Te Fa’a No Te ‘Ori drums up a storm on campus

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Final pose for the judges of the Te Fa'a No ` te" Solo & Drumming Competition. Stockton Calif. PHOTO BY BONES

The anticipation and excitement was high in the theatre awaiting their loved ones’ performances and wondering what place they will get. 

On Oct. 19, Mata’irea Polynesian Culture Preservation, a non-profit organization, hosted the Te Fa’a No Te ‘Ori solo and drumming competition in the Atherton Theatre. 

Mata’irea Polynesian Culture Preservation and Tamarii Matairea, a dance institution school, hold this competition to raise awareness of Polynesian culture by connecting people through dance, music, customs, and beliefs.

Competitors’ ages ranged from 5 to 50 showcasing their talent through cultural dances called the Tamahine and Tamaroa, divided into groups of advanced and beginner. 

The judges for this competition were Anthony “Coco” Tira of Ahutoru Nui, Terau Piritua of Ori I Tahiti and Alexandra Holman-Mervin of Pupu Ori Hei Tahiti.

The drumming was intense and the dancers kept in beat while also noting when they should stop because the drummers would let out a yell signaling the end of their performances.

The cheering wasn’t limited to just one dancer.

The atmosphere was bright and fun even though it was a little early for some.

The MCs Bigg John and Palepa Petaia contributed to that atmosphere by their comedic commentary to pump up the crowd of families.

There were vendors outside during the event that sold jewelry, food, and clothes.

The competition overall seemed to make everyone happy even if they won or lost: participants, judges, and the audience.