Danza Rapa Nui

Authored by:
Jessica Kehoe

Jessica Kehoe

Yesterday participants learned a traditional dance from the island of Rapa Nui, known in English as Easter Island. While Rapa Nui lies over 2,000 miles from the Chilean coast, they have been a part of Chile since the late 1800s. Thier culture, however, is much more Polynesian than Chilean. The dance instructor spent the first portion of the activity teaching participants about Rapa Nui culture and history, and explaining the stories behind the traditional songs and dances they perform on the island.

Next, the instructor offered to paint takona, traditional body painting, on participants' faces. Takona is an important characteristic of Rapa Nui's traditional dance and performance because each takona represents something important to the history of the island, like the sun, the waves, or the island itself. Participants spent the rest of the time learning a dance representing an important war in Rapa Nui history. Check out the video below to see some highlights from the Danza Rapa Nui activity!


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