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A spectacular firewalk !

This year again, firawalking or umu ti will open the festivities with splendour at Mahana Park. Organised by tahua (traditional priest) Raymond Teriierooiterai Graffe, this authentic ceremony celebrates its 61st anniversary and gathers several hundreds of spectators fascinated by the intensity of this ancestral moment.

Firewalking is a tradition in Polynesia that dates back to time immemorial. In the origin the purpose was to cook the food in order to avoid famine during the dry season. Ti roots were then cooked in a traditional oven. The firewalk was generally performed before the cooking, in order to check the presence of the Gods. If the priests did not get burnt, then the cooking of the ti would be successful.

Raymond Teeriierooiterai Graffe follows a complete ritual prior to the ceremony. The date is carefully chosen and the pit is prepared a few days before. On D-day, the fire is lit at 6.00 AM so that the stones reach the proper temperature by 6.00 PM. The inner temperature of the oven is by then around 4,500° Celsius but decreases down to 1,300° Celsius under the last layer of stones. On the slab where people walk, the temperature is between 640° to 1,200° Celcius.

After incantations, the priest walks on the stones and sweeps them with sacred ti leaves. Volunteers are then invited to follow his steps. That ritual has a purifying purpose and can be performed only if one respects some important rules given by the tahua.

Firewalking – Umu ti

Wednesday 02 July 2014 at 18h

Mahana Park

Flat rate: XPF 3,000

Tickets sold on the spot as from Thursday 26 June 2014.

Contact: (689) 87 78 54 75