Untie the dove's cord, when it is free it sings. Fara - dancing and singing on Rotuma

Dance is a topical subject in the Pacific. It is deeply woven into its societies and it is an important part of various events and happenings. For this reason, I have taken a closer look at the subject, specifically at the part it plays in the fara. Fara is a feast that takes place on Rotuma during the weeks surrounding Christmas. Rotumans call this period: av mane^a; i.e., time to play. The fara is mostly taken up by the young. When going fara, as participants call it, people go from door to door to sing and dance at each house.

The main question of my paper is: 'What is the function and meaning of fara for Rotuman society in general and for the individual Rotuman in particular?' To answer this question I have turned the fara inside out, dealing in great detail with all the elements that, combined together, make up the fara. I have also looked  at  the  way  this  flexible  tradition  has  adapted  to  its time.          

I have eventually concluded that gender relations, identity, religion, the different perceptions of young and old all play a major part in how Rotumans experience the fara, although for most of them being entertained and finding love are the main reasons for going fara. Dance being a topic that is often better caught on film than it is described in words; the paper will be accompanied by a DVD, which also features pictures of other events that take place during av mane'a.

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