Matt and I had so much fun participating in the Matavaa festival and watching the performances. The added bonus was being able to celebrate it with several of our friends. Mike (Easy), Daryl, Janet, Ella and Iris (Maple), Ulrike and Matias (Bella), Sorya and Thomas (Garulfo) and Ferry and Bridget (Alrisha) were all playing with us during the event. Be sure to catch Part I of the Matavaa Festival here.
Santa Celebration near eateries
The festival took place in early December so of course there was a Santa Clause (even in French Polynesia). We had fun taking photos with Mike (Easy) and Ulrike and Matias (Bella).
We saw several things that made us laugh. Two guys in full costume and makeup walking to the stadium pushing a baby stroller. A lady wearing a “don’t mess with Texas” shirt with the state of Texas upside down.
As it turns out, nobody enforced the 10-boat limit in the anchorage. The day of the festival several boats came in and squeezed into the approved anchorage area and others just anchored by the beach. It was frustrating. Despite following the rules and enduring 3+ weeks of a shitty anchorage, they let these other boats just roll in here last minute. Here is a shot with the Tahiti Nui rafted up to the Ari Nui at the dock.
The Matavaa performances were held multiple times a day in two main locations. The larger, longer performances were held either in the field or the stadium. The shorter performances were held in the pavilion. Unfortunately, all locations had weird lighting issues so my photos are not stellar.
One of the short performances by Rapa Nui inside the pavilion. Just look at the joy on their faces.
Rapa Nui paired doing the fertility dance.
They are all singing, in addition to dancing their hearts out.
The Bird Dance
Another group did the popular bird dance which is by far my favorite routine. A few select performers, dressed in elaborate feathered costumes represent the phoenix being risen.
The bird or phoenix dance was performed by each group and I never grew bored. It was such a gorgeous dance and song that I was transfixed each time.
More bird dancers inside the pavilion
The women are so elegant and feminine in their dance. From their delicate hand movements to their toe dancing. The men are manly, strong, and forceful yet beautiful in their own right.
Groups dancing in the pavilion. Not sure how they squeezed the large groups inside this small space, but they did marvelously.
Closing Ceremonies of the Matavaa Festival
The performers came out one last time for the closing ceremonies. They each did 20-minute routines that were a compilation of their favorite dances. They also presented the completed stone and wooden tikis.
Of course, Rapa Nui gets its own collage
One group, of about 100 people gathered in the stands for a photo op.
This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of this historical event. The crappy anchorage was worth every minute of being able to participate in the Matavaa event.
Our friend’s on Maple shared some fabulous photos that they took at one of the events. These are the Rapa Nui dancers from a short performance at the pavilion.
This is a group of Marquesans who currently live in Tahiti.