A collection of Fa’alupega (chiefly titles) – Le vaiaso o le gagana Sāmoa (Samoan language week)

FE012543; O le Tusi FAALUPEGA o Samoa; 1981; Malua Printing Press; printing paper; Samoa Islands

FE012543; O le Tusi FAALUPEGA o Samoa; 1981; Gift of Safua Akeli, 2010; Te Papa

To celebrate le vaiaso o le gagana Samoa (Samoan language week) 26-31 May 2013, the Pacific Cultures curators are highlighting stories related to cultural treasures from Sämoa.

Fa’alupega or the naming of chiefly titles is a fundamental part of Samoan culture and custom, as it connects individuals and families to land and origins of their past. This book O le tusi fa’alupega o Samoa was adapted from the work of Misi Kirifi Le Mamea, Te’o Tuvale, T. E. Faletoese, F. F. A. and Kirisome, F. L. with the first edition published in 1915. It includes key titles from Upolu, Savai’i, Apolima and Manono. This knowledge is usually acquired over time by matai (chief) and are recalled and acknowledged in speeches during special ceremonies and events.

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The London Missionary Society established the Malua Theological College in Samoa in 1844, and along with the school, the Malua Printing Press which published the bible and written work like this book. In the introduction Harry Strong Griffin, supervisor of the press at the time, highlights the text as a “to’oto’o i le ua vaivai” – a help to those who are weak.

This book represents an important collection and moment in Samoa’s history, where indigenous Samoans collated the oratorical recollection of titles in written form. This was the first of its kind, as previous publications of fa’alupega were published through the work of foreigners.

This edition was published in 1981. Previously it belonged to Reverend Ioane Akeli, a catechist working for the Catholic Mission in Sāmoa. It was brought to New Zealand by his son Suluape Visesio Akeli when he migrated with his family to Wellington in the 1980s.

13 Responses

  1. nanai(suli o ulumasui le alo o tagaloaipata.)

    I was born in falelatai. O faalupega sao nei o pata. Afio Taiivao na aifilofilo. Alalatai galuefa ma ona nofo ituaiga ma le tagata o le vavau. Ma le mamalu ia te oe falelatai. oi latou nei e faasino iai galuefa. O Tologata, Tuisaua, Toomaga, Lefauaitu. E faasino le tagata o le vavau ia Vaatuitui..ma lou faaaloalo tele faafetai.

    Reply
  2. Tologatā

    Afifio Le falefitu o Le aiga Taua’ana Ma la outou Tama. Afio mai Fasavalu Ma Le aiga Sa Fasavalu. Susu mai Lou tapaau o Le tagaloa. Maliu mai Galu e Fa, Ma Salogo Le tula o Sa Fasavalu. Maliu mai Le tagata o Le Vavau, Ma Le aifilofilo, Le matua o aiga, Ma Le susuga a Taiivao – Alaalatai Le mamalu ia te oe Falelatai.

    From what I know

    Reply
  3. FIL

    O Pata o le nuu o Tulafale ma o le malaefono foi lea o Faletai. o le aiga Tauaana e puipui e ona tootoo e fa poo faleupolu taua e 4 poo aiga foi e 4 (Galu e Fa) e faasino lea i ona tootoo poo aiga e i ai le Fiu, Tologata, Toomaga, Lefauaitu…O le Vaatuitui e le o se galue ae o le tagata o le vavau..o lona uiga o le tagata e leai sona amataga poo sona gataaga i le afioaga. E afua lea faalagiga ona o le tagata na malaga mai le vasa ae ua lutia o ia i peau ona tu’ia lea o lona vaa i gatai o Falelatai. Agalelei lea i ai o le afioaga ma ave i gauta ma nofo ai. Mulimulia ane alu atu le umaga a Leulumoega e amia Latai ma Seela (afuaga o Falelatai ma Faleseela) e toe omai e faufau le malo o Tumua, ae tau atu le umaga e leai se tootoo na latou talia maia le umaga ae maua atu na o le tagata lenei na tuia lona vaa, ona tali lea e tagata mai le vasa lenei poo le tagata lenei e leiloa poo fea lona afuaga le umaga a Leulumoega. Fai mai na fesili foi i ai le umaga i le tagata lea na tuia lona vaa poo ai ia ae tali, o ia o le tagata malaga e sau mai le vasa o le tagata o le Tagaloa ae ua tuia lona vaa ona aumaia lea i uta ma noso ai. ona maua lea o lona faalagiga e faafetaia ai lona talia lelei o le savali poo le umaga a Leulumoega ma faapea ane o le a faalagi oe “o oe o le Vaatuitui poo le tagata o le Vavau” ona o lou talia lelei o le umaga a Leulumoega. E pine lea mau i leai o se afuaga o le tagata lenei i lauelelele. Ona pau lea o le tagata i le afioaga o Falelatai e leai sona eleele moni ona o le tagata o le vavau. E faitau fia eka le tele o fanua o suafa faasino o Falelatai sei vagana ai lava le tagata lenei. E leai foi sona saotamaitai (pe afai o ia o se Alii). ma nisi o pine e afua ona faamautu, o le Vaatuitui o le tagata lava o le vavau. A e fia malamalama atili tagai ane i le Faamasinoga a Lefauaitu Peapea vs Vaatuitui (le finauga o le pule o le suafa Lefauaitu pe tagai foi le finauga o le fanua i Leonesa i Pata lava i Falelatai)

    Reply
    • Ruta

      Can you please explain how Toomaga family is part of the family of Galu e Fa? Toomaga name originates from the parents of Latai and Se’ela (O le Laulua a Too ma Maga). Too and Maga were from Fiji. They were the first people to settle in this area and the villages are named after their sons Falelatai and Falese’ela. Does Tagata o le Vavau not mean People of the the Land?

      Latai had no ties to the royal bloodline, so his descendants were referred to as Tagata o le vavau. My father holds both the Tonumaivao title which is referred to in the Fa’alupega as “Le paia I le Tauaana ma le latou Tama” Tonumaivao was the father of the Falefitu. Falefitu is made up of his sons who are referred to as “le ati o Tangaloa” . He also holds Toomaga title (Latai – Tagata o le vavau).

      I have heard him refer to the Galu e Fa as the 4 families that were cast away from somewhere in Savai’i and landed on the shores of Falelatai (sorry he has more details on this story which I will ask him about – I should try to pay more attention).

      Look forward to hearing your feedback. It is very interesting to learn of my ancestory and being able to pass it to my family. Thank you.

    • Sean Mallon

      Thank you Ruta for reading and commenting on this blogpost. Unfortunately, I am unable to expand on what you have written here as detail about the histories of these families and titles are outside my knowledge.and sharing a small part of your family history. Thank you for sharing a small part of your family history with us. Your comments and questions are a useful reminder that published collections of fa’alupega are only partial records of the histories of important chiefly families in Samoa…the oral record is also very important. I hope that FIL will be able to assist you further. Fa’afetai tele lava mo le fesili…

    • jason

      Thank you for making me understand this. O long yoga o vaatuitui e le o se galuega?

    • jason

      Thank you for making me understand.

  4. apete

    Are you able to help please with the identification of “Galu e Fa”?
    and how or why “Tagata o le Vavau” was given to Vaatuitui of Falelatai?

    Reply
  5. apete

    I am interested to know the origins of “Galu e Fa” and “Tagata o le Vavau” in the Faalupega of Falelatai?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  6. Bode Amilale Uale

    I am interested in obtaining the Faalupega for the village of Falelatai. I am the grandson of Pita Anae who was born in Falelatai and immigrated to Hawaii.
    Faafetai mole fesoasoani mai.

    Reply
    • tepapamuseum

      Talofa lava Bode,

      Thank you for visiting our blog. I’ve included a link to a copy of the book which has been digitised by the National Library of Australia: http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/cdview/?pi=nla.gen-vn6180833-s54-v
      See pages 52-53 which reference Falelatai village. I hope this will be of some help for you.

      Warmest regards
      Safua

    • Vai ole Tuna

      Le paia I le tauaana ma le latou Tama
      Galu e fa ma le Tula o salogo.
      Falefitu o le atu Tagaloa ma vae o le nofoafia,
      Ma upu ia Falelatai”
      Short n sweet, ho

    • Vai ole Tuna

      Le paia I le tauaana ma le latou Tama
      Galu e fa ma le Tula o salogo.
      Falefitu o le atu Tagaloa ma vae o le nofoafia,
      Ma upu ia Falelatai”
      Short n sweet, hope that helps. There’s is a longer version if you want to collate all the corners of the district”
      Manuia le aso

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