South Pacific Islands

The monthly travelogue was last night. I’m not sure why these first programs have deviated from the first Friday time slot but remembering to turn up for them has been a bit of a problem. I think this was considered the November program because there isn’t one now until December. In other years, the December program was open to “guests” but nothing was said about that last night.

The program was on Hawaii and other Pacific islands. Maybe I was just too tired to enjoy it. I found after a bit that one island looked much like all the other islands. If it was the result of a volcanic eruption, there would be mountains in the middle with a bit of beach around the outsides. The presenter was a woman who I found difficult to understand as she tried to wrap her tongue around all the vowels in the various island names. She concentrated more on flowers and hiking trails than anything else. That’s probably why all the islands looked the same to me.

I was left with a question, though. In the few places where she included pictures of native dancers, the women all did similar dances even if they were on a different island. The dances involved a lot of hip movement. I’m wondering why that’s a common manuver between the various dancers. I’d also like to know how the women do it. It appears to me that they have a joint I don’t have because there is no way I can move like that.

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2 Responses to South Pacific Islands

  1. Kiwi says:

    The Pacific islands are all one of two types – formed by volcanic action or coral atolls which tend to be rather flat enclosed by a reef. The peoples are broadly divided into three groups, Micronesian basically north of the equator, Melanesian broadly between Australia and Micronesia and the largest of the three groups are the Polynesians which stretch from Hawaii to NZ. The Polynesians were the great sea farers and spread, so legend has it, from their home of Hawaiki in the great migration with some stopping off at islands on the way setting up settlements there. That is why there are so many similarities with their customs and dances as you noticed. Although language has evolved many islanders can still understand the other island speakers.
    As for the hip movement try planting your feet apart – shoulder width – slightly bending your knees and sway your hips from side to side or backwards and forwards. Nothing magic about it and no extra joint. You may have noticed that the women generally have leaves, ruffles or something that will exaggerate the size of their hips and consequently their movements. Older women are ususally not as supple as the young ones or children. Hand movements usually show ‘women’s work’ such as wringing out the coconut cream strained through the husks.

  2. Kiwi says:

    I should have said that to move your hips transfer your weight from one leg to the other

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