Dance, Dance, Dance in Yap at Manta Fest
Story and Photos copyright Tim Rock
Believe it or not, Manta Fest isn’t all mantas. Yap has the most fascinating and intact culture in Micronesia and a visit to Kaday Village is the showcase of this unique culture. To get to Kaday, one can drive along the scenic west-central main road past traditional men’s houses and playing kids.
Finding both fruit and kids in trees is pretty standard stuff in Yap.
Upon arrival at Kaday Village, one gets to wander the ancient stone paths, get a taste of local fruits and see baskets being made.
Then a young boy will pick betel nut fresh from the high trees and scurry down. Guests are instructed by the affable village host Charles on how to have a chew. This is a staple in Yap. Some guests really like it. Others aren’t so sure. (check expressions on faces)
Then colorful fun starts. A traditional dance about a past historic event or person is performed by the village dancers.
The stick dance is an active, melodic affair full of well-choreographed movements that tell the story and entertain.
Young and old participate, making it a full village event.
Afterwards, people get to take photos of and with the dancers and enjoy more local treats.
A trip to see a real Pacific Island culture in action is a must in Yap. March 1 is always Yap Day and the whole island covenes for dances and events. It lasts about 3 days and can be combined with morning dives and afternoon trips to the dance grounds. Check for availability HERE as this is always a popular event.
Tim of the Deep