The first time I witnessed a ta'alolo was at the opening of the EFKS church in Fogapoa.
A ta'alolo is where a group(village or family) walk/dance together in song and dance to present gifts at the opening of a new building or church or the celebration of some sort.
Large fine mats are usually displayed and there is much noise and celebration.
At the front of the ta'alolo is the dancer - who could be the taupou (female), or manaia (male) or it could also be a chief.
I enjoy watching the dancing in this occasion because it is more ...jovial and fun., almost too sure at times la lea.
On the morning of the Fogapoa celebrations, we gathered at Tuasivi, looking down onto the village below - I was young, bored, and wishing I was home but also intrigued at the chaos that surrounded my mom, who was leading the ta'alolo that day.
The tuiga she wore was gorgeous and so was the fine mat wrapped around her.
I remember thinking, I want to lead a ta'alolo one day, but the trouble is, I have 3 +1 sisters and the baatches dance better than me.
I was the cinderfella that carried the bags while the kolilas danced. But hey- I'm fine about it., I'm still young and there are plenty more churches being built. Haha Hhmmm, now where was I?
Yes---the ta'alolo, it is a beautiful sight and if you ever participate in one, don't forget, be joyful, lively, swing that nifo oti like a bawse and make the most of it.
One of my favourite modern day pics of a ta'alolo with the beautiful Siainiusami Imelda as the taupou.
(Photo credit: Image belongs to Leua Aiono Frost).