© Elissa Poma/WWF-US
Elissa Poma from WWF shares her passion for the dance traditions of Yap.
The art of dancing holds such an esteemed placed in all cultures, throughout all of time. That’s especially true of the Yapese — traditional dance remains a strong part of their identity. Every Yapese person, regardless of his or her place in society, is expected to know how to dance — in fact, as soon as a child is old enough to pay attention and follow instructions, his parents begin teaching him. They’re performed during special occasions, such as big feasts and marriages.
I appreciated that the traditional stick dance these teenage boys were performing is still alive in their culture and not just for tourists. And the precision with which they performed one evening during sunset was masterful and hypnotizing.