Turning up the heat for the Celebrate Samoa 2012 program will be the 11th International Siva Afi (Fire Knife Dancing) Competition, to be held in Apia from the 24th – 26th May.
Regarded as the world’s second longest running competition, the Siva Afi is an integral element of the Samoan culture.
Dating back hundreds of years, the Siva Afi is a Samoan warrior’s demonstration of his battle prowess through the artful twirling of his weapon, often a war club or a machete. During night time performances of this ritual the ends of the poles and weapons are set to flame creating a spectacular and mesmerizing performance.
Dancers will twirl and do acrobatic stunts to the beat of Samoan drumbeats. The complexity of the moves can often result in injury and many performers have been reported to have denied medical treatment for their injuries as a demonstration of their ferocity, strength and valour.
While fire twirling is practiced around parts of the South Pacific many historians claim that the original Siva Afi originated in Samoa, with the Samoan version being the most authentic.
To be held at Surfside, Matautu-tai in Upolu, the event promises to be quite a spectacle with representatives travelling from all over the world to compete.
“Siva Afi are often performed during Fia Fia nights in many resorts and properties in Samoa in designated nights, so make sure you find out when your property hosts theirs as it is an event not to be missed” says Samoa Tourism Authority.
“The show is quite breathtaking and an awesome display of an element of their 3,000 year old Fa’a Samoa tradition, which is found nowhere else in the South Pacific.
“Just don’t sit too close to the stage or you might just get your eyebrows singed!”