Celebrating Samoan Language Week 2012

Sunday 27 May to Saturday 2 June 2012.

Over the next week the Pacific Cultures team will be blogging about collection items from  Sämoa that relate to the theme of this years  Sämoan Language week  “O le Vāfealoa’i” “Strong and Respectful Relationships”.

According to the Human Rights Commission website “Samoan Language Week was first promoted by Radio Niu FM as part of a series of Pacific language weeks leading up to Māori Language Week. Since 2007 it has been promoted in schools by the Association for the Teaching of Samoa in Aotearoa, FAGASA Inc , Faalapotopotonga mo le Aoaoina o le Gagana Samoa i Aotearoa.”  Sämoan language week is now celebrated in New Zealand, Australia, USA and in  Sämoan communities across the world.

Language is a key element of culture and helps us give meaning to things we use and create in everyday life – from artworks to costume to performance and song. Keep an eye on the Te Papa blog over the next seven days, for measina a Sämoa (cultural treasures of Sämoa).

This type of necklace is called an ‘ulafala. It is most often worn by Samoan tulafale (orator chiefs). In the context of oratory performances, ‘ulafala are important markers of social status. In other social and ceremonial situations they can help identify a special guest or simply act as an attractive adornment. ‘Ulafala are made from segments of the pandanus fruit described by botantists as carpels, phalanges, or keys. The colour of the fruit spans a range from yellow through to orange and red when ripe. Red is a colour associated with high rank. This ‘ulafala has been painted bright red, making it difficult to miss at any ceremony or function.

To read more about ‘ula fala go here http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/objectdetails.aspx?oid=222948&term=ula+fala

One Response

  1. Tania Chapman

    awesome, im looking for ideas and activities to include in my classroom for our week of activities to help celebrate samaon langauge week. Any ideas please?

    Reply

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