Marcellin College

Auckland Polynesian Festival

Viliami's story: My Ha'apaian Costume

My name is Viliami , but my friends call me Vili. My aunt comes from Ha'apai where I was also born 18 years ago. My costume for fia fia night came from Tonga. It was especially made by my Grandma. The woven ta'ovala was originally called manafau. She made it a very long time ago so it is a family heirloom. I was allowed to use it for the festival but then I had to send it back to her. My auntie made the fakaha'apai. These are specially made in Ha'apai. They have been made there for a very long time .

The fakaha'apai is made out of lo'akau which is a plant and then it is dyed in different colours. The colours are very bright so they can stand out. My auntie learnt to do this when she was young. She learnt by watching my grandma do it. I felt really special when I wore this because it was sent from Tonga just for me. I think it helped me to perform well at the Poly Festival. My Dad supports me as well. He made sure I turned up to all the practices and my auntie was one of the women who tulafale on the stage with us during the fia fia night.

My Ha'apaian Costume.

My Ha'apaian Costume being created.