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Mono'i (Aparima Mono'i)

Safeguard the ancestral knowhow of the « fenua » (homeland), such is the message of the “Tamariki Poerani” dance company's production of “Mono'i”, directed by choreographer Makau Foster Delcuvellerie. With the Mono'i, sacred Polynesian oil, rituals and traditions are transmitted and perpetuated. Sole owners of its secret, Polynesians have been using Mono'i  on a daily basis for thousands of years. Tamariki Poerani pays Mono'i a wonderful tribute with this show. Presented at the 2009 Heiva i Tahiti, “Mono'i” won 4 grand prizes: Best Aparima Vahine, Best Ote'a Tane, Best Vegetal Costume, Best Ute Arearea.

« Mono'i » is a Aparima. « Apa » means  move and « rima » means hand. Aparima mixes hand and body moves in a kind of elaborate pantomime. “Mono'i” won first prize for Aparima at the 2009 Heiva i Tahiti dance competition.


Original text of the song
(Makau Foster Delcuvellerie)

E ua hiti te mahana
I ni'a i to'u fenua
O tahiti nui to'u ai'a here
Te mono'i tupuna
Te mono'i ena e iau
Teie to'u tino
E teie te mono'i ora
E teie to'u hinaaro
A tavai i to tama
Teie rui hanahana  -  no te hura nui
Ia anapa to'u iri ravarava
Mai te fetu i te ra'i anoano
Ua i to'u mata to'u reo
To'u tino i te mono'i ora
Ua i te hohonura'a o to'u
A'au i te mono'i here
E tapao teie no te here metua
A mau te faufa'a tupuna
A tavai a tavai a tavai
I to tama
Te mono'i tiare
Teie to'u tino
A tavai to tama

Song translation
(Makau Foster Delcuvellerie & Marc E. Louvat)

The sun is rising on my land
O Tahiti, my beloved country
Mono'i of my ancestors
I am yours, my body belongs to you
Mono'i that gives life
And quenches my desires
You allow me to anoint the child.
In this magic night when we celebrate Tahitian dancing
Our skin shines like a star
Up in the limitless sky.
My eyes, my voice and my body
Are yours, oil of life.
Deep in my heart.
Love for mono'i.
This is how our ancestors passed it on to us.
Heritage transmitted with love.
Living heritage.
It allows me to anoint the child
With Tiare scented  mono'i.


Source : Marc E.Louvat

Foster Delcuvellerie, Makau

Makau Foster Delcuvellerie spent the first years of her life on the atoll of Hao and was brought up, as customary in those days, by her grand parents. They were very simple folks who lived like their parents, and the parents of their parents before them, to the soothing rhythm of the islands, fishing and foraging. Then she had to go to Tahiti for school and to Hawai'i for a college education.

Whenever you start a conversation with her on that period of her life, she remembers the Paumotu (inhabitants of the Tuamotu islands) whom she says taught her everything and had been living in Hawai'i for the longest time, teaching young Hawaiians the traditions of the South Pacific Islands. Their classes were hard, very demanding for these youngsters who had been brought up according to the “American way of life”. She always seems to get a bit emotional when she talks about these moments. She remembers the pain of the long warm up training sessions when yours body does the talking and tells stories. She didn't learn in the books but from the oral tradition that allowed generations to preserve the knowledge of their ancestors.

« At the age of 16 I was already dancing on stage at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawai'i. For years I travelled the world extensively to dance and finally came back to Tahiti to keep on learning from Coco Hotahota, the famous choreographer and director of the “Temaeva” dance company. Then time came for me to start teaching “Ori Tahiti” (Tahitian dancing) and to create my own dance company Tamariki Poerani  ».

Since then the company has created various productions: "Munanui" (1999), "Merehenua" (2001), "Te ariki Tuohea" (2003), "Mokorea" (2004) et "Mono'i" (2009).
Choreographies by Makau Foster Delcuvellerie have been recreated by different “Ori Tahiti” dance companies in Japan, Mexico and the USA.

Source : The company Tamariki Poerani 's website

More information

tamarikipoerani.com

 

Mirakian, Patrick

Patrick Mirakian is a young polynesian TV director, working for “Tahiti Nui Television”, the local TV channel. Asked by Marc E. Louvat, he was in charge of recording Tamariki Poerani's production of “Mono'i”, a piece by Makau Foster Delcuvellerie, during the 2009 Heiva i Tahiti.

Mono'i (Aparima Mono'i)

Choreography : Makau Foster Delcuvellerie

Interpretation : Tamariki Poerani

Technical direction : Tahiti Nui Télévision

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Production Tamariki Poerani / Atelier Tahiti Docs / Heiva Nui / TNTV / Le Heiva i Tahiti 2009 était une manifestation organisée par Heiva Nui.

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