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Polynesian Woman Adores 15 Small, Interesting Details In “Moana” That Many Might Not Notice

The popularity of “Moana” has grown significantly among Disney films. We were once again reminded of how outstanding a Disney musical director is. This movie handled most of everything perfectly, from the stunning animation to the lovely soundtrack to the motivational and endearing storyline.

“Moana”, like any Disney film, is filled with fascinating details and connections that you most likely didn’t know about until you watched it many times. However, “Moana” contains a number of incredible small details that you probably weren’t aware of, even if you are a genuine fan. A 28-year-old Samoan lady named Morgan states that the film has a ton of small details that were inspired by the cultures of the many island nations across the Pacific.

Thanks to her sharing, we have gathered all the tiny, amazing things that you may not know about “Moana”. Let’s scroll down and discover more!

#1 Morgan, a Polynesian woman

Source: morgansloss

#2 The name Moana has meaning. In several Polynesian languages, the word Moana truly refers to the ocean. So it’s quite fitting that the water picks her.

Source: Disney

#3 The heart of Te Fiti is actually pounamu, which can only be found in Aotearoa (New Zealand).

Source: Disney / RiverJadeCrafts / Via etsy.com

For the Mori people, greenstone is particularly significant, and it is frequently carved into heritage jewels that are thought to hold the soul of their ancestors. Pounamu jewelry is a noticeable way for descendants to connect with their history, family, and ancestors.

#4 Maui’s character was inspired by a combination of Polynesian myths

Source: Disney

Although Maui is a common theme among various islands, there are certain universal tales. He is frequently credited with teaching people how to use fire, delaying the sun, and raising the islands from the ocean’s depths using his hook.

#5 A pe’a is the name of the tattoo Chief Tui has on his body, which spans from his waist to his knees.

Source: Disney

Handmade tools made of bone, turtle shell, and wood are used to complete the pe’a. The tattoos are deeply personal and frequently represent a man’s heritage, history, and identity. Getting a traditional tattoo is a tremendous honor; it symbolizes one’s acceptance of their civic duty and recognizes their lifelong commitment to the custom.

Source: Sandra Mu / Hannah Peters / Getty Images

#6 The traditional houses in Motunui are Samoan fale, open-style homes with no walls

Source: Disney

There are many fale, which are typically round or oval, for various purposes, such as an ordinary family home, a guest house, a meeting place where chiefs give speeches and storytellers entertain crowds, etc.

The fale, which sits at the crossroads of several traditions, is a critical part of Samoan culture. For instance, chiefs typically sit in front of a post because it represents the structure that supports both the fale and the village. Additionally, the fale is frequently represented by symbols in traditional tattoos.

Source: TheCoconetTV / Via youtube.com

#7 The malu is the pe’a’s feminine counterpart. It has lighter decorations but is still very significant.

Source: TheCoconetTV / Via youtube.com

Some say the malu-style on the hand is a modern development that goes against sacred tradition, but others claim it was accepted before colonization influenced Samoa.

Source: TheCoconetTV / Via youtube.com

#8 Moana touches Te K with her forehead and nose. Morgan is reminded of the Mori hongi, a greeting in which people frequently touch each other’s foreheads and noses.

Source: Disney

According to Mori mythology, the first woman, Hineahuone, was created from the soil, and the god Tane breathed life into her through her nostrils. This is where the hongi is thought to have its roots. Morgan believes the authors are alluding to mythology in this passage since Moana brought Te Fiti back to life, and Te Fiti is a goddess with the power of life.

Source: Disney

#9 The Samoan headdress that Moana wears is called a Tuiga

Source: Disney

The Tuiga was traditionally worn by ali’i (chiefs) and their offspring at rituals and significant events. The status and rank of these families were communicated through the rare shells and red feathers.
Additionally, it was thought that those who wore tuiga carried the mana (spirit) of their ancestors with them.

During the taualuga, a significant Samoan dance that is frequently performed at events like weddings and birthdays, many ladies wear the tuiga in current times. The taualuga emphasizes the taupou’s power, grace, and majesty (the dancer).

Source: Disney

#10 This man is cooking palusami in an umu.

Source: Disney

The recipe for palusami requires taro leaves to be filled with coconut cream. The food is cooked on fire-heated rocks in the umu, an above-ground oven in which the leaves are tenderly wrapped into a sort of rounded shape. On some islands, the meat will be included.

Source: TheCoconetTV / Via youtube.com

#11 Gramma Tala returning as a manta ray reminds Morgan of the Native Hawaiian aumakua, who are departed family members and ancestors who occasionally take on the physical shape of animals to lead and guard their offspring.

Source: Disney

Aumakua can be a source of courage and comfort during difficult times. Additionally, they possess the ability to communicate with the gods through dreams and visions and to transmit prayers to them.

Source: Disney

#12 The Mori traditional dance known as the haka is performed by Maui during the final battle.

Source: Disney

There are many different kinds of haka; some are performed to greet visitors, to demonstrate respect, at celebrations, etc., but Maui’s is unmistakably a war challenge.

The All Blacks, New Zealand’s rugby team, perform the haka before matches, and it has become known all over the world.

Source: Chris Hyde / Getty Images

#13 Moana discovers that her people were once voyagers when she finds out about the canoes in the carven. This alludes to The Long Pause, an actual event.

Source: Disney

Scientists estimate that extraordinary explorers first set foot in West Polynesia (islands including Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga) roughly 3,000 years ago. However, there was at least a 1,000-year gap before they traveled to numerous other islands, including as Hawai’i, Rapa Nui, and Aotearoa (New Zealand).

Source: Disney

#14 In “Moana”, characters wear necklaces made of shells, teeth, and bones, which are typical of Polynesians.

Source: Disney

In the old days, some islands considered whale teeth necklaces especially significant as they conveyed the status of chiefs and powerful people.

#15 Moana battles Te K, who spits lava/fire, with the help of water. This battle might have been inspired by Hawaiian mythology. Nāmaka (goddess of the sea) fought against Pele (goddess of fire and lava).

Source: Disney

#16 In a scene, Moana notices the koru (spiral) of Te Fiti’s heart on Te K. The koru, which stands for “creation,” is seen by the Mori as an unfolding fern frond.

Source: Disney

To the Māori, the koru is a symbol of creation that represents an unfurling fern frond. Thus, it makes perfect sense given that Te Fiti has the ability to generate life.

The New Zealand encyclopedia Te Ara claims that the koru’s “The round form signifies endless motion, and the inner coil implies a circle-back to the starting point. Therefore, the koru represents how life both evolves and remains the same.”

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