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Culture of Tonga


Dance in Tonga has traditionally been an important art form, and this becomes evident during exhibitions of Tongan dancing performed for visitors on the waterfront. The songs and dances describe the legendary exploits of the King's ancestors.


In ancient times, dramatic events were immediately translated into songs and dances, and it is through this tradition that the history of the Tongans is passed down to successive generations. Weaving of cloth from the bark of the Pandanus palm is a native craft, and one can also pick up beautiful baskets and finely woven mats. 

Besides canoe racing and soccer, traditional pursuits such as beautiful and intricate dances and making figures from string are also practiced. For the really important occasions and to honour particular achievements, chants for one to four voices are popular. Crafts are traditionally handmade and make use of local materials like palm leaves, pandanus leaves, sea shells, tortoise shells and coconut wood models of Gilbert Island houses and canoes.