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Girls from Waikato University performing the Samoan Maulu'ulu

The Maulu'ulu is an indigenous dance to the Samoan people, performed by a group of girls standing, it requires perfect co-ordination and the girls must smile at all times. The Maulu'ulu was another form of dance that was taken to Kingdom of Tonga from Samoa by the royal family, along with the Taualuga. The Samoan Maulu'ulu is performed differently to the Tongan Ma'ulu'ulu which may cause confusion.


The Maulu'ulu was a dance created by the Samoan women who had a lot of spare time in the village, women were excluded in Chief meetings, and spent most of their lives at home. The Women would get together ever so often and would express themselves in dance, music had always been a part of the Samoan culture, but it was putting the music into action that made the Maulu'ulu different to other Samoan dances.

During village ceremonies, the women of the village would ask the Chiefs if they could perform a dance just to make the evening a little more better, the women would say "se'i fai atu le matou siva e maulu'ulu ai le aso". Translated: Can we perform a dance just to sprinkle a bit of rain on this special occasion.

The word Maulu'ulu literally means "to sprinkle or to rain lightly". The chiefs had enjoyed this form of dance and it became one of Samoa's traditional dances. While the Tongan Royals were visiting the islands in the early 19th century, the Women of Samoa performed the Maulu'ulu, impressed by this dance, the Royal family took this dance back to Tonga, which in Tonga is performed by male and female counterparts.


The Maulu'ulu is only performed by a group of females, the females are also standing up and singing, the dance routines are never the same, and women would traditionally write songs specifically for the Maulu'ulu.

Women are dressed appropriately, not revealing any leg skin, and are required to come up with actions to make the dance look in sync and effective.

Formations are the key to an effective Maulu'ulu, which may require women to walk from one place to another but in sync to that who is opposite them. The hands must be graceful, and like in all Samoan dances, the women are required to smile throughout their performance. Samoans have learnt to multi-task, by smiling, singing and dancing at the same time.

The Samoan Maulu'ulu should not be confused with the Tongan Ma'ulu'ulu. The Tongan Ma'ulu'ulu is a sitting down dance, performed by both male and female, and almost looks identical with the Samoan Sasa, the song is also sung by a group of people at the back of the dancers. Whereas the Samoan Maulu'ulu is a standing up dance performed by women only, and the song is sung by the dancers themselves.

The Maulu'ulu is the only Samoan dance that is permitted to be performed in the Church.


+ Western Samoa's Maulu'ulu



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