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PROJECTS Culture Pacific Samoa - Teaching and promoting the fire-knife dance

Samoa - Teaching and promoting the fire-knife dance

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Preserving and promoting the art of the fire-knife dance by providing the opportunity for young people throughout Samoa to be exposed to and trained in this form of dance.

Who's involved?

Project leader: Lene Leota & Clare Leota

Lead organisation: Ailao Club

Other organisations: Churches; Schools and matai (chiefs) in the villages where the workshops will be held

Timeframe: September 2006 - January 2007


  • To conduct fire-knife workshops in 4 villages in Savai'i with a performance for the village at the end of the workshop
  • To have at least 200 young people in total take part in the workshops
  • To encourage friendships and increased understanding between youth from the city and youth from the villages
  • To encourage the future development of talented young people who take part in the workshop by inviting them to join the Ailao Club and covering the costs of their travel to Apia to train with the rest of the club and to competitions (costs to be covered by Club and sponsors)


  • Collaborate with village councils, schools and churches to implement the activities;
  • Plan, organize and hold 4 fire-knife dance workshops for a total of 200 youth in 4 villages in Savai'i with the young members of the Ailao Club taking the lead in running the workshops;
  • Plan, organize and hold a performance featuring the workshop participants in each village;
  • Prepare and print information materials for distribution during each workshop;
  • Publicise all the activities through local radio, television and newspapers;
  • Evaluate the impact of the activity by asking a minimum of 60 youth to complete a survey on their knowledge of the fire-knife dance before and after the workshops; analyse and report on the results of the evaluation;
  • Investigate and report on ways of continuing this activity in the future.


The Ailao Club provided fire-knife dance workshops in Savaii, which was a great success not only for the youths in the village who participated, but also for the young leaders who led the workshops.

The workshops gave the Club members who have grown up in the relative affluene of Apia an appreciation of just how tough life in the villages is and how hard it is for the kids there to gain any opportunities to develop their talents.

For the future, the Ailao Club would like to be able to conduct more workshops in remote villages, not only in Savaii but also in Upolu. Maintaining what they have started inSavaii is also a focus for the Club and the members are now loking at a way to bring some of the participants of the workshops to Apia for the programme of "train the trainer", where the villages can have their own on-going workshops conducted by their own youth.


Final Report [PDF 369 Kb] 
Project Proposal