A trip to Maui would not be complete without a touch of Hawaiian tradition. And there is nothing more indigenous to the islands than dance. There are different forms of dance that take place near our Maui condos. Most visitors are familiar with the hula and its origins. What they might not readily recognize is a form of dance commonly associated with the Samoans.
Who Are They and How Are They Connected to Maui?
The Samoans were natives of another South Pacific island chain but frequently migrated to the Hawaiian Islands. The Samoa Islands are composed of nine land masses and help make up Oceania. You’ll find them sitting just north of a country many people are familiar with, New Zealand. The people living in Samoa had a culture all their own, which they brought with them to Hawaii.
Why Do They Dance with Knives?
The knife dance was an integral part of their ancient culture. Deeply ingrained in the country’s military rituals, it was used as a form of communication and symbolism. It conveyed a warrior’s fierce intentions, knife skills and bravery. Over the years, the dance has been modified for the purposes of competition, exhibition and tourism. Nonetheless, it still retains much of its original meaning.
What Does the Dance Entail?
The dance, in all of its modified forms, includes a flaming knife. The dancer maneuvers the flaming knife around while dancing to rhythmic drumming. The drums used in bygone eras were made of tree trunks. Today, they are generally made using more modern methods. Sometimes chants accompany the music, dance steps and fancy knife work. The dancer is also likely to dress in authentic, Samoan garb like the lava-lava.
Where is the Closest Show?
Many locations near our Maui vacation rentals put on nightly luau shows that include the Samoan knife fire dance. To discover which ones may be putting on a performance during your stay in Kaanapali Beach, please contact us.