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Some Folk-Songs and Myths From Samoa

XIX.—The Kings of Manu'a and Samoa

page 133

XIX.—The Kings of Manu'a and Samoa.

Introduction:—These genealogies are partly mythical, partly historical. The account, for instance, of the progeny of Le-Fatu and Le-‘ele'ele (No. XXII.) is clearly fabulous, but the list of the kings of Manu'a (No. XX.), given, as it is, by Taua-nu'u, the official recorder, is, in the main, reliable; so is also the history of the two ‘Ali'a brothers (No. XIX.), for that is supported by the traditions of the Rarotongans themselves. In any case these genealogical records are worth preserving, as they show us what account the Samoans can give of their own ancestry.

Mr. Powell says, under date Dec. 10, 1870:—Taua-nu'u, legend keeper has given me the following particulars to-day:—

The present Moa-Tui-Manu'a is the thirty-fifth of that name. Taua-nu'u himself, in his boyhood, has seen the immediately preceding Moa, who was not only Tui-Manu'a, but also priest of the gods; about fifty years ago, he was killed in a war with Fiti-uta, an inland village on Taū of Manu'a. His predecessor again was Moa-atoa, ‘the complete Moa’; he lived to a great age, and in his reign there was no war. Some of the early kings also lived to a great age, but most of the more recent reigns were very short; for it was the custom to elect only men of mature age and experience to the office. The first Moa had, added to his name, the epithet ‘ali'a-tama (tama, ‘boy’ ‘ali'a* ‘double-canoe').

The following is the genealogy of Moa-Tui-Manu'a, ‘Moa, king of Manu'a':—

There was at Le-Fagā, in the district of Fiti-uta, a band of spirits dwelling in a cave, Lua-ai-aitu, ‘cave for spirits'; these gave birth alternately to men and spirits. Thus was born a man named Le-Folása, ‘the prophet'; he had a son also named Le- page 134 Folása, whose wife was Sina. By her he had a son called Le-Lo-loga, ‘the flood,’ the great rain.’ This son had several wives, two of whom Puă, the name of a tree, and Auia-luma, ‘going in front,’ came to be with child at the same time (‘o le to-masaga,’ ‘to be both pregnant together in the same family'). When that was known, Le-Folása prophesied that whichever of these children should be born first would have the kingdom (ao, ‘royal title,’ ‘kingly dignity').

O le ā fa'aifo i le lagi Ao;—the Ao is about to come down from the sky
Ai se fafine e luai fanau,—on the woman who shall first bring forth;
E taunu'u i ai Ao. —the Ao shall reach to her.

Puă gave birth to a son in the morning at Le-Fagā, but, before the child could be proclaimed king, a messenger came to call Le-Lologa to Aualuma—a place between Le-malae-o-Sao and Le-Aua'uli—where Auia-luma was in labour. So he hastened away; but, just as he arrived there, he heard the shout of the young men (‘sia-sia a taulelea’), proclaiming the new-born child as king. Le-Lologa immediately exclaimed, ‘The child of haste, not proclaimed with deliberation’ (‘o le tama a le failise, ae le aoa lemu'). Le-Lo-loga made light of the whole affair; he returned to Le-Fagā and reported that the kingly title had already been given (‘ua alaga le tupu, ua e'e,’ ‘the king was shouted; respect was paid’). The children were therefore named ‘O'Ali'a-tama, ‘the younger ‘Ali'a,’ who was Auia-luma's child, and ‘Ali’a-matua, ‘the elder ‘Ali'a,’ Puă's child. The latter was also known as ‘Le tama a le aoa lemu,’ ‘the child of leisurely proclamation.'

The boys grew up and used to stroll about together in the neighbourhood of Aua-luma, the younger being recognized as Tui-Manu'a and wearing the emblem of royalty, the ‘lau-fau’ (lau, ‘leaf,’ fau, ‘the hibiscus tree'),—a head band or turban of white cloth made of the inner bark of the paper mulberry. One day, when they were strolling together, they came to a cocoanut tree at a place called ‘O-le-lu'u. Then ‘Ali'a-matua said to his younger brother, ‘By-and-by, Tui-Manu'a will not have anything to eat (taute, ‘to eat'—a very high chief's word); for I am weak in my feet; I cannot go up the cocoa-nut tree to throw down a nut for page 135 you; what, if you just hang your turban on a tree and go up.’ ‘Very good,’ said he; and, hanging the turban on a branch, he climbed up. No sooner was he up, than the other boy seized the turban and ran to Taū, and shouted out ‘O my dignity! I have got my dignities’ (‘lo'u ao e, ua ‘ou maua ‘ou ao'). Here he remained for some time; at last his grand-father Le-Folása sent for him. He went to Aua-luma but with much dread, and, getting there, he sat down outside the house. The Prophet called him in and told him not to fear, for things had come right according to the prediction that the first-born was to be king.

Le-Folása then ordered him to occupy the one end of the house, while ‘Ali'a-tama was to occupy the other; these were to be their seats of honour and distinction. After having stated that ‘Ali'a-matua had, according to the prediction, a right to be Tui-Manu'a, since he was born before the other, he assigned to them their name and dignity; thus:—

Ia igoa oe ‘Ali'a-matua, ia Le-Afio o Moa;
A o oe ‘Ali'a-tama ia igoa oe, ia Le-Alófi o Moa.
“Be thou named Ali'a-matua, the Presence of Moa;
And be thou named Ali'a-tama, the Circle-of-chiefs of Moa.”

The former was thus declared to be king of Manu'a; and the other to have an inferior position as chief of Fiti-uta. In case of a quarrel arising between them, neither of them was to encroach on the territory of the other, but their battle ground should be Le-Ava-tele, which is on this side of Le-Fagā. “If either of them should transgress this injunction, his land as a punishment would be overrun with creeping vines, because that would be a fight between brothers; and he should not get the kingdom”; [i.e., “A si'i atu le taua e Taū, e saua lona lau'ele'ele e le au fue-fue; a si'i mai le taua e Fiti-uta, e saua lona lau'ele'ele e le au fuefue, auā ‘o le tau o le uso. E le maua le malo e se nu'u si'i taua.”]

Since then, there have been many wars between Taū and Fiti-uta, but the land that began the war had continual calamities.

The following explanation of the names in legends XIX.—XXII. about the kings of Manu'a may be given here:—

page 136
  • Tui-Manu'a, ‘king of Manua.’ Tui and tupu both mean a ‘very high chief,’ ‘a king.'
  • Tui-Taū, ‘king of Taū.'
  • Fiti-uta, ‘Fiji-inland'; a village in the little island of Taū.
  • Le-fagā, ‘the Bay,’ in Taū.
  • Le-Folása, ‘the prophet.’
  • Moa-atoa, ‘the complete Moa.'
  • ‘Ali'a-tama, ‘the younger ‘Ali'a’ (double-canoe).
  • ‘Ali'a-matua, ‘the elder ‘Ali'a’ (double-canoe).
  • Lua-ai-aitu, ‘cave for spirits.’
  • Sina, ‘white.'
  • Le-lologa, ‘the great rain.’
  • Auia-luma, ‘going-in-front.'
  • To-masaga, ‘both pregnant’ (masaga, ‘twins').
  • Puă, the name of a tree.
  • Auā-luma, ‘the front cave'—a place.
  • Le-malae-o-sao, ‘the forum of the principal chiefs.'
  • Auā'uli, ‘the dark cave,'—a place.
  • Lau-fau, ‘leaf of the fau’ or ‘hibiscus’ tree.
  • O-le-Lu'u, ‘shaking,'—probably a place.
  • Afio, ‘Presence,’ a little of very high dignity.
  • Alofi, ‘Circle-of-chiefs,’ a little of less dignity.
  • Le-ava-tele, ‘the great boat-opening’ in the reef.
  • Tufu-lě-Mata-afa, i.e., Tufu of the family of Mata afa.
  • Seuēa, ‘a native of Wallace Island.’
  • Fau-tau-sala, ‘punished both together.'
  • La-tā-nonoa, ‘the bands of us two.'
  • Lata-soa'a, ‘near mountain plantain,'—a proper name.
  • Futi, ‘pluck out,'—name of a man or woman.
  • Ua-lē-galu, ‘where the serf does not break,'—a place.
  • Tutuíla, one of the islands of the Samoan group.
  • Tui-fe'ai, ‘fierce king.'
  • Gautā-fusi, ‘inland of the marsh,'—a place. The marsh lands for taro were generally near the shore.
  • Fola-le-lā, ‘spreading out the sun,'—a man's name.page 137
  • Tui-tele, ‘great king.'
  • Leone, a district and bay in the island of Tutuila.
  • Saga-polo-tele, a chief on Upólu.
  • Upólu, one of the islands of the Samoan group.
  • Se-atu-mai-nu'u, ‘one bonito from nu'u.'
  • Se-atu-mai-aofa, ‘one bonito from aofa.’
  • Se-atu-mai-fea, ‘one bonito from fea.'
  • Safáta, a district of Tua-masanga, which is the central division of Upólu, on the south side.
  • Vao-o-ali'i, ‘the leg of the chief.’
  • Tagaloa-tua-lafa, ‘Tangaloa-back-flat.'
  • A'ana-vae-ma, ‘A'ana-leg-white.’ A'ana is a district in Upólu.
  • Savai'i, a large island of the Samoan group.
  • Le-ulu-moega is the leading land in A'ana.
  • Tui-A'ana-tama-a-le-lagi, ‘king-of-A'ana, son-of-the-sky.'
  • Vae-toe, ‘leg-again.’
  • Tui-Toga, ‘king of Tonga.'
  • Fa'a-sei-sei, ‘cause to slide along.’
  • Gutu-fagu, ‘mouth of a bottle.'
  • Sala-masina, ‘cut off (punish) the moon.'
  • Tui-one-o-Upólu, ‘king of the sand (shore) of Upólu.'
  • Tau-ili-ili, the name still of a district of Salea-‘ula in Savai'i.
  • Le-tua-masaga, the central division of Upólu, containing many towns and villages.
  • Tui-Atua, ‘king of Atua,’ a district in Upólu.
  • Mata-afa; he is commonly called Tui-Atua, king of Atua,—the eastern division of Upólu.
  • Tau-fau, ‘continually building,'—a man's name.
  • Solo-solo, one of the chief villages of Atua, on a bay on the north side.
  • Sā-Leotā, ‘family of Leota’; there are chiefs of that name.
  • Tupua, ‘an image,’ but not for worship; this is still the name of a great family in Savai'i.
  • Sā-Moe-gā-gogo, ‘family of Moe-ga-gogo’ (‘bed of sea-gull'); a high chief of the Atua division in Upólu.
page 138

* This word corresponds with the Rarotongan kingly title ‘Karika'; it is the same word. Sari'a, whose malae in Manu'a was named Rarotonga, went on a voyage in a double canoe and never returned. This is the Karika referred to in William's “Missionary Enterprises.” The Rarotongans have no s, but, in some instances, the k is substituted for it; e.g., in Samoan, sapo is ‘to catch with the hand,’ in Rarotongan kapo; in Samoan su is ‘Wet,’ in Rarotongan ku; hence Karika is the Samoan Sari'a.—T.P.