TAMA TOA NUI is an the 1st ALL MALE TAHITIAN DANCE TROUPE in the U.S.
led by Ryan & Vairea Tupana Samn
The name was gifted to Ryan from his group leader in Tahiti:
Papi Iriti Hoto, Ra'atira of the legendary Heikura Nui.
Our first project in 2017 consisted of 18 boys from across Northern California, working collectively to focus on the culture of the Australes (Rurutu & Tubuai, respectively) through the music, dance & language.
We are proud to collaborate with our long time family friend John “Bubs” Sangalang as our lead musician. Together, we assembled a team of young men who have shown interest in gaining knowledge from the Australes region, abandoning a 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’ī & rara’a costuming techniques from Rurutu
-the historical ties between the Australes islands (Tuha'a Pae) & Tahiti
-the relation between the Australes islands (Tuha'a Pae) & the Cook Islands
-the legends (‘ā’amu) native to Tubuai passed down through oral tradition
-the overall perpetuation of the Australes (Tuha’a Pae) culture as outsiders
TAMA TOA NUI is not a traditional dance school with regularly scheduled classes, tuition and enrollment.
We are a competitive group & an organization under the direction of Tānera'i i Ni'a.
We work collaboratively with others to educate & spread the love for the Austral islands of French Polynesia.
Watch our award winning presentation "The Legend of Havai" below. This is from the Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete 2018, Tama Toa Nui won Overall Junior/Amateur Group with 1st Place for 'ote'a & 1st Place for 'aparima.