Ethnology of Tokelau Islands
This study of the ethnology of the Tokelau Islands is based on information collected during a two months' visit to Atafu Island from October 4 to December 10, 1932. On the voyage to Atafu the three other atolls of the group were visited for two or three days each, which allowed time only to inspect the villages, photograph, and gather lists of place names and genealogies of the high chiefs. Most of the information on the history and ancient culture of the islands was obtained from Mika, an elderly native in Atafu, whose knowledge of the past was considered greater than that of any person in the islands. Mika was a young boy when the first missionaries came to the island in 1859, and lived during the years when the last double canoes sailed back and forth to Samoa, and the old gods lived in the Tokelau world. The information that he imparted is drawn from a first-hand knowledge of the ancient Tokelau culture before it was changed by Europeans. Whatever value this book has as a record of the ancient Tokelau life and folklore is due to Mika's interest in my work and his willingness to relate all that he knew.
I wish especially to thank the following for their invaluable assistance: Nikotemo, the native government head who offered much additional information not given by Mika and clarified many points by discussing them with the elders of the village in council; Longolongo, the native medical practitioner who served each day as interpreter outside his hours at the hospital; the Samoan pastor, Timoteo, and his wife, Viola, in whose home I stayed during my entire visit; the young people of their home who took care of my personal needs; and the entire community who were always interested and ready to help in the work, and particularly those who presented the many native articles, no longer in use, for exhibition in Bernice P. Bishop Museum.
The material gathered has been supplemented from the few accounts which have been written by earlier visitors to the islands. I am particularly indebted to Dr. Andrew Thomson of Toronto, Canada, who generously put his unpublished notes made at Atafu at my disposal, and to Mr. Edwin H. Bryan, Jr., Curator of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, for the use of his field notes of Fakaofu Island, taken on the Whitney South Sea Expedition, and to the members of the staff of the Museum for their helpful suggestions page 4 and comments. To Dr. Alfred Tozzer of the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University and Dr. E. Craighill Handy of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, I wish to acknowledge my especial gratitude for the thoughtful guidance and invaluable suggestions they gave during the preparation of this study for a thesis in ethnology at Harvard University.
Much of the Tokelau culture is identical with that of Samoa and in gathering field data, I found “Samoan material culture” by Te Rangi Hiroa (28)1 an invaluable aid in checking and comparing data as well as a short cut to recording identical techniques. Dr. Hiroa's work has become a standard of exact description and terminology for the material culture of western Polynesia, and I acknowledge with deep appreciation the labor and time devoted to this work and the time it has saved me in this field. I have borrowed freely from parts of his work where I checked identical articles and methods in the Tokelau culture instead of making full notes, and have referred to his writing when detailed restatement of his descriptions seemed superfluous.
1 Numbers in parentheses refer to Literature Cited, p. 179.
Position in Polynesia
The Tokelau Islands lie in the northwest corner of Polynesia on the border between this culture area and Micronesia. Together with the Ellice Islands, they form stepping stones between the Gilbert Islands of Micronesia and Samoa, the great group of northwestern Polynesia. (See fig. 1.) Therefore they are interesting for the possibilities of revealing remnants of the cul- page 5 ture of peoples moving through them. The Tokelau Islands are situated east of the main line of migration but, with the Phoenix Islands to the north, form a second route beginning east of the Gilbert Islands and running directly south to Samoa. The southerly direction of current and wind in the summer is favorable, though dangerous, to such migrations passing through the Tokelau Islands.
The prevailing southeasterly winds during the winter months are favorable for western migrations. The Tokelau Islands lie to the windward of the northern Cook Islands and may have been discovered and influenced by drift voyagers from these islands of central Polynesia. Many place names in Tokelau, such as Rapa and Pukapuka, suggest such eastern influence.
The Tokelau or Union Islands comprise four reef-surrounded atolls lying on a general northwest-southeast line, between lat. 8° and 11° S. and long. 171° and 173° W. They are due north of Samoa and east of the Ellice Islands. The four islands are: Olosenga, or Swain's Island, once known as Quiros' Island; Fakaofu, or Bowditch Island; Nukunono, or Duke of Clarence Island; and Atafu, or Duke of York Island.
Fakaofu is composed of about 60 small islets which form a triangle 7.5 miles long and 5.5 miles wide. It lies in lat. 9° 23′ S. and long. 171° 14′ W. The islets are connected by a reef which is awash at high tide. The average elevation is 10 feet, the highest points being on the north and south islets and the most continuous land on the east.
The village is on the western side of the island due to the location of the canoe passage and water wells and is protected from the full force of the trade winds and the heavy seas (fig. 2). The islet is small and can hardly support its present population of 500 persons. Forced in the past to live in one village for self-protection and to keep control of the food supply, the entire population has been able to confine itself to the small area only by extending the floor of the island over the lagoon. Originally walls were built up along the lagoon front to protect the houses from high waves blown up on the lagoon and to construct toilets over the water. Gradually these walls have been pushed farther into the lagoon and the area behind them filled in with loose coral and rubbish. In this way the whole floor of the islet has been widened. On the sea front, walls have been built up to a height of 10 to 20 feet (pl. 10, C), but, except in the case of the landing, these have been constructed back from the original shoreline rather than beyond it.page 6
Figure 2.—Map of Fakaofu. Numbers refer to place names as follows:
2. (Te) Afua (islet)
3. Afua Taulua (islet)
7. Kokoloa (land division)
8. Matafangilasi (land division)
9. Onemangu (land division)
10. Otoka (land division)
11. Vinil (islet)
12. Avaono (islet)
13. Talapeka (islet)
15. Tufafau (end section of island)
16. Savaea (land division)
17. Lalovaoa (land division)
18. Te One (land division)
19. Angasala (land division)
22. Pukaea (land division)
23. Langilau (land division)
24. Onepoto (land division)
25. Te Maile (land division)
26. Matangi (lower division of island)
27. Fenua tapu (village land)
28. Palea (islet)
29. Olokalanga (islet)
30. Ofuna (islet)
32. Seketai (islet)
33. Motuloa (islet)
34. Motu Akea (islet)
35. Niue (islet)
36. Motu iti (islet)
37. Fungalei (islet)
38. Manuafe (islet)
39. Otafi (cluster of four small islets)
40. Otafi Loa (islet of this cluster)
41. Motu Ngangie (two islets)
42. Nukuseseke (two islets)
44. Nukumasanga-iti (tiny islet)
45. Teoki (islet)
46. Pangai (islet)
47. Matakitonga (islet)
48. Vaiasa (islet, given as Tokikimoa on Samoan chart)
49. Falatutasi (islet)
50. Rapa (islet)
51. Te Sungalu (islet)
52. Longotaua (islet, given as Longatana on charts)
53. Motu Turatura (islet, modern name Ta-te-mola)
54. Patamo (islet)
55. Tafola-elo (islet)
56. Tafola-elo (islet; 56 and 55 probably one islet)
57. Tokikimoa (point on Tafola-elo)
58. Otano (islet)
59. Motu Ngangie (islet)
60. Akengamutu (land division)
61. Te Tialau (land division)
62. Te Fakanava (land division)
63. Te Koko (land division)
64. Tangiapasu (land division)
65. Saumatafanga (land division)
66. Motu (islet)
67. Te Kapi o Motu (small islet)
69. Pukava (islet of Sakea group)
71. Kauafua (group of five islets)
72. Kauafua-o-tanifa (islet of Kauafua)
73. Kauafua-uli (islet of Kauafua)
74. Kauafua-o-sumu (islet of Kauafua)
75. Nukulakia (islet)
76. Te Papaloa (islet)
77. Kauafua (two projections of bare coral above water; this name applies to any such “rocks”)
78. Tukumatini (islet)
79. Motu Ngangie (islet)
80. Patalinga (islet)
81. Toliaoso (islet)
82. Nukumatau (islet)
Fenua fala, shown as an islet on old maps, is not at present existent. Mulifenua is a point of land at the end of the northern island. Te Fakanava is the name of northern land sections of the long island. The islets from Mulifenua to Angasala are called Lalo. Kongaloto refers to four land sections adjoining Te Fakanava. Sakea is a group of five islets. The southeast end of Fakaofu, the islet on which the village is situated, is called Tealavaka, the northeast end, Sauma.
Nukunono or Nukunonu lies 60 miles northwest of Fakaofu. Its position is given as lat. 9° 10′ S. and long. 171° 53′ 30″ W., but local ship captains say that this position is from 14 to 16 miles too far east, and they make a correction accordingly when laying a course for the island.
Nukunono is the largest island in the group, being 24 miles in circumference and 1,350 acres in area. The longest land mass stretches along the eastern reef. The northern reef is bare and awash. A few islets are sprinkled across the southern side of the reef. The village is on a large islet along the southwest coast (fig. 3). There is no anchorage or passage through the reef to the village, but the sea is protected here and jumping the reef is not very dangerous. Formerly there was a passage through to the lagoon, but it was filled in during a hurricane. In 1914 another hurricane made a deep cut through the southern end of the islet and created the present small islet, Motusanga, south of the village islet. Due to the lack of an adequate water supply, the population has always been relatively small. In 1925 it numbered 229.
The names of the islets and land holdings on the accompanying map (fig. 3) are those given by a native informant. The number of names of islets does not correspond with the number of islets given on existing maps. Sixty of the names given are land divisions on the long eastern island. There is some doubt as to whether Saumangalu and Niututalu are the names of islands or the first two holdings on the long island.
Atafu, composed of 42 islets, lies in lat. 8° 33′ 30″ S. and long. 172° 30′ W. (fig. 4). It is the smallest atoll in the group, extending 3 miles north and south and 2.5 miles east and west, and having a land area of 550 acres. The highest land of Atafu is 15 feet above sea level. The present population is 380.
Atahu or Atahumea was the ancient name given the atoll by its earliest inhabitants. However, it is not possible, with present knowledge, to connect Atafu with Atahumea, which appears in the earliest Samoan legends (27).
Figure 3.—Map of Nukunono. Numbers refer to place names as follows:
1. Talikilangi (old malae, site of present Catholic Church)
2. La vaka (land between church and cemetery, formerly a canoe passage to lagoon until filled by tidal wave)
3. Asulu (site of present cemetery, and land beyond)
7. Mulifanua (piece of land and tip of island)
8. Te Kamu (islet)
10. Te Fakanavataulotu (islet)
11. Vini (islet)
16. Avakilikili (islet)
17. Nuialemo (islet)
18. Te Palaoa (islet)
19. Laulauia (islet)
20. Saumangalu (islet, name means “the coming of waves”)
22. Lalosumu (northern end of island, land division)
81. Matautu (land division and end of island)
83. Motufala (islet)
84. Motuakea (islet)
85. Manuisi (islet)
86. Tui Masanga (islet)
87. Fatingausu (islet)
88. Ahua (islet)
90. Motusanga (southern end of village island)
91. Sulu-o-kafa (land division in village)
92. Tafata (division in village Talikilangi)
The following names which appear on the map of the Government Report were not in the list given me at Nukunono: Falafala (another name for Natoli?), Atukavakava (general name for the group of islets from Avakiliki to Niututahi?), Lalo (north division of the long eastern island), Mataulanga (central division of the long eastern island), Vaitupu (southern division of the long eastern island), Nasapiti (name for Motuakea and Manuisi), Teguatautafa (name for Te Ahua), A'ai (Samoan word, probably a name given for Motosanga after the hurricane).
Figure 4.—Map of Atafu. Numbers refer to place names as follows:
3. Te Oki
5. Te Kokoloa
6. Land division
8. Te Sepu
10a. Tatapiu (small division separating Laualalava into two pieces)
12. Te Kapi
13. Te Laulasi (land division, land on sea side)
13a. Te Tipi (land division, land on lagoon side)
14. Moutoki vaealua
15. Te Fue
22. Part of Na Utua called Avainia
23. Na Utua
32. Te Olopuka (land division, end of long island)
33. Motufakalalo (two islets)
34. Sakea o Asafo (first of several islets known together as Sakea)
36. Sakea o Lupo
37. Sakea Lahi
40. Sakea o Simi
42. Motu te niu
46. Te Motu o Tenumi
49. Te Fakaolu-o-fafine
50. Motu-ite Lakia
54. Te Malo o Futa
55. Motu-ite Fala
57. Motu o Veku
58. Kauafua to Vake
60. Sotoma (“Sodom”)
61. Komoro (“Gomorrah”)
62. Sakea o Kaleopa
64. Motu Ateakiaki
66. Motu Ngangie
68. Kauafua o Laua
69. Te Puka
71. Tulua o Tiu
74. Kauafua o Folasanga
75. Hanuia i te Tonuia (rocks)
The land was raised at one time so that the atoll formed an unbroken ring enclosing the lagoon. This became landlocked, and the water is now not too brackish for animals to drink. The greatest elevation of the island is about 20 feet. It has good soil and supports a far better vegetation and gardens than are to be found on the northern atolls.
The reef completely surrounds the island and has no opening for the passage of canoes. On the western side, where the reef is narrower, a passage has been blasted out to allow whale boats to enter to transport copra. Opposite this passage is the storage shed for copra, the small village of native laborers' houses, and a church. A road goes from this settlement around the island. Along the western shore of the lagoon are deep pits bordered by mounds 8 to 10 feet high, the taro beds of the former population. These are unused today. Their depth and extent imply a population of several hundred people, at least, and a residence on the island for many generations.
Winds and Currents
The Tokelau Islands are cooled by the southeasterly trades for more than half the year and are consequently comfortable for living in spite of their nearness to the equator. Because of the prevailing wind direction, the villages are built on the eastern shore of western islets of the atolls. The change in winds divides the year into two seasons, the winter months of the southeasterly trade winds and the summer months of variable northerly winds and calms, when the sun becomes blistering hot.
The ocean currents about these islands change with the seasonal winds. During the trade wind season, the set of the current is from east to west, with a drift ranging from 0–20 miles per hour. In the middle of summer the current changes, descends from the north, and runs parallel to the general northwest-southeast line of the islands. It turns east below Fakaofu and finally sets to the east and northeast (33).
The rainfall in the Tokelau Islands comes mainly from daily showers during the trade wind season and an occasional downpour. The record of rainfall for 9 months in one year, October to July, was 134 inches (24). The rain was very irregular, however, and fell mostly at the end of the period. From the end of November to the end of February the rainfall is less and periods of drought often set in.page 11
Fakaofu has several wells and a modern cistern of 11,150 gallons capacity, filled from the catchment area of the roof of the Protestant Church. Nukunono has one poor well. Atafu has three wells but only one is available to the village. This well water is slightly brackish and not extremely clean. During the dry months wells frequently dry up and the natives must rely upon coconuts to drink. Before modern cisterns were built, the natives hollowed out the lower part of the trunks of coconut trees, leaving the opening on the under side of the trunk so that the rain streaming down the trunk could be collected in a place unexposed to the sun. From these meager supplies the natives drew their drinking water. When all supplies failed over a long period without rain, the natives were forced to abandon their homes.
The islets are entirely covered with sand and coral piled 8 to 10 feet above the water. The loose rubble allows all the rain to drain through immediately without collecting, except in rare instances, carrying with it all decaying vegetable matter from which soil might be formed. Since few plants can exist in sand and coral alone, the flora has little variety and agriculture is almost impossible.
The following table gives a complete list of the vegetation of Tokelau. Scientific names are given from specimens, many of which were collected by E. H. Bryan, Jr.
Table of Botanical Specimens
Ateate (Fleurya ruderalis?, Wedelia biflora)
Esi (Carica papaya)
Fatae (Cassytha filiformis)
Fai (Musa paradisiaca?)
Fui (Ipomoea grandiflora)
Kanava (Cordia subcordata)
Katuli (Portulaca quadrifida)
Kiekie (Pandanus, Freycinetia)
Laumea (bird's-nest fern?)
Lautamatama (Achyranthes velutina)
Maile (Polypodium nigrescens?)
Maile kimoa (Nephrolepis hirsutula)
Masoa (Tacca pinnatifida)
Mati (Ficus tinctoria)
Milo (Thespesia populnea)
Mumuta (Cyperus rotundus)
Mutia (Fimbristylis cymosa var. microcephala)
Nase (Eleusine indica)
Nasevau (Procris pedunculata)
Ngangie (Pemphis acidula)
Ngasu (Scaevola frutescens)
Nguna (Lepidium bidentoides)
Niu (coconut, Cocos nucifera)
Nonu (Morinda citrifolia)
Polo (Solanum viride)
Puapua (Guettarda speciosa)
Puka, pukavaka (Hernandia ovigera)
Pukavai (Pisonia grandis)
Pulaka (Cyrtosperma chamissonis)
Taamu (Alocasia macrorrhiza)
Talo (taro, Colocasia esculentum)
Tiale (Gardenia taitensis)
Totolo, tolotolo (Triumfetta procumbens)
Vao (grass, in general)
Vao tuitui (Cenchrus echinatus)
According to existing traditions the Tokelau Islands have been populated by two groups of people. The earlier people appear to have lived only on Atafu, Nukunono, and Olosenga Islands. All of this group, except a small number at Nukunono, were driven from their islands by a people who settled at Fakaofu. This later people conquered the entire group over a long period of years and absorbed the remnant group of earlier people of Nukunono.
Only the briefest recollection and tradition remains concerning the earlier population. They are believed by the present natives to have been a larger and taller people than themselves, but to have possessed a similar culture and language. The names of the earlier people and places are familiar Polynesian words: Malaelua, Lehotu, Atahumea (their name for Atafu), Pipi, Hekei, Maho, Nonu, and Letele. A surviving legend of the early people states that the first human couple were named Pipi, a man, and Hekei, a woman, who lived at Nukunono. The first high chief of this island was Talahao, whose name became the title of all the high chiefs who succeeded him.
The early people who lived on Olosenga were seen by the Spaniards who came upon the island in 1606. In the four accounts (23) written of the visit, repeated references are made to the light colored skin and red hair of many of the natives. Quiros (23) describes a young boy in detail:
Five natives came in a canoe, the middle one vigorously bailing the water out of the vessel. His red hair came down to the waist. He was white as regards color, beautifully shaped, the face aquiline and handsome, rather freckled and rosy, the eyes black and gracious, the forehead and eyebrows good, the nose, mouth, and lips well-proportioned with the teeth well-ordered and white.
A group of soldiers sent through the island to discover water came upon a woman and several children hiding in the bush. The woman appeared (23, p. 214) “graceful and sprightly, with neck and bosom and waist well formed, hair very red, long, and loose. She was extremely beautiful and pleasant to look upon, in color very white …” Quiros also speaks of a boy who came to them, who was “so beautiful and with such golden hair that to see him was as good as to see a painted angel.” Torquemada (23, p. 428), who received a first-hand account of the trip, writes, “They [the natives] were very white, more especially the women who, if properly dressed, would have advantages over the Spanish ladies.” Quiros (23, p. 215) speaks of “tresses of very golden hair, and delicately, finely woven bands, some black, others red and grey” which were found in the houses and give evidence of a number of people with red and golden hair.
Quiros (23, pp. 215–16) also writes his observations of the life and culture of this strange people:page 13
In the houses of the natives a great quantity of soft and very fine mats were found, and others larger and coarser. Fine cords strong and soft, which seemed of better flax than ours, and many mother-o'-pearl shells, one as large as an ordinary plate. Of these and other small shells they made, as were seen and collected here, knives, saws, chisels, punches, gouges, gimlets and fishhooks. Needles to sew their clothes and sails are made of the bones of some animals, also the adzes with which they dress timber. They found many dried oysters strung together and in some for eating there were small pearls. Certain white hairs were seen, which appeared to be those of an animal.
The land is divided among many owners and is planted with certain roots, which must form their bread1. All the rest [of the island] is a large and thick palm grove, which is the chief sustenance of the natives. Of the wood and leaves they build and roof the houses, which are of four vertientes (the sloping sides of the roof), curiously and cleanly worked, each with a roof open behind, and all the floors covered and lined with mats, also made of palms; and of the more tender shoots they weave fine cloths, with which the men cover their loins, and the women their whole bodies.
The women wore fringed mat skirts and wound coconut leaves around their necks, leaving the tips hanging over their breasts. The men wore plaited mat breechcloths.
On the beach were double canoes, some 60 feet long, held together by poles lashed to the hulls. The canoes were decked and had lateen sails made of mats. Quiros estimated they would hold 50 persons.
The natives carried small weapons and thick lances, with points hardened in fire. They were adept in quarter-staff fighting, for one native parried the blows of a dozen or more Spaniards with a single stick and held them off for a good length of time until more men came and beat him to the ground.
The Spaniards found the natives possessed small dogs.
Between the time of Quiros' discovery of the island and the next reported visit by Europeans to the island in 1841, this population of Olosenga disappeared. The descendants of the second people of the islands, who came first to Fakaofu, now inhabit all the Tokelau islands (on Olosenga only as plantation laborers), and it is with their history and culture that the remainder of this study deals.
1 Abandoned taro pits excavated around the shore of the landlocked lagoon are to be seen on the island today. Olosenga alone bears evidence of the cultivation of taro in the Tokelau group in pre-European times.
The Tokelau alphabet contains five vowel sounds, a, e, i, o, and u, and the twelve consonant sounds, f, h, k, l, m, n, ng, p, s, t, v, and wh. Hale (11) adds w, but it is no longer heard in the present-day speech. The relation of this alphabet to those of other Polynesian dialects is shown in the accompanying table adapted from Hiroa (29). The dialect uses interchangeably the consonants h and s, f and wh (a sound intermediate between h and f), and formerly used v and w.page 14
There are apparently two dialects in Polynesia, an older one using h and wh, and a later and intrusive one using f and s (30). The presence of these two pairs of consonantal sounds as interchangeable in the Tokelau dialect suggests that the two Polynesian dialects have been brought to these islands, and that one has never entirely supplanted the other. If we take one mode of Tokelau speech which uses h and wh, the closest parallel to it is the Manihiki-Rarotongan dialect, which also has both the v and w. If we replace the h and wh by s and f, the dialect corresponds with that of Vaitupu of the Ellice Islands. (It is this form of the dialect which is more commonly spoken today and which has been used throughout this study in spelling native names and words.) The Tokelau dialect has its closest parallels in one form to an island to the east, and in its other form to an island directly to the west. The dialect of Samoa, geographically the closest, is more divergent from that of the Tokelau Islands than are the dialects of these two islands and also Tonga.
The Polynesian sound wh (as in where) can not be detected in the present-day speech; however it was clear to Hale (11) before the Samoan missionaries and school teachers had influenced the dialect. He writes: “The utterance of the people was very indistinct. The f frequently became a sound like the wh in where, and sometimes, particularly before o and u, a simple h.”
Since Hale's visit there has been a tendency to give an f value to the former wh sound. It is gently breathed with the oral passage closed, and the lower teeth brought near the upper lip, giving a slight fricative sound but not a distinct f and the end of the enunciation of h. That this sound is cognate with the true Polynesian wh seems apparent from a change taking place in the Maori dialect, which is noted by Williams (35) in his dictionary:
Wh represents the voiceless consonant corresponding with w and is produced by emitting the breath sharply between the lips. It is a mistake to assimilate the sound of that of f in English, though it has become fashionable in recent years with some of the younger Maoris.
The pure h, usually strongly aspirated, is interchangeable with s. H often becomes hi or hy before a, o, or u, especially in Atafu dialect. This same peculiarity is also found in the Manihiki dialect. Thus “to come” is rendered hiau instead of hau. The roughly aspirated h sometimes becomes sibilant but with a light stress on the s. Hau and hiau are heard as shau, a variation also recorded by Lamont (29, p. 13), an early visitor at Tongareva.
K is sometimes sounded as g as in higi, hiki, Miga, Mika. Hale heard k sounded like t in some words. Although Samoan is taught in the schools, widely spoken, and read, the Tokelau people never drop their k's.
The l is consistently used, but becomes quite liquid in some words.
The sounds m, n, ng, p, t, and v are always constant in the present-day speech.page 15
The vocabulary of Tokelau resembles that of Samoa very closely, and nearly all the words collected during my stay are in Pratt's “Dictionary of the Samoan language”. However, there are words, such as pahu (sharkskin covered drum) and tuluma (wooden fishing box), which are names of articles not found in Samoa, and a few words such as fano (to go) which have another origin. The definite articles te and ta are not Samoan. Many old songs contain words of which the meaning is now forgotten.
Many place names are identical with names found on neighboring islands. For example, Pangai on Fakaofu is a common name in Tonga, meaning “meeting place”. Rapa is given by Bryan (3) as the name of a small island near Fakaofu although the r is absent in Tokelau speech. (The same island is called Lapa in the Report of the Administrator of Western Samoa.) Vaitupu and Niutao, Pukapuka, and Futuna are names found on Nukunono.
|Sound||Tokelau||Manihiki||Tongareva||Tonga||Samoa||Society Islands||New Zealand (Maori)||Vaitupu (Ellice)|
|H||H(or F,S)||h||h||H||(s or f)||H||H||(s or f)|
Capital letter = present in alphabet.
Small letter = present in speech but not in alphabet.
( ) = sound absent but represented by letter in brackets.
Hamzah ' = sound dropped, but represented by hamzah, is inserted for comparative purposes.
Tongan B, probably modern adoption from Fijian and not an original sound.