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History was made Tuesday night at the Manu’a High School in Ta’u, when the Arts Council, for the first time ever, held a Manu’a flag day performance during their celebration this year of 109 years under the United States of America.


The villages of Ofu, Olosega, Ta’u, Faleaso, Fitiuta and the Tau Catholic Church group took part in this historical event with Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, Chief Justice Michael Kruse and cabinet members in attendance.  Rexx Yandall, Program Manager with the Arts Council said the idea was initiated by their Director, Uta Dr Laloulu Tagoilelagi who noted that given Tutuila holds annual Flag Day performances, Manu’a, too should be afforded the same opportunity.


Yandall told Samoa News that this will become an annual event and is being made possible with the assistance of a grant from the National Endowments for the Arts. He said they spent over $3,000 on this program and each of the performing groups received $500.  


The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government.  To date NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.


Yandall said the one thing he noticed from the performances were the dance movements and motions of the Manu’a people. “The overall outcome was amazing— the movement and motions of the performances by the Manu’a people are not something new—they are still performing the historic traditional dances and the motions and hopefully they will keep on, because they are unlike the Samoan sivas performed on Tutuila Island, which are more of the western world, said Yandall.