The ‘Heiva’ is a month long celebration of Polynesian culture held in July each year through out the islands. There is some competition going on almost every day – from competitive copra (coconut) husking, to all sorts of outrigger racing, and strongest man and fruit carrying races, along with judged singing and dancing groups from each village on the island. Tourists are welcome, but the total focus is friendly, island wide competitions between the villages and the locals are definitely into it. This picture above is of the ten outriggers that started the long distance 6-man race. They keep this pace up for an hour and half.
If I had a program, I could tell you what town these girls were from by the color of their outrigger.
And just to keep everyone honest, here they are weighing all the competitive outriggers the day before the race.
We went to the dancing and chanting competition on two nights in the large, sand filled arena of Fare.
Except for the headwear this team looked almost Indian.
Without subtitles it was a little difficult to figure what all was going on. At least the colors were photogenic. We think these are the banners for each village, identified by color.
The first night of the dances started about an hour late with some really extensive pre-dance speeches by the dignitaries. This elder seemed to get things going with her speech.
The dancers and the singers seem to be about evenly split between the guys and gals.
Kicking up some sand and enjoying it.
This dance was a real crowd pleaser by the orange team.
We use the dinghy dock in front of the Huahine Yacht Club bar and restaurant to land and go into town. They also have a daily ‘Happy Hours’, a rare good deal in French Polynesia. A pitcher of the local beer, Hinano, for a little less than $9.00. Of course from the sign you’d think that happy hour started at 5pm. You’d also think that if you read the sign on the other side of the building. Once inside you might spot a small sign on the side wall that says Happy Hours 5:30 to 6:30pm. And in practice, there’s no exceptions – wait your turn at 5:30.
Steve, with the guitar, off of Liward, put together some Saturday night entertainment for the Happy Hours crowd. We met Steve and his wife, Lili, in Shelter Bay, Panama (the first time we went through the Canal, 3 or 4 years ago) where he put together a group called the ‘Shelter Belters’. The singer here is Talulah, who is Paul and Andy’s granddaughter’, visiting them on their boat Talulah Ruby III. She’s off for the summer from music college in England. What an amazing voice. Definitely has the potential to make it big – you heard it here first.