Chief Olo Letuli
Known as the Father of the Knife Dance,Uluao "Freddie" Letuli ("Freddie" because he was known to dance like Fred Astaire) originated the fire knife dance in 1946 at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Prior to that time he danced with two knives in Hawaii and Los Angeles.
During the late 40's, the 50's, and the 60's,Freddie Letuli performed with his many different dance troups throughout the United States and Europe. Originally, he used only his name : "Freddie Letuli and the Flaming Sword of Samoa" to showcase his talents and his island.
"The Samoan Warriors", "Freddie Letuli and his Wild Polynesians", "Freddie Letuli and the Samoans", and "Freddie Letuli and the Hawaiians" were some of the other troupes he formed to fill his contracts and to keep up with the demand for Polynesian shows. The shows were performed regularly in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Reno, and wherever else good contracts were offered
Letuli took his Samoan Warriors to Italy to fulfill one of his contracts and frequently performed in Chicago, Kentucky, and New York. He also taught all the early fire knife dancers.
When Letuli returned home to American Samoa at the urging of Governor Rex Lee, he joined the Department of Education and taught numerous school children the art of Polynesian dancing. He took dance troupes to Washington and Australia.
After serving as Assistant Director of Tourism, he later served as a Senator in the Legislature of American Samoa, and as an Associate Judge in the High Court of American Samoa.
For forty years Letuli held the High Talking Chief title of "Olo" and was bestowed the Paramount Chief title of "Letuli" in 2001, becoming one of only seven Paramount Chiefs in American Samoa
In 2003 P.C. Letuli and his family formed the Flaming Sword of Samoa , and in May of 2003 hosted the first annual World Fire Knife Competition in American Samoa. Letuli was on hand to award the prizes, he also frequented the daily workshops, continuing to pass along his expertise and love of the knife dance.
In 2012, Pacific Talent Academy of the Arts was formed to broaden the horizons to North America.
P.C. Letuli and his wife Patricia raised ten children together, until his passing July 22, 2003. Having touched so many people with his life and his accomplishments, P.C. Letuli Olo Misilagi was laid to rest at his home in Fogagogo, American Samoa.