Alagaupu ma Muagagana – Samoan Proverbs and Expressions

My grandfather was a diligent note-keeper. He was a faiava, which means he lived with my grandmother in her village (rather than his own), and he kept several notebooks worth of hand-written records on her family’s history and titles. This grandfather was also a gifted orator. He died when I was very young, but I…

Do I have to be Samoan to get a Samoan tattoo?

I’m still working on the the final of my 3-part series about the Samoan Tattoo (Tatau) – everything I learned from personal research and from my teacher of Samoan culture, the late Afioga Tofaeono Tanuvasa Tavale. The previous two parts are here: The Truth about the Samoan Tattoo (Tatau), and The Truth about the Samoan…

“WHO TOUCHED ME?”

These are the words of Wrydah, from her discussion: Scripture This ==== for thirteen years i suffered in pain and agony for thirteen years none of the doctors could help me using up all my time and money, little wealth had i now all gone to nothingness for again from the pain i cry searching…

Samoan Etiquette: Meal Time

When I was in high school my family moved to New Zealand so we could live close to my ageing grandmother. An added bonus was that just about all my mother’s 8 siblings (and their children, and their children’s children) lived in the same neighbourhood, and for as long as my grandmother was still with…

How much did your matai title cost?

Samoans can be precious about our Fa’asamoa, and at the core of the Samoan way of life is our Fa’amatai, or our system of chiefs (matai). Ideally and traditionally, new chiefs are chosen by the consensus of their extended family, an honour bestowed on them after years of cultural tutelage and service. As Samoans tend…