Why you shouldn’t become a Samoan matai (and also, why you should)

As I was learning about Samoan culture, I remember deciding that I wasn’t interested in gaining a taupou title (the highest ranking female role in a family/village). Instead I wanted to become a proper matai – which still isn’t common amongst women.

But then I did some research and a lot of observation… and I evaluated my lifestyle and attitudes towards family and village affairs… and then I had to finally admit to myself that I’m not cut out to be a matai. It’s not a role that I could wholeheartedly commit to, for number of reasons.

If you’re considering putting your name forward for a matai title, maybe have a think about what that would really mean to you.

Tali le Sua

In our more formal Samoan language, when someone accepts an offer of food or a meal, we refer to that as, “le taliga o le sua.” (Imperative: Tali le sua)

I only fully understood the use of the phrase when my mother shared a memory about my grandfather, from back in the day.

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…

Be careful when you praise Samoans

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,…

Been to the Ville lately? Some excellent Native blogging going on there.

  We’re looking a little different these days in the village part of One Samoana… AND, we’re blogging up a storm! When you’ve got a moment, grab a cuppa something nice, get comfortable and come catch up on some excellent Native blogs. ~*~ From American Samoa-based educator, Dacia: Bi-racial Samoans Professor Pedophile IA E AVA…