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18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Warrior's Dance

Henua Enana - the “Land of Men” The most remote archipelago in the world, the Marquesas Islands located in French Polynesia is home to a fiercely authentic arts festival, the Matavaa. Held every four years (since 1986), the Marquesas islands showcase their traditional songs, hakas, dances and arts and crafts attracting delegations from all six inhabited islands in the archipelago as well as tourists. The 2019 Matavaa took place in December on the island of Ua Pou, one of the smaller islands located south of Nuku Hiva (main island). The centre of the island is characterised by spectacular Basaltic columns, the tallest reaching 1,230m into the sky, much higher than the surrounding mountains. The Haka - a ceremonial dance of war, greeting, challenging or blessing/peace. In this performance the Haka was performed by the local dance group of Ua Pou on the beach while waiting the arrival of the neighbouring islands traditional canoe. The performance showcases the powerful challenging Haka consisting of vigorous movements, stamping of the feet and rhythmically chanting.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 12.2019
Date Uploaded: 08.2020
Photo Location: Ua Pou, French Polynesia
Copyright: © hadriel torres