In pre-European Polynesia, dances ‘were many and varied’ but little else is known about them. All we know is that both men and women danced, together or separately. Certain dances were performed standing up, others sitting down. Musicians used to accompany the dances with a limited number of instruments, essentially the pahu (drum with two skins) the vivo, a nasal flute.
Associated, as was tattooing, with nudity and therefore with immodesty, dancing was forbidden by missionaries. It was not until the 1950s that this ancestral art found its place again among Polynesian customs, and was reborn thanks to oral transmission and the writing of travelers.
Tahitian Culture was last modified: November 2nd, 2015 by Terainui