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The Umuti

- Tahiti

However the step on the fire is an art just like the Fire dance not to be taken lightly. It is necessary to get ready at least one week in advance. First of all it is necessary to dig a rather deep cavity to welcome the wood and the stones, 6 meters long by 3 meters wide for a depth of approximately a meter fifty. The pit is then performed with wood and with pebbles come from the valley of Papeno' o, settled on a bed of dry palms of coconut palm. According to the thickness of the wood, it is finally necessary to wait from 24 to 48 hours so that the umuti (walking on the fire) is ready.

On certain islands, walking on the fire on foot nudes preceded the cooking to verify the presence of the gods. If the priests succeeded in walking without burning on white-hot stones, it meant that they could carry out successfully the continuation of the ceremony.

In the evening, and after rites which belong only to the tahua, the rite begins with incantations. Instructions are given to the public, after whom the volunteers are invited to follow the priest on white-hot stones, the on-surface temperature of which can exceed the 2000 ° Celsius. This moment as suspended in the time will leave to every participant a particular and unforgettable feeling.

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