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Ethnology of Tokelau Islands



The winds are counted and named in 12 points of the compass. Burrows (5) and Lister (14) collected lists of these names in Fakaofu and I collected one at Atafu. The names in these three lists are identical except for the omission of Luata and Tefa by Lister, but their order and arrangement in quarters is different. Burrows' list is probably the correct one. Tefa should undoubtedly precede Sema in the Atafu list. Atafu has two local names which are synonymous with names in the list: tafenga a le malu (a south-southwesterly wind) and taumuliava (west wind or wind which comes from behind the passage in the reef; at Atafu this is on the west side of the village). The lists are arranged in table 5 for comparative study.

Table 5. Wind Names
Atafu List Burrows' List Lister's List
N. Tokelau N. Tokelau N. Tokelau
  Fakalua   Fakalua   Pakalua
  Luatu   Luatu
E. Tonga E. Tonga E. Tonga
  Sulu   Sulu   Sulu
  Sema   Tefa
S. Tefa S. Sema S. Sema
  Lafalafa   Lafalafa   Lafalafa
W. Laki   Lakalua   Lakilua
  Lakilua W. Laki   Fakatiu
  Fakatiu   Fakatiu W. Laki
  Palapu   Palapu   Palapu