When you hear the name Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, you either think of him as a charismatic wrestler or as a famous actor.
Indeed, The Rock has made a name for himself, not just once but twice in the industry, but what his fans love about him is that he never forgot about his roots.
In fact, Dwayne is passionate about his heritage, and he is proud to show this to the entire world.
Dwayne’s mother is actually Samoan. Her maternal grandparents, Ofelia “Lia” Fuataga and Fanene Leifi Pita Maivia were Samoans and also had wrestling histories.
His father is of Black Nova Scotian descent, thus making Dwayne a part of the African-Americans who fled from the U.S after the American Revolution.
Dwayne loved his family and embraced all of his family’s cultures. He’s proud and always open to answering any questions about his roots.
Six years ago, while Dwayne was promoting his hit movie Moana, he had the chance to show off a tribal dance called the Samoan Slap, or “Fa’ataupati.”
Fa’ataupati literally translates to ‘forcefully clap or to slap’.
In the Samoan culture, each member values their day-to-day lives, and their dance and music also reflect the same.
Around the 16th century, mosquitos invaded their kingdom. Everyone, of course, had a hard time getting used to this.
The people in Samoa would forcefully slap their bodies to kill or get rid of the pesky mosquitos. This is where the dance Fa’ataupati was created.
Who would have thought that with the invasion of these invasive insects, the Samoans would be able to come up with such beautiful dance steps?
The anchors of Good Morning America interviewed Dwayne and were pretty excited about his special treat.
Dwayne said that he wanted to show everyone a “taste of their Polynesian culture.”
Then Dwayne disappears from the screen.
We see two men prepare their wood sticks and ignite them with fire. Though Fa’ataupati doesn’t require this step, the two men added this as Dwayne prepared.
It mesmerized everyone as the two men exhibited their fire dance skills.
After a minute, Dwayne comes back wearing only a lavalava skirt and lots of coconut oil.
Dwayne, along with the two men started dancing and clapping in sync. Their movement was amazing and really fast.
It didn’t require any musical instrument because the sound of their hands slapping against their bodies and their feet stomping creates a unique rhythm.
The Fa’ataupati is often performed on special occasions like church meetings, birthdays, Independence Day, and even weddings.
The Fa’ataupati dance is performed as a group.
Another thing you would notice is that all the dancers have an ample amount of coconut oil smeared on their bodies.
This is crucial since the powerful slaps usually create marks on the body, and coconut oil helps minimize this.