TAMA TOA NUI is an all male dance troupe led by Vairea Tupana.
The troupe consists of 18 boys from across Northern California, working collectively to perpetuate the
culture of the Australes (Tuha’a Pae: Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai, Ra'ivaevae, Rapa) through music,
dance & language. There are 2 branches of TAMA TOA NUI ---one in California & one in Faa’a Puurai.
We are proud to collaborate with our long time family friend John “Bubs” Sangalang
as our lead drummer and musician. Together, we have assembled a team of young men
whohave shown interest in gaining knowledge from the Australes region,
abandoning sole emphasis on dance technique (common in the U.S.) but rather setting focus to:
-the unique chants from Rurutu that accompany Rurutu drumming pehe
-the unique rima’i & rara’a costuming techniques from Rurutu & Rimatara
-the historical ties between the Australes islands & Tahiti
-the relation between the Australes & the region of the Cook Islands
-the legends (‘a’amu) native to Tubuai passed down through oral tradition
-the unique dances, haka & stories in the Rapa iti (Oparo) distinctive dialect
-the overall perpetuation of the Australes/Tuha’a Pae culture as outsiders & foreigners
TAMA TOA NUI is not a traditional dance school with regular classes, tuition and enrollment.
We are a competitive group & an organization under the direction of Association Tānera'i i Ni'a.
We work collaboratively with others to educate & spread the love for the Austral islands of French Polynesia.