PIR Week Ends With Lumanai’ O Samoa


Jessica Baliares

Tanisha Taualai performing the Taualuga dance to end the night. Family members gave money during the performance to show appreciation.

Chaminade’s Pacific Island Review (PIR) week began on Oct. 27 and ended on Oct. 30 with Lumanai’ O Samoa (LOS) club. The night was full of performances featuring a fashion show, a lip-sync battle, and many traditional dances. It was held at the Sullivan Family Library Lawn from 5 p.m to 6:30 p.m and was also live-streamed online.

In order to prepare for the night, the officers and club advisors organized and coordinated the practice times and dates for the month of October. The majority of the planning for the uniforms, dances, and formations were made over the summer. Junior Josephine Iose chanted a traditional Folafola Sua to welcome everyone to the event, which means “promise” in Samoan.

“Being able to start the night off was amazing,” said Iose, a Psychology major and Forensic Science minor. “Also being able to be the messenger between the male and the female dancers for the times of their dances and helping them set up in between performances, I think it really helped the night go smoothly.”

LOS’s in-person performances were a rarity during this year’s PIR, which was expanded to the full week rather than the typical Friday night, due to Covid restrictions. Earlier in the week were performances by the Taotao Marianas club, the Kalapu Tonga club, and the Ka Ipu Kukui Ka ‘Ie “Ie club.

However, even the in-person performances were different. Activities that involved hugging and money giving had to be changed. In the Samoan culture, there are dances where people stick money to the dancer had to change, in order to follow the restrictions, there were boxes on the side of the lawn to place money in.

The Ava Ceremony, which is a ritual that is performed by the chief or the person hosting the ceremony to welcome others in. It was performed by Tanisha Taualai, a senior majoring in Criminal Justice. What was interesting about the ceremony was that typically you would drink the Ava mixture but due to restrictions, it was not able to be done. Taualai also performed a Taualuga, which is a dance typically performed by a chief’s son or daughter.

There was a fashion show to showcase different products that were either made in Samoa or by local Samoan companies. Some of these included earrings, purses, puletasis, and lavalavas. All 10 of the members in the club participated in this including Jemima Nafatali, a senior Accounting major.

“Normally OSAL (Office of Student Activities and Leadership) plans out the PIR event, so having to plan the whole event ourselves was really difficult,” said Nafatali. Making sure that everything was organized even until the last minutes. Especially when we had to change things last minute, but everyone was able to make the changes and execute them.”

Female members performing the Ma’ulu’ulu dance in a traditional puletasis. (Photo by Jessica Baliares)

The first traditional performance of the night was Ma’ulu’ulu, which is a dance that typically is only performed by females but in this case, was performed by all 10 members of the club.  The 7 girls and 3 boys performed contemporary dances to famous songs like “Tootsie Roll” and “Single Ladies.”

Normally PIR is a one-night event that consists of multiple performances from different clubs. But this year they decided to have each club have their own day, which meant that they had to create longer performances.

“Having to go from planning a 15-minute performance to an hour-long one was a big challenge for us,” said Julieann Tupuola, an advisor for LOS and facilities coordinator. “But the officers were amazing coming up with choreography for all of the dances. They really made it a wonderful experience for not only them but also family members and the Chaminade ohana.”

There was also a lip-sync battle with some of the club members, with songs from the movie “Grease.” In between the performances they had raffles for prizes from local Samoan stores like Tanoa and an essentials basket with items like hand sanitizer and wipes.

According to Tupuola, overall the event went better than any of the members or advisors could have expected and it was a beautiful and humbling experience.

“We do miss performing with our other brothers and sisters (other clubs) on the same night,” said Iose. “As a club, we always have fun while performing. In my opinion, it wouldn’t matter because either way we performed to bring awareness to our culture and to show that we are still exercising our traditions even when away from home.”

Visit the club on Instagram for more information.