chapter  11
12 Pages

WAR DANCES

Dance, like song and shout, gives warriors strength to outdo themselves. Unflagging dance rids the mind of wandering thoughts, thus bringing on ecstasy, the divine state of mind. To achieve this, wild warriors the world over danced before, during, and after battle. Dancing was so rnuch a part of fighting among Polynesians of Mangaia that they had a Valhalla of war dancers: “Men killed in battle went to a special warriors’ paradise where they danced with their old friends and enemies. All others had to face the ‘ovens of Miru in the lower Avaiki’.”1