PCC: All siva at ‘We Are Samoa’ fest will be judged

Photo Credit: 
Faletuiga/Tina Mata'afa-Tufele
A Kahuku High School competitor starts a fire during cultural games at the 2012 We Are Samoa High School Cultural Arts Festival in La'ie.

(Honolulu, HAWAI'I)--All siva, all activities in the We Are Samoa festival will be judged— as Polynesian Cultural Center, hosts of the annual event— celebrates 50 years of education and entertaining more than 37 million Hawai’i visitors since 1963.

High school students in dance clubs across O’ahu are preparing for the 2013 We Are Samoa High School Cultural Arts Festival, scheduled for Saturday, May 11 at PCC’s Pacific Theater in La’ie. The festival will be held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Hawai’i high school students demonstrate their knowledge of Samoan traditions competing in protocol and speech making, basket weaving, coconut husking and fire making, costuming, poise, dance movements and interpretation,” PCC explains. “Yes, all dance performances will be judged this year (as opposed to just the taualuga like last year).”

In the siva (dance), only the taualuga was judged in 2012, the individual female dance often referred to as the “Princess Siva,” performed by the taupou (the village princess). There is the addition of a cultural court, “a new feature this year,” said PCC. Group performances are the sasa and mauluulu; the individual faaluma (dance group leader) and taualuga.

In the 2012 taualuga competition, Kapolei High School senior Jacqueline Selesitina Reid claimed first place. Kahuku High School's Michallae Timata placed second and Waipahu High School's Brittney Fuimaono received third place.

Kapolei also claimed the first place prize in Lauga; Kahuku placed second and Waipahu placed third. Kapolei, Waipahu and Castle received exceptional dance performance mentions.

The We Are Samoa festival was founded by the late Kumu Hula, O’Brian Ta’avili Eselu, a winner at the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival that, this year, marked 50 years of perpetuating the Hawaiian language and culture through hula. Eselu was director of entertainment at Paradise Cove.

Following the May 11 festival, in the evening, PCC will bring its four-day 21st Annual World Fireknife (siva afi) Championships to a close with the crowning of a 2013 winner. Pape’ete, Tahiti’s Joseph Cadousteau clinched the world fireknife senior division title last year, the first championship win of his siva afi career. Second place finisher was Mikaele Oloa from Waialua, O’ahu, a four-time winner of the title. Finishing in third place was Viavia VJ Tiumalu, a two-time title winner who lives in Orlando, Fla.

Non-profit PCC was founded in 1963 and has assisted nearly 18,000 people from more than 70 countries, students at Brigham Young University-Hawai’i. The center says it has entertained “more than 37 million visitors while preserving and portraying the culture, arts and crafts of Polynesia to the rest of the world.”

One hundred percent of the center’s revenue is used for daily operations and to support education.

For ticket information, those in Hawai’i may call (808) 293-3333. Those outside of Hawai’i, call (800) 367-7060. Go to Polynesia.com to learn more.

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