The Kailao is a Tongan cultural dance.
It is usually performed at public and private ceremonies. The men, bearing stylized clubs (pate kailao), dance in a fierce manner that emulates fighting, all to the accompaniment of a beaten slit drum or a tin box, which sets the tempo. Unlike most other Tongan dances, the kailao is performed without singing. The sequences of movements to be performed by the group are called by the lead dancer, who will give the name of the sequence, then will signal when to do it. The sequences can involve mock combat between dancers, changes in formation, and tricks involving the pate kailao themselves. The dance displays the dancers' discipline, obedience and skill with their weapon. A similar Rotuman dance, also derived from the 'Uvean original is similarly titled "ka'loa"
The Sipi Tau, performed by the 'Ikale Tahi, the national rugby union team before each match, is a form of Kailao.
Song: Sipi Tau
- Ei e!, Ei ē!
- Teu lea pea tala ki mamani katoa
- Ko e ʻIkale Tahi kuo halofia.
- Ke ʻilo ʻe he sola mo e taka
- Ko e ʻaho ni te u tamate tangata,
- ʻA e haafe mo e tautuaʻa
- Kuo huʻi hoku anga tangata.
- He! he! ʻEi ē! Tū.
- Te u peluki e molo mo e foueti taka,
- Pea ngungu mo ha loto fitaʻa
- Te u inu e ʻoseni, pea kana mo e afi
- Keu mate ai he ko hoku loto.
- Ko Tonga pe mate ki he moto
- Ko Tonga pe mate ki he moto.
- Ko Tonga
English Translation by Sione Ngahe
- Aye, ay! Aye, ay!
- I shall speak to the whole world
- The Sea Eagles is famished unfurl.
- Let the foreigner and sojourner beware
- Today, destroyer of souls, I am everywhere
- To the halfback and backs
- Gone has my humanness.
- Hey! hey! Aye ay! Zap.
- Maul and loose forwards shall I mow
- And crunch any fierce hearts you know
- Ocean I drink, fire I dine
- To death or victory my will is fine.
- That's how Tonga dies to her motto
- To her motto Tonga gives all.