25 May 2020
Festival of Nature
Issued on: 2020-05-25
Printing: Offset lithography
Face value: 300 F – CFP franc
Print run: 25,000
Wallis and Futuna, an overseas territory of France in Oceania has a rich Polynesian culture that is very similar to the cultures of its neighbouring nations Samoa and Tonga. The Wallisian and Futunan cultures share very similar components in language, dance, cuisine and modes of celebration.
Fishing and agriculture are the traditional practices and most people live in traditional fate houses in an oval shape made of thatch. Kava, as with many Polynesian islands, is a popular beverage brewed in the two islands, and is a traditional offering in rituals. Highly detailed tapa cloth art is a specialty of Wallis and Futuna.
Numerous festivals are celebrated in Wallis and Futuna throughout the year; on St Chanel Day, pigs are roasted and placed in the sun, and dancing performances are held. The Wallis and Futuna Festival is put on in Noumea annually. Flae fones are community feasting and meeting structures.
Known for their sword dance, the people of Wallis and Futuna are stated to be “excellent dancers”. There are at least 16 types of dances (faive), their differences based upon location, occasion, number of dancers, gender, accompanying instruments, and other modifiers. Most dances are accompanied by singing and some type of percussion instruments as dancing without drumming is considered unusual. The kailao (paddle-club dance), however, has no song and only includes percussion. Wallis and Futuna dancers perform across the Oceania region at festivals.