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Celebrating our Pacific culture through performance

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Meet members of the Samoan Polyfest group

There is a huge time commitment needed from everyone involved in Polyfest. For the tokotaha (students), it means hours of practice out of school time. They work hard to learn the songs, actions and dances for their 20 minute performance. It's tiring mahi, but for Daliz, Mathew and Anaysha, it's also something they keep coming back for.

  • Write an advert to recruit new members for the Samoan Polyfest group. What attributes would new members need? What could they expect from being part of the group? What might the challenges be? What would they learn and what would the benefits be?

Meet Tāmaki College Tongan group members

Tupouseini, Christian and Sabrina are year 13 tokotaha at Tāmaki College. They have been a part of the Tongan group at Polyfest before, so they know about the commitment needed for, and value gained from, their learning and participation in this festival.

  • What is Christian's role in the Tongan group and what does that role involve?
  • Describe in your own words the Tongan value of Mamahi'i me'a that Sabrina talks about.
  • What has been part of the Tongan Polyfest group helped Tupouseini do?

      The importance of Polyfest

      Polyfest is a way to help tokotaha connect with their culture and their community. It provides them with a sense of identity and belonging, which can in turn set them up positively for the rest of the school year.

      • What is the importance of having Tāmaki College involved in Polyfest?
      • According to Alby, what are some of the things that make a successful Polyfest?
      • What is Polyfest a "springboard" for?

      The role of a Punake

      Mrs Mele Suipi Fakatava Lātū is a Punake. This special Tongan role as a poet, composer and dance choreographer, is one that has been passed down through Mele's family for generations. Mele uses this expertise for the Tāmaki College Tongan group to not only prepare for Polyfest, but to also share her knowledge about these expressions of Tongan culture.

      • What are the three main parts involved in the process of composition?
      • How is learning Tongan dance helpful?

      Former students giving back

      Kevin and Simon are twin brothers who once attended Tāmaki College. They've come back to school to help the Samoan Polyfest group they were once part of during their own school years.

      • What motivates Kevin and Simon to come back to the school and help out with the Polyfest group?
      • What job do the brothers have when it comes to adding music to the Polyfest performance?

      Fiafia nights

      During the week before their Polyfest performances, the Tāmaki College cultural groups each hold a Fiafia night in the school's auditorium. It is a chance for the community to come together, celebrate culture and show their support.

      • What is Fiafia night?
      • What is the purpose of Fiafia night and why are they so valuable?

      The community behind Polyfest

      The community plays an important part in supporting each Polyfest group to prepare for and perform at this cultural festival. This video looks at the process of making costumes, one of several ways in which parents and the community support Polyfest.

      • How are the costumes made for the Tongan group?
      • Describe the design for the Tongan group costume.
      • What is the name of the plant where the natural fibres of the costume come from?

      Tongan Polyfest performance

      Take in the atmosphere of Polyfest and see highlights of Tāmaki College's Tongan group performance.

      Samoan Polyfest performance

      Take in the atmosphere of Polyfest and see highlights of Tāmaki College's Samoan group performance.

      • Describe the atmosphere of Polyfest based on the two performance videos and any others you have watched.
      • What is something that stood out for you when watching these performance videos?
      • Would you want to be part of Polyfest? Why/why not?