Kava in the 1900’s

Polynesian Islands 1900's.

Early 1900’  kava session… 

The Kava Tradition of how people sit around the Kava Tanua (Bowl) during the preparation process and after the process when it is to be served to its consumers. 

It’s a very unique way of showing gratitude and great respect to the Tradition of Kava.  

The mixing crew.

Nowadays, the Kava drink is still prepared in the traditional process in some Pacific islands (Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu).

In some islands, Kava consumption is subject to a real ceremony. The Kava is performed for special occasions: birth, wedding, birthday, political celebrations.The members of ceremony gather in a silent and very dark place. The ceremony is usually led by a master of ceremonies at a person of distinction. First, the kava is prepared by chewing.


Once the mixture is ready, the Kava is shared between the guests in a coconut container. The host gives out the Kava in order of importance. The Kava distribution enables to develop new social contacts between people.


Polynesians drink Kava as North American Indians smoke a peace pipe. It is a symbol of establishing or renewing social/political ties.  In addition, the Kava has been known to aide Polynesian shamans to get into a trance and commune with their gods and ancestors. Traditionally, women are still banned from the Kava ceremony.

About the author: Aaron Taravaki
Tell us something about yourself.