Fiafia is Samoan for "happy." It is an apt description of the high-energy cultural dance performances that are a must-see for any traveler to the Samoas. On Tutuila, the weekly fiafia celebration takes place at the Tradewinds Hotel.
Our show relies primarily on staff that do double duty as performers. The dual role makes for some interesting situations. On afternoons leading up to the Friday night fiafia, you can usually find a few of Tradewinds' staff out by the pool, laughing while they practice their dances.
Samoan dance is possibly the one area of Samoan culture which has been least affected by contact with western civilsation. Whereas Samoan music has adopted guitars and other musical instruments, dance, which relies solely upon the performers body (with some exceptions - fire dance, knife dance, etc) still requires the performer to retain grace and move their arms and hands in the approved fashion. There are different types of dances which are performed by individuals or groups and either sitting or standing. Samoan Culture dictates that a well preformed dance will be rewarded by gifts of money thrown at or slapped onto the body of the dancer.
Siva is the Samoan word for dance, but it also refers to a particular type of dance in which the performer usually stands and enacts an everyday activity. For the siva the performer usually wears a tuiga, a headdress made of feathers and human hair.
The Taualunga takes a similar form to the siva. It is performed by a female dancer, but instead of performing alone there will be various points at which a group of men will participate. In addition a sei, headdress of flowers, will be worn.
The Sasa is a group dance for men and women performed both sitting and standing. Hand movements are used to depict activities taken from everyday life.
The Buffett consists of traditional Samoa food and western fair. The food is hot and there is plenty of it. Try the Chefs green bananas with coconut cream sauce, the palusami, Taro chips, the raw fish, the choice is endless. Forget the waistline you can dance that off later!!