Matai – The Path to Becoming a Samoan Chief [Part 1]

Image from Wikipedia

How do you become a Samoan Matai?

The good news is, if you’re even a little bit Samoan I’m 99.9% sure you’re the suli (heir) to at least one matai title.

Once a title becomes available, any suli can petition for it.

He or she just has to have some support (it doesn’t hurt to have other matai or well respected elders arguing for you) and also, ideally, a track record of service to the family.

O le ala i le pule, o le tautua a well-known Samoan proverb that means, “The path to leadership is service”.

You might find that your bid to become a matai is much better supported if your family can see how much you love and labour (and contribute financially to fa’alavelave *cough*) for them.

A Traditional Samoan Wedding… with a Tangent about Making Babies [+ Video]

Image is from Seventysixdesign on Etsy

I’ve heard some stories about weddings back in the ancient, less Christian days of Samoa. Don’t quote me on this stuff, cause I can’t remember who told me these tales, but apparently…

True(ish?) Story Time

In the old days, a bride’s virginity was, of course, of paramount importance. (Nobody said anything about the groom’s virginity, but anyway…)

SO, on their wedding day, a special fale was designated for the couple to consummate their union. A section of this house was screened off with hanging fala (woven mats) and inside this makeshift room, the conjugal bedding featured pure white siapo (thinly pounded mulberry sheets).

After the official ceremonies of the day, the wedding couple was ushered behind the fala to, um, get to know each other, while their older relatives (usually female) kept watch on the other side of their flaxen curtains…

45 Biblical names – for boys and girls – in the Samoan language


Today’s Samoa is founded on Christianity, so it’s very common for us to give our children Bible names. Because of our Samoan pronunciation, though, it’s not always clear to the western ear which Biblical characters our names refer to. And some of these names are so widely used in our culture that they’re just Samoan…

The Truth about the Samoan Tattoo (Tatau) – Part III

Reference Number: PA1-o-469-67

At long last, I’m finally back with Part 3 of this series of posts about the Samoan tattoo. If you haven’t already, please check out previous articles on this topic: The Truth about the Samoan Tattoo The Truth about the Samoan Tattoo – Part 2 Do I have to be Samoan to get a Samoan…

Be careful when you praise Samoans

O isi e momo'o

In the western world, complimenting someone on their appearance or accessories is a great way to strike up a conversation. It doesn’t always work like that for Samoans. I remember one time, I mentioned to a relative that her bag was pretty, and then when she tried to give it to me, I was like,…

Palolo, a Samoan (worm) delicacy [video]

Palolo, a Samoan (worm) delicacy [video]

Some cultures eat frog legs and snails. Others eat crickets and roaches. Samoans eat worms from the ocean. And they’re yum! When I was very young in Hawaii, the stories about palolo were like fairy-tales to me: They only come out once a year, under a waning moon The villagers wade out into the night…