Honolulu-based photographer Elyse Butler Mallams photographed two brothers competing at the 2012 World Fireknife Championships in Laie, Hawaii.
We had an awesome time photographing the Tiumalu brothers Viavia ‘VJ’ and Rex, compete at the 2012 World Fireknife Championships in Laie, Hawaii for Hana Hou! The Hawaiian Airlines Magazine. The brothers have competed as fire knife dancers since their youth, but this year marked the first time that VJ and Rex would compete against each other in the same age group to defend their world titles. Fire Knife is a traditional Samoan warrior dance where the performer uses a nifo oti ‘deadly tooth’ weapon lit on fire at both ends, and dance while twirling the lit knife and performing acrobatic stunts to the beat of lali drums. All of the Fire Knife dancers put on an incredible show and we enjoyed watching their courageous, flashy performances light up the darkness.
See more photos on Elyse’s blog.