The oldest known practice of fire dancing is found in Polynesian culture. The oldest records show Polynesians centuries ago fire-dancing with war clubs lit to express their battle prowess.
Fired by the Polynesian passion for dance, the ceremony is nowadays performed at important ceremonies, often backed by the fa’atete. It’s a Tahitian drum usually made from coconut wood & struck with either the hands or drum sticks.
This type of dancing is difficult to photograph, so I’ll let the images do the talking. These shots were taken by Bora Bora Insider, the New York-based photographer Ian Brewer and the Sydney professional photographer Mal Lyons. Heiva I Bora Bora:
This fire-dancing ceremony was performed for a recent marriage. The fire symbolizes the bringing of light into the lives of the couple.
This first group of shots were taken by Ian Brewer:
“Smoked ’em” was the feeling of the bride & groom above! The following shots were taken by Mal Lyons. Check the guy’s tongue in the second photo, it’s literally on fire!
The spectacle took place at the water’s edge on beautiful Matira Beach, a spectacular setting & an exceptional way to present the sight & sound components of the ceremony:
As the wife of the Mayor said to me: “To witness this at water’s edge on Matria Beach is exceptional”.
I also saw a performance at the Miss Bora Bora pageant.
Four gifted fire dancers backed by two percussion players gave recognition to a ceremony of beauty in staging Bora Bora’s hottest event so far this year.
Here are some photos to warm you up: