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An Account of Samoan History up to 1918

A translation of the first copy of the “Savali” (newspaper in the Samoan language) printed by direction of Dr Solf one time German Administrator of Samoa

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A translation of the first copy of the “Savali” (newspaper in the Samoan language) printed by direction of Dr Solf one time German Administrator of Samoa.

September, 1905.


This journal has been instituted by direction of the Imperial Governor for the purpose of making known in the Samoan Group matters relating to the Government and its activities. For this reason it is named “O le Savali” (messenger or ambassador.) It resemblea “O le Savali” in no much that it will be the means of circulating correct information from the Governor to every town and district. And since are it is without doubt that the people of our Group are in ignorance of different Government measures it is desired that they may be instructed therein that they will be fully conversant with the various laws and activities of their Government. It is the particular purpose of this journal to impart useful and necessary knowledge to the Chiefs and Faipule. In this paper will be printed all laws and instructions issued by the Government and an explanation of the laws and instructions. There will also be printed reports of Court Cases and happenings in Samoa and news from Germany and any other news that will give the Samoans a correct viewpoint on world happenings.

An address by Dr Solf, Imperial Governor.

Today I enter our Council Chamber in which are held constantly the meeting of Chiefs and Orators. I am especially pleased to meet here today the Captain and officers of His Majesty's Ship of War and the Taital Itu and Judges of the different Districts and also the Secretarys who have assisted me in carrying out the duties of the Government.

This address is of the highest importance and let not my words be merely listened to; let my remarks be examined and understood by you all and let my instructions be obeyed by Samoans and foreigners alike in Samoa. My decisions are the result of the past years experiences and are what may be called ordinances for the future. My address may be likened to a breadfruit tree from which a pruning knife has removed the diseased parts leaving the sound wood remaining page 2 untouched.

I will now explain to you this 14th day of August, the plans I propose to put into operation. I have chosen this day to disclose my intentions because this day is completed another year of the eur faaSamoa Government which began on the 14th August 1900. I will briefly explain the foundation of our faaSamoa Government. On the day on which the German flag was hoisted over Samoa - let that day be not forgotten- there existed in Samoa two warring factions, each hating the other fiercely. One of these parties was in the minority and was not able to stand against the stronger party allied to Mataafa. I realised my responsibility and gave much attention to trying to seek a way by which the wish of His Majesty the Kaiser -that Samoa be governed through and by peace and justice- could be brought about.

From March until September I turned the matter over in my mind and tried to discover a plan whereby the Chiefs of Samoa could justly and peacefully govern this country.

You will understand that when I began my work in Samoa I was inexperienced in matters faaSamoa and was indeed an entire stranger. I was compelled to trust entirely to the Chiefs and Orators for assistance. On them alone I trusted, but they schemed and planned against me and nearly succeeded in their attempts to induce me to appoint a certain section of Samoans as the Government of this country. Fortunately I hesitated for I saw that this section would not be acceptable to the whole of Samoa, this class or body called Tumua and Pule who faaSamoa had the direction in Councils of the Country. When I clearly saw the defects in the system of Government by the Tumua and Pule I understood why I had been given the advice “Do not mix oil and water”, which advice meant “Consider only the Tumua and Pule and let not any other class have authority.” I also realised that amongst the Samoans one section were willing to assist and respect me but the other, the Tumua and Pule considered that they were the rulers of Samoa. Do not suppose that I was unacquainted with the crooked methods of the Tmua and Pule. I fully understood their schemes and realised the difficulties that would confront me in frustrating their plans. I did not view the suggestions of the Malietoa and Mataafa parties as being suitable as I had made up my mind to page 3 tolerate nothing but a united Samoa governed by charity and upright-eousness and this was my task. Had I not been so seriously obstructed by the Tumua and Pule from the beginning then no great difficulties would have arisen. I was quite capable of understanding theirr lying propaganda but I did not appreciate the fact that they would hunder the carrying out of ordinances and laws promulgated by me and that they would issued ordinances in my name. After a time the Tumua and Pule adopted an arrogant attitude. Their activities are well known and it is not necessary for me again relate them. They exhibited unfairness to me when they followed the advice of strangers knowing that I was absent from Samoa and these strangers had not the goodwill of the country at heart. They had the effrontry to use my name and to couple to it schemes and instructions by which they hoped to gain their ends. They imposed a tax on the people to gain funds to carry out their schemes and actually collected such money. They had the audacity to break open the Vaimea gaol. I am pleased to be able to state that during visits I have paid to several districts lately I have not been able to find any evidence of approval by the people of the acts of the Tumua and Pule. The Samoans understand that these people are worthy of severe punishment and that they have disgraced the good name of Samoa.

I now will make known to you my decisions regarding the future conduct of affairs in Samoa. I will not refer to Mataafa who will at present retain the position of Ali'i Sill. The decision regarding him from Berlin is not quite clear. My decision regarding the Tumua and Pule is as follows:-

Moefaauo and Lauati were the leaders of the trouble. They will be punished by being banished. Moefaauo will be sent to New Britain. Lauati will remain at Safotulafai for the present. He is not pardoned; his case is merely being further enquired into. I have promised to give further consideration to Lauati as the vice Governor and the Commissioner of Savai'i have spoken favourable of him. Regarding the Tumua and Pule. This body shall cease to have name or place in our Government. Tamasese and Tuimalealiffano will not be exiled. Both have humbly apologised to me and begged that they be allowed to remain in Samoa until such time as their conduct througnout the trouble has been page 4 further investigated. At the expiration or six months I will decide whether they will be pardoned and any such pardon will aepena upon whether they promise to be faithful and obey me in the future. Regarding those Samoans who were responsible for the release of the prisoners from the gaol - Autagavaia-Patau-Gale-Tuliatu; since they committed the offence in obedience to the orders or their superiors at Mulinu'u and through their fear of the Tumua and Pule it is considered their punishment will be sufficient on being dismissed from their positions. A fine of 1000 marks will be inflicted upon then to be paid jointly before the 24th of December this year. With respect to Malaeulu: he has been removed from his position of Pulenu'u and I have exposed his conduct to the great assembly at Faasaleleaga. I think this punishment is heavy enough for the foolish man and no more need be done. Concerning Namalauulu; I had intended to exile him but afterwards I realised that no good purpose would be served by sending him away as he is a man of no account or importance. As his shameful actions have been many he will be confined in gaol for two months and be fined 100 marks.

Such is my judgment concerning the events of last January. I will now speak of the future. It is obvious that it would be useless for me to accept any advice from those who have proved themselves to be a band of law breakers and I now dismiss the whole of the Taimus and Faipule who were appointed to guide me in matters concerning Samoa. I now appoint a new Government consisting of twentyseven new Faipule. They shall live in their own districts and assemble twice a year at Mulinu'u. Their salaries will be 500 marks per annum, or rather a little less- ten dollars a month. They are appointed by the Governor and their appointments are permanent provided they continue to act in an upright manner. Should any one of them act in a manner not befitting his position he will be dismissed and another appointed in his place. I will now declare the names of the new Faipule.

The Tuamasaga District being the largest in number of taxpayers will have four Faipule whose names are:-

Tuamasaga:- Faumuina:Ama:Toelupe:Seumanutafa.

Aana and Atua being equal in their tax payments will have three Faipule each:-

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Aana: Alepia: Fui: Pa'o:

Atua: Fiame: Pulepule:Fa'ausuusu:

Vaa-o-fonoti, Manono and Falealili will have each one


Vaa-o-fonoti: Molio'o.

Manono: Leiataua Seleni:

Falealili: Leasiilagi:

The forementioned are the Upolu Faipule: I will now name the Faipule for Salafai (Savai'i). Faasaleleaga District having the greatest number of taxpayers will have three Faipule, Saleaula, Safotu, Palauli and Satupaitea will each have two Faipule.

Vaisigano, Falealupo and Nuu-e-tolu will have one Faipule.

Faasaleleaga: Ti'a: Tofilau Saita'ase: Pa'u:

Saleaula: Tuala Silivelio: Tautaiolefua:

Safotu: Tapusoa: Tuailemafua:

Palauli: Leleisiuao: Le Tagaloa:

Vaisigano: Toomata Leota:

Falealupo: Solia:


These are the names of the new Faipule. Let all them appear before me on Tuesday the twelfth of September to be sworn in and receive their letters of appointment. I am well aware of the great difficulties incident to the office of Taitai Itu, which office gave them no satisfaction but merely multiplied their labours. I desire to reward them in a manner befitting their faithfulness and to do this will appoint them Faipule. When the meeting of the Faipule at Mulinu'u has finished they will return to their districts and remain there and impart my instructions to the Pulenu'u.

The position of Pulefaatoaga is an important one and of great value to the country. There is one pulefaatoaga in Salafai and I will now appoint two in Upolu there being more and larger plantations in this Island. The Pulefaatoaga for north and south Atua is Talamaivao: the Pulefaatoaga for Aana and Tuamasaga is Ale.

Let these Pulefaatoaga consult with Taumei for he well knows what the duties of the position are. The salary of the Pulefaatoaga will be the page 6 same as that paid to the former Taitai Itu, 480 marks per annum. Referring to the Land and Titles Commission: Afamasaga will retire from his position on it. Lealamoa takes his place.

I have removed Leota Napoleone also from the Commission and he will be replaced by the Orator Tusa from Lufilufi.

Tofilau the member from Iva will be succeeded by VuiTalitu at Lano. Laufa the member from Safotu will be succeeded by Tuailemafaa.

The salaries of the members of the Landand Titles Commission will be 200 marks per annum and they will not be paid for each sitting of the Commission.

I have also made changes in the appointments in the Judges Department. The position held by Ale of Safata is cancelled and I have appointed Nonu of Siumu to be Judge in South Tuamasaga. The appointment held by Fiu at Lefaga has been cancelled and Misa Faavae has been selected to hold the position of Judge for South Aana.

For Manono the Judge will be Taupau Pauesi. He succeeds Leiataua Seleni. Tofa Pua takes the place of Vui Talitu: At Lealatele, Tavaga succeeds Tuala as Judge. To'oala succeeds Usu at Nuu-e-tolu. Vaa Ropati succeeds Toomata Leota at Vaisigano. Tanuvasa being blind and infirm his appointment is transferred to Eagoa at Leulumoega. Salanoa of Falefa who controls travelling regulations will receive the same salary as a Judge, his appointment being of equal honour.

The two policemen at Mulinu'u receive $5 per month as their position is more important than that of messengers. There will be three clerks at Mulinu'u: Meisake: Teo Tuvale: So'oalo Tolo: Afamasaga is the chief interpreter.

And now I wish to speak of matters which are the highest importance and I wish my meaning to be well understood by you who are present and by all Samoa.

The Government faaSamoa and the Head Government of this colony are not different. Let it be clearly understood that there is only one Government and that is the Government of His Majesty Kaiser William the Second and this Government is called the Imperial Government. The word Imperial means “that which belongs to the Kaiser and are under his control. The Chiefs holding positions do so under the Government of His Majesty the Kaiser and the Faipules who assemble here at Mulinu'u are Imperial Faipules. In no way can the Tumua and Pule page 7 find a place in the Government of Samoa. The former Samoan titles in use in our Government are now no longer in force and I now make a new law by which it is forbidden to call any meetings or fonos arising from the use of such titles.

At our meeting to take place on the 12th September I will declare the new titles for our Government.

This closes my address to you and I hope that there will be no misunderstanding regarding the meaning and the limits of our Government faaSamoa as it is now constituted.

Return to your districts and make known the truths that I have expounded, the instructions that I have clearly given today. My address will be printed in its entirety in the Savali.

And now the Kava is ready - let us partake of it. You must thoroughly understand that there is only one Government in Samoa and that is the rule of His Majesty the Kaiser.