Friday, October 12, 2012

A Look Back at the Taolunga

If you ever find yourself in Tonga and are interested in performing the Traditional Tongan Dance, here is a step by step guide to making sure you're semi-successful in your endeavor.

How to Successfully Prepare and Perform a TaolungaPA052700.JPG

irst things first, make sure that you are wearing mahi (underwear). Sometimes the dresses are a little see-through. I wore a tank top and basketball shorts, too. Una Lahi is tying me into the dress here.


Una Lahi's mother-in-law is making sure that my belt (kiekie) is tied on tight. I am slightly smaller than the average Tongan woman.


Then stop for a quick break and get your picture taken with as many village women as possible. They will ask for it.


Someone will then grab some leaves from a plant outside and tie them to your wrists and ankles. If you taolunga you must have bracelets and anklets on!


Then, with your entourage, walk over to the Kava Hall (or wherever you are going to dance). Right before showtime the village women will lather you up with baby oil. This is so that the money you earn while you are dancing will stick. On Friday we were earning money for the Free Wesleyan Church's Youth Group.


Before you go on stage, the Tongan village men will ask for a picture with the taolunga.


Then dance away!


After you're finished, celebrate with more pictures!


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