Heiva Tu’aro Ma’ohi
This traditional sport uses good accuracy and agility. It is referred to as the patia fa in the Maori language. The javelin throwing competition will take place in the gardens of the “Musée de Tahiti et ses îles” from July 13 to 14, 2013. It is distinctive from the Olympian javelin throw, where the goal is to throw the javelin as far as possible.
This contest is open to both men and women. Each athlete has 10 javelins each with distinctive markings for personalizing each contestant. These javelins are cut directly from a branch of flexible wood like mulberry or Gardenia. There is no limit to the length of the javelin used in the competition. Thus, each one can use a javelin with a length dependent on one’s height. Nowadays, the competitors use a metal tip for their spears.
The basic movement is rather intuitive: A finger placed at the base of the spear serves as a propulsor and the other hand aids in the aim of the thrower. Of course, the skill and personal technique of each competitor remains secret.
Nevertheless, each year the public is in for an amazing and colorful sight, with athletes in traditional costume in the throes of this traditional Maohi challenge.