Music and dancing have always occupied a prominent place in the daily life of Polynesians and this long before the arrival of the first foreigners from Europe. This week, Moana Voyages invites you to discover a little more about this music and this exiting dance named Ori Tahiti.
After the arrival of the Eropean missionaries, the practice of the Tahitian dance called « Ori Tahiti » was banned, because it was considered as too provocative. The music and dance are an essential part of the Polynesian cultural identity. And thus, quite naturally, since the 1950s, this tradition reappeared in Tahiti and its islands.
Today, the “‘Ori Tahiti” has regained its former glory. It is practiced by a large part of the Polynesian population. A lot of dance schools have opened and convey the Polynesian values. Each dance step and every gesture have a very specific meaning.
In fact, there are several Polynesian dances. These vary from one island to another, from one archipelago to another. People do not dance the same way in the Marquesas islands, Austral Islands or in Tahiti.
Dancing goes along with all the significant moments that punctuate the life of Polynesians, whether it is for a birth, a wedding or other events.
The Polynesian dance is a perfect expression of the joy of life of these islands, but also the grace of the Polynesian women, named “Vahine”.
The Polynesian dance runs to the rhythm of the “To’ere” and “Pahu” which are percussion instruments, but also to the rhythm of the “ukulele”, famous small four-string guitar.
The songs, intimately linked to these dances, are important in the Polynesian people’s life. These tell old legends, evoke also the beauty of Tahiti and her islands, explain the adventures of their inhabitants, or their daily lives.
Song and dances can also praise a flower, a fruit or a tree and their virtues. The sublime voices of the singers will transport you with their sweetness, even if you do not understand the lyrics…
Photos : © Tahiti Tourisme