Te Vaka costumes are designed and made by Julie Foai. They reflect the music in that they are traditionally influenced but also contemporary. 

Costume made for the Disney D23 Expo
Olivia wearing the costume made for the
performance of music from the Moana movie
at Disney's D23 Expo in August 2015. The costume
is made from a very delicate brown Tongan tapa
cloth and includes feathers, shells and white
cotton fabric underneath to enable her to dance

Original Pacific Corsette
This corsette worn by Olivia on the 2015
Te Vaka tour is made from Tapa style
fabric. In total including the lining there
was 27 pieces patched together to create
the shape and visual pattern and that
didn't include all the bone pieces inside it.

Olivia in Costume 
Dance costume made for Olivia and first worn
on the 2015 tour. Skirt is a silky-stretch fabric.
The Titi is a black base with shell design at the
front and Kiro At the back. Bra is made from
fabric leaves and  2 small ankets made of rafia,
feathers and shells.

 Olivia in Band costume for 2015
Olivia's band costume for 2015. Being the
only girl on the 2015 tour Olivia's
costumes had to be multi-purpose and
she had to beable to dance in all of them.
This one is made from a tapa style fabric
with black satin binding.


Female Band costume

Girls band costume is an original design that 
was first worn in 1999. The skirt and top are 
made out of black cotton lycra. The arm and 
neck bands are made from Tapa fabric and the 
top is trimmed with same fabric. The "Titi" 
on the hips is made of cloth and feathers with 
a Tokelauan pearl shelll as the centre piece. 
The necklace (Pahina), is also made from 
Pearl shells. Worn here by Olivia on the 2010

 Boys band costume

Boys band costume is an original design that
was first made in 1999. The top is a cotton
lycra muscle Tee with original artwork
representing all the Islands of the South Pacific.
The Pahina is from Tokelau, the Lava lava
is a Samoan style design. Worn here by Matatia.

 Papa e costume  Boys Papa e costume
One of the first Te Vaka costumes. This one was made for touring as the fresh leaves don't last. The fabric leaves have been carefully sewn to a strapless bra and made into a matching headdress. The lower part of the costume is just a lavalava tied quite short. Worn by Alana in 1997 & 98.  The boys costume is again made for travel with a fabric headband decorated at the back with pearl shell, some dried material and feathers. The belt and armbands are made out of woven matts. The lava lava is black cotten. All the materials are natural. Worn by Etueni Pita since 1997.
 Girls drums and dance costume  Boys pate mo tou vae costume
Vai Mahina wearing Cook Islands style costume. The hula skirt is double layered with plain underneath and red on the top. The Titi is very heavy to help with the sway and covered with Tapa, kiro and hanging natural beads. Headdress is made to match with some red rafia and beads. It is platted with four strands to get the thicker flatter effect.

Etueni Pita in Traditional style costume for the boys. Fabric lavalava. Kiro and feather leggings. The headdress and armbands are made from fabric leaves for traveling but fresh would be used when possible.

 Girls Te Lama dance costume  Boys Te Lama dance costume
Original Te Vaka design worn here by Tremayne Lihou. Top is made from Tapa cloth and secured at the back with hooks and velcrose. White fabric lavalava, just wrapped and turned at the top. Titi is rafia, beads, and dried onions attached at the back.  Fabric lava and headband, shell and rafia belt from Tahiti, handpainted tapa armbands and Pearl shell from Tokelau. Dancer Talaga Sale.
 Te Vaka boys dance costume  Girls dance costume Samoan headdress
 Traditional design costume, based on the kirio skirt with rafia and feather arm bands, head bands and and leggings. The top of the kiro skirt is woven and has a small piece of tapa cloth and a pearl shell in the center of the waistband. Dancer Etueni Pita  This one is a real cultural mix - the headdress is traditional and normally worn by a Samoan Princess. The coconuts are mostly worn by Cook Island and Tahitian dancers. The red feathers on the hips are also part of a Samoan costume but wouldn't normally be worn over a lava lava as they are here. Dancer Alana Foai
 Girls lakilua costume  Lakilua dance costume
Traditional and contemporary mix. Fabric lava lava, sewn to size and secured with velrose. Pearl shell, kiro and feather titi for the hips. Coconut bra, standard costume piece for the Cook Islands and Tahiti. 3 pahina shells from Tokelau. Headdress made of rafia and feathers with pearl shell necklace interwoven in the front. The headdress is done with 4 strand platting. Tremayne Lihou Traditional mix with a white fabric lava, sewn to fit the hips and a feather, kiro and shell Titi that sits on the hips. The headdress is made of rafia, feathers and a shell arrangement in the front. The coconuts are traditional , the neck and armbands are part of the Te Vaka band costume. Olivia Foai
 Luelue costume  Girls luelue costume
This is a Te Vaka orginal - starting at the top with the headdress made of platted black fabric and natural raffia. The neckpeace is made from kiro, the same natural fibre at the hula skirts are made from. The skirt is a combination of handpainted tapa and black fabric. It is slit at the side to allow for movement. Kiro and feather leggings are tied at the top of the calf. Simona Hope Costume created for quickchange includes band top lava lava tied lengthwise and black shorts underneath to allow for movement.
 Pate mo tou agaga costume  Puke puke te pate costume
 Te Vaka original - the skirt is made from silky fabric with an extra layer of pleated fabric at the top to help exentuate the hips. The Hawaiian lei is attached to the skirt all the way around and long black bird feathers are sewn in at the back for extra effect. Coconuts are worn for the top and the Te Vaka girls necklace made of 3 pahina shells from Tokelau which is worn with all the costumes. Olivia   Cultural contemporary mix. The headdress is made of woven matting, pearl shell, beads and feathers, modeled on the Tahitian style headdresses and held in place with elastic under the hair. Coconut bra and kiro short hula skirt with black rafia titi decorated with shells and fiberous string. Tremayne
 Earlier pate mo tou vae costume  Tamahana dance costume
Natural organic style. Skirt is white fabric just folded and wrapped. Titi on hips is made of rafia, tapa and natural beads. Headdress is tapa and rafia. Olivia Foai Tapa top, held on with elastic and rugged tapa skirt held on with velcrose. Olivia Foai

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TE VAKA BEATS - 25.02.17


Te Vaka Beats - new album

"TE VAKA BEATS" is a 10 track album of new percussion tracks written by Te Vaka's master percussionist - Matatia Foai and produced by Opetaia Foai.  "Te Vaka Beats"is for dancers, choreographers and anyone who loves log drums, skin drums and adventurous percussions. Mastered at "The Bakery" in LA by grammy award winning mastering engineer, Eric Boulanger you have not heard log drums like this before.                                                                                           Physical CD available HERE

    Click to hear interview with Matatia

First single - Lukitau


Moana is nominated for: "Best Animation" and "Best Original Song". Winners announced at the Oscar awards ceremony on the 26th of February.

Soundtrack album

Moana soundtrack Album                                                                                         

The Moana soundtrack album made it to No.2 on the Billboard 200 album charts and No.1 on the Billboard sound track album charts.

The album is still No.1 on the New Zealand albums chart!!

Other news





The making of Moana’s music [An interview with composer Opetaia Foa’i of Te Vaka]

Telling the stories of their ancestors, the voyagers and way-finders, through music


The Te Vaka singers arrived at Warners Brothers Recording Studios in Burbank to add the Te Vaka magic to the Moana soundtrack click here for pics and more




Great news - The Amataga album wins "Best Pacific Music Album" ( Recorded Music NZ award) and "Best Pacific Song" for Papua i sisifo" the song written in support of West Papua and their struggles for freedom.
Read more.


FROOTS MAGAZINE give "Amataga" a big "Thumbs up" read review HERE



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