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Flaming Sword of Samoa

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Flaming Sword of Samoa: The Story of the Fire Knife Dance

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The amazing chronicle of the life of Samoan showman and Paramount Chief Freddie Letuli. Born in a small village in American Samoa, Letuli — recognized as the Father of the Fire Knife Dance — created the electrifying dance that spawned a whole generation of entertainers and carried the color and excitement of Polynesia around the world.

Nicknamed “Freddie” after his adulation for Fred Astaire, young Uluao Letuli Misilagi learned to dance with the traditional Samoan nifo ‘oti, or death knives. In 1946 he added fire to his knives after watching a baton twirler and an East Indian fire-eater practice their routines at a Shriners Convention in San Francisco. In the years that followed, this sudden inspiration would change the face of Polynesian entertainment.

Written in his own words, as told to his wife, Patricia Letuli, Flaming Sword of Samoa also features an extensive gallery of photographs, posters and news items chronicling the evolution of the dance and Freddie Letuli’s long career in show business — from Hollywood films and television shows to nightclub stages around the world. After returning home, he became a High Talking Chief, a two-term Senator in the Legislature of American Samoa, a High Court Associate Judge and one of only seven Paramount Chiefs in American Samoa.

Hardcover w/ dustjacket; 296 pp.
Author: Freddie Letuli w/ Patricia Letuli
Release Date: March 2004