2024 | Documentary Short | 20 MIN. | English, Rotuman


Letila Mitchell (Rotuman) with Rotuman Women’s Weaving Collective & Iane Tavo (Rotuman)

“If you listen to nature, it will lead the way…” Elder Gagaj Taimanav

Steeped in symbolism and no larger than a child’s hand, the diminutive bird known as the Armea is found in only one place on Earth: the Pacific island of Rotuma.

After scores of performances around the world and years away from Rotuma, ARMEA opens as the dedicated dancers and musicians of Rako Pasefika make their long awaited return home to the island. Arriving by air yet received just as their seafaring predecessors were, the Rako team engages with creative elders in the hopes of revitalizing ancient stories that are in danger of being forgotten. As Rako prepares to perform a new production inspired by the totemic Armea, their relationships with elders, knowledge keepers, healers, artisans and cultural custodians reveal deep and reciprocal connections to this ancient land and to the immense ocean from which it rises. Both an offering to those who have guided the way — such as the hån lep he rua sacred women — and a promise to sustain sacred artforms for generations to come, ARMEA is an ode to all that is small yet sacred.

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