Samoan Language Week 5 Minute Quiz

Talofa lava!

This week is Samoan Language Week and the theme this year is ‘Tautua Nei Mo Sou Manuia a Taeao: Serve now for a better tomorrow’. Much of our work here at Te Papa is underpinned by this theme. We strive to develop collections of cultural artefacts that reflect our communities of the past, present and future.

Te Papa’s Pacific Cultures collections have over 2000 items associated with Samoa, from tuiga (headdresses) to kilikiti pate (cricket bats). This week we will be sharing some of our Samoan cultural treasures with you through Facebook and Instagram so make sure to follow us.

To celebrate Samoan Language Week this year we have brought back our five minute quiz and have selected some great examples from our collection to test your knowledge of Samoa.

Have fun and make sure to share the quiz with your friends!


Good luck!

7 Responses

  1. Piu Tapu

    In regards to the quiz, the second question doesn’t provide the answer or the correct answer. O le tali sa’o o Fiti Uta i Manu’a.

    • Sean Mallon

      Fa’afetai tele lava Piu for taking the quiz and for sharing your comments.The point you make is important. For purposes of the quiz, and as we state in the answer, we relied on “oral history recorded in the 1800s..” meaning published and now well-known sources. Many Samoans will aware of at least one version of the song or several versions of the tattooing origin story. In an article I published in 2007, I acknowledged the existence of the Fitiuta tradition (which was shared with me in a conversation) but I am not aware of a published version. However, your point reminds us that oral history can be contested, recorded incorrectly or misinterpreted, which was why we kept our details of the tattoo origin story as short as possible. I would certainly not dispute your claim regarding Futiuta i Manu’a, It is highly likely that Fiti (in Manu’a) was possibly confused in the past with Fiji (the archipelago). I am happy to include an amendment to the answer that acknowledges Fiti Uta i Manu’a and other versions of the story. Many thanks again for your contribution.
      (Sean Mallon – Senior Curator Pacific Cultures)

  2. Vaaiga Autagavaia

    The answer to the question about the origin of the tatau is alternatively believed to be from Fitiuta in Manua – rather than the more literal interpretation of the lyrics of the song and therefore the belief that it originated in Fiji. So I’ve heard anyway! 🙂

    • Sean Mallon

      Thank you Va’aiga for taking the quiz and posting a comment. It’s a n important point you raise and much appreciated. I have replied in another post (see Piu Tapu) about Fitiuta being the place of origin for Samoan tattooing. It’s only a short reply but may be the subject of a future blogpost. Watch this space and thanks again

  3. Agnes

    this was great I have learn something new about Samoa

  4. Vaitoa Mallon

    Im only twelve years old, I am a great grandson of the late Afoa Mauga. I enjoyed this quiz.

  5. Kawika

    OMG, need to brush up on some Samoan history!


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