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Traditional dance

The D'o'a dance

Also known as Pado'a, literally meaning "at the dance", this sacral dance is performed throughout the Savu Islands during the harvest celebration. One of the biggest harvest celebrations is known as Hole Mehara (Mesara).

In the traditional D'o'a dance, the dancers wear Kedu'e around their ankles. Made of woven palm leaves, these boxes contain dry grain or beans that rattle to the dance.

The Ledo dance

The Ledo dance is also a sacral performance. It tells a variety of stories to do with courtship (above) and other such events, including the traditional funeral ceremony. The male dancers wear jingle bells under their knees and on their wrists. They are accompanied by female partners and the music is a fast tempo of percussion instruments. The dancer's movements mimic the vibration with increasing intensity.

At one stage in the dance, the males 'fight' with swords, re-creating the atmosphere of a time in Savunese ancestry characterised by bravado, heroism and elegance. An interesting part of the dance is a free and easy atmosphere built up by the dancers, as signified by their smiles.

Copyright © 2006 Ina Tali/Francesca Von Reinhaart


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