Our Tahitian class has begun the process of making our own costumes from scratch. My kumu, blurred and on the left knows how to make everything from costumes to instruments. Our first task was to make our tassels for our belt.
These will go across the backside and we will sew on shells and beads for the front. I used to complain about the high costs of Tahitian costumes. Ohhhh....now I get it.
I also learned that raffia is coated with a fire retardant that makes your hands waxy for two days after weaving. yuck!
Here is an example of a finished costume. See the belt? A lot of work for the first part of the outfit.
If you've never seen Tahitian dancing. You should watch this.