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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Samoan Fire Knife Dancers

The Samoan fire knife dance (or Siva Afi as it is called in Samoa) is more than a popular spectacle that adds sizzle to a Hawaiian luau*. It’s a tradition that has been passed from generation to generation, with each adding a new layer of style, boldness and skill.


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In 1946, Letuli Olo Misilagi was the first man to add fire to the traditional Samoan ailao, or knife dance after he was inspired by a fire eater and a baton twirler in San Francisco. The ailao, a fierce traditional dance that involves the twirling of the nifo oti (war knife), was a pre-war ritual in Samoa used to psyche up warriors.

Today, of course, the Samoan fire knife dance is a power packed performance in Polynesian revues or luaus. There are fire knife dance competitions held throughout the Pacific, including the annual World Fire Knife Dance Competition at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) in Oahu. Each May, competitors from around the world gather on the island’s North Shore to display their fire knife skills. There’s even a Junior World Fire Knife Competition, which spotlights youngsters ranging in ages from 12 to 17.

43 comments:

  1. Amazing fire in motion captures! :O

    And thanks for sharing your impressions :)

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  2. One word Ari: Wow! I am in awe at some of these shots!

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  3. Ari: Stunning pictures. It reminds me of Indian villages where they do at times during festivals.

    You have captured pretty well and thanks for sharing:-))

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  4. Absolutely awesome! have no other words to say! u really lucky to watch such a ceremony, good that u have shared it with us:)

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  5. Thanks Ari for this great post!
    I really enjoyed it!
    Hope all is well!
    Take care!

    Margie

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  6. Your pics are really impressive...i try to be good at photography...but am too bad at it...and ya linking you to my blog..:)

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  7. Amazing as usual Ari. Great that you let us get a peek into so many different cultures and their unique ceremonies. Thanx. :)

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  8. Amazing pics,Ari!! loved all of 'em..

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  9. I love watching fire, and good looking guys with knives! great photos. I'm patting my head and rubbing my belly and my toes are clicking the mouse! do i pass?

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  10. Picture quality is not bad at all...its very natural and real

    Awesome post..I love this ethnic stuff

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  11. Hi Ari
    Just stopping in again to say
    "hi!"
    Hope your week has been good!
    Have missed seeing you at my place.
    Drop in and say "hello"
    when you can!
    Have a great weekend!

    Margie

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  12. Reflex, thanks. did you have fun with the impressions? :D

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  13. Corinne, thanks. I did what i could sitting so far :) Glad you liked them

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  14. Thank you Priya. I have not seen this kind of a performance anywhere before. It was amazing.

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  15. Margie, thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. All is well, just been a bit busy this week. Take care and have a great weekend.

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  16. Saira, thank you. Photography is not rocket science. If you have the passion and creativity, you can create your own unique style. Good luck with your photography. I'm sure you will do good. Thanks for linking me :) Take care

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  17. Suji, Thank you. I try my best.

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  18. Thanks G. You should see this show is person.

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  19. Kathy, you are funny. :D lol. Now quickly switch positions; rotate your foot clockwise, click mouse with your hand rub your cheek; all at the same time :D

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  20. Radhika, I know these pics are not as good as i would want them to be. Thanks for the comment though :)

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  21. Margie, thanks for checking on me. I was busy the whole week and had no time to come check blogs. I missed reading your poetry too. I will stop by when i get a chance.

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  22. I check daily to see what wonders you have posted! Im always glad to see your new ones..This is SO interesting there is so much talent there my goodness I couldnt imagine myself even attemptng that! You captured these wonderfully. You always say theyre not that good or I didnt capture them like I wanted..I wish you could see your work through everyone elses eyes. Your work is GREAT! These are no exception.

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  23. Great stuff, Ari
    You've frozen the action perfectly. Your pics are awesome.
    Joel

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  24. Amazing pictures and such talented dancers.you sure have to be brave enough to play with fire.

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  25. Awesome and amazing !
    I am in awe! Excellent!

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  26. Amazing fire in motion, gret captures

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  27. Yeah ur right and i very well understand that...but whenever i try to click something it never turns out to be what i actually wanted..:D :D...so i dont mess with it and leave it to the others to click...:)

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  28. Pardon the pun, but these photos are HOT! Great work! Keep clicking away! c",)

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  29. Spirit of fire ... captured well. :o)

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  30. Kimberley, thanks so much. Those words mean a lot to me. :) Keep coming

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  31. Starry, yes. One must let go of the fear of fire to perform this. These dancers are trained from their childhood.

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  32. photo-effe. Thanks. I could not find your blog though??

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  33. Saira, you will get better with practice. Get to know your camera as much as you can.

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  34. Irene, :) thank you. Your comment was funny :)

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  35. Polynesian fire knife dancers are among the best in the world, and the video below may very
    well prove that.
    regards
    http://www.drumsofpolynesia.com/services_entertainment.php

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