiteki and sticks. Only boys take part in this dance. They battle one another using sticks to represent guns, They yell and shout at the top of their lungs and stand their ground. They show their power and anger.
The lakalaka on the other hand is a combined dance by the boys and girls. We wore white tops and blue bottoms. Over this we wore the lokeha ( mat) as a sign of respect and either fakaha'apai or a sisi.
The lakalaka is one of many Tongan dances in which men and women perform together. Men and boys always have to be on the right side of the audience while ladies and girls dance on the left. Both the boys and the girls have a leader called the Vahenga who stands in the middle of the two groups.
The boys dance aggressively during the lakalaka to show they are strong and powerful whereas the girls dance gracefully to show their beauty and intelligence. The dance is performed standing up to show respect. Respect is an important feature of this dance as the lakalaka has often been performed for Royalty in Tonga.
Our fia fia night was a resounding success and we were very grateful to our parents for supporting us by making costumes for us and also for their generous gifts of pale ( money)
The war dance was especially spectacular and when the boys performed this at the actual festival they won third placing for which they are to be congratulated.