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Dances of the South Pacific have meaning beyond words and are a along the stories and legends of their culture to subsequent generations.

The native people of New Zealand have a proud history and tradition through their Maori dance.  Visitors may be familiar with "poi balls" and sticks they see the dancers throwing.   Others remember the men perform in their warlike angry dances that are full of life.  From Tahiti, the colourful aparima medleys and impressive Tahitian oteas continue to amaze audiences.  

Whether the dances describe ancient warriors and goddesses or everyday life on the islands, each dance describes a story about the culture of the people from around the South Pacific. Traditionally, the dances were conceived to thank the gods who aided the islanders, to celebrate good fortune, and to pay respect to the various chiefs.  Because there was no written language, Polynesian dance and its accompanying music preserved various stories and rituals of the Indigenous people. Consequently, the dancing represented today is as much a celebration of life as it is a proud statement of cultural awareness.

Chanting and It's Importance

 Chanting evolved from the purely aural inspiration of the islands' natural environment into the written form of chant notation by which many chants are preserved today.

Polynesians were inspired by the natural sounds around them: the pounding of the ocean, the wind rustling the trees, the roll of thunder, the rhythm of rain. It was natural then to express personal emotions in terms of the environment.

Chanting is an extension of speaking that originated as a means of communicating with the gods. Hand movements are also a means of communication. Thus, the hula grew naturally into a formal extension of common human gestures, and was combined with the chant and rhythm to create the mele hula