Lu’au leaves crowd in awe, shows ‘Ohana’ culture at Linfield

Malia Riggs, Staff Writer

The Linfield Wildcats took down the house with traditional Hawaiian, Polynesian and Tahitian performances at the Gift Of Aloha 44th Annual Lu’au.

One of the main highlights of the night was the Haka, which entails loud stomping, chanting and yelling. It is a traditional ancient war dance used on the battle field as well as when tribes come together in peace.

This dance signifies a tribes pride, unity and strength, which are qualities that are shown on campus everyday.

“Being a part of Lu’au is being apart of something bigger than yourself, its all worth it when you see the hard work everyone has put in,” said committee chair holder Casie Gaza, ’17.

Another main highlight of the performance was the fire dance called “Nifo Oti,” a Samoan dance signifying a warrior’s battle power through the moves of a battle. Women, usually the daughters of the chiefs, also perform this dance for ceremonial processions.

Tala Teaupa, ’18, performed a solo routine before being joined by numerous brave men and women performers, dancing with fire on stage.

Teaupa has been performing the “Nifo Oti” since he was 9 years-old.

“Growing up in Hawaii, the Polynesian culture just came natural to me as well as the dancing,” Teaupa said.

“Ohana” was definitely prevalent on the Linfield campus tonight, with dancers from all the classes coming together to present a stellar performance.

Many traditional dances were performed Saturday night, some of which were the “Ma’alewa,” which describes the goddess Pele and her friend Moananuikalehua as they complete the journey from Tahiti to Hawaii.

Another dance that was performed was the “Tausagi Mai Manu E” (may the birds sing) describes the landscape of Samoa, and the “Te Tama Ma’ohi E Ote’a Amore,” which describes the beautiful women and children of Tahiti.

A crowd favorite every year is watching local children dance in the performance. The first-graders from Grandhaven Elementary school had the honors of warming the hearts of the crowd tonight.

“Our favorite part was the dancing, we were so nervous but it was really fun,” two first grade girls said after the performance.

The Linfield Lu’au is one of the biggest Lu’aus in the Pacific Northwest. With many students and faculty from Hawaii, it hits close to home.

“Being from Hawaii it brings up the family aspect, or ohana. Giving the culture and sharing it with the community and getting everyone to learn about it is the best part,” said Senior Representative Courtney Uyeda.