The next time you feel bad about your taro legs and booty remember that back in the days many islands were known to find bigger girls more beautiful as the thinner girls were thought to look unwell. By western standards this would have seemed quite odd and the first explorers were shocked with the traditional practices of fattening girls up.
Tahiti: Ha’apori - to make fat. Tahitians traditionally fattened up girls for presentation to the chief. Roundness symbolizes beauty, wealth, and happiness in Tahiti.
Nauru: Fattening rituals were also practised in Nauruwhere fattening was associated with beauty and fertility. Young women of the chiefly class were the central focus of deliberate fattening, beginning round puberty.
Hawaii: As fat was considered beautiful, mothers worried when their daughters were thin and gave them medicine to fatten them. The juice of young ‘ohi’a leaves (liko ‘ohi’a) was one of the fattening medicines (la’au kupele). Taken in the morning before breakfast, it created a hearty appetite.
Body positivity is not just for those smaller framed girls, embrace your curves remember that you are fabulous and fierce and remember your value is not determined by how you look on the outside and that you are so much more than your clothing size or a number on the scales.
The Fijian Meke
Music is woven into the fabric of Fiji and the Meke embraces traditional song and dance to tell of legends, love stories, history and spirits of the islands. It can vary from a blood-curdling spear dance to a gentle and graceful fan dance.
There are two groups in the make - the orchestra (Vakatara), who sit on the ground and sing or chant for the second group, the dancers (Matana).
The instruments are percussion (hardwood gongs, bamboo tubes, beating sticks etc). For the Meke the performers wear garlands of flowers (Salusalu), the men wear full warrior costume and the women, in traditional clothes, glisten with scented coconut oil.
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