Fonuea, Fonuea, Laulau mai se Manamea,
O sa ai e i luga nei? O sa Letuli e i luga nei.
A ua ina, a la ina, O le a solo mata’iga,
Laulau tu la le i’a, Ususu!
Fonuea, Oh Fonuea, Present to me the lovely pair.
Who are they that are up there?
They are the Letuli’s everywhere.
At rain or at sunshine, The crowd will march in line,
To view the fishes as they shine. War Shout!
Familiar with this legend? Then you would be familiar with the fact that there are two versions! Lol. I got abit confused untill I asked my gradma (who knows everything lol). One version tells of a man and women and there extreme love for one another. The other one… Im going to jot down right now! =]
It goes as follows..
There was a old, blind women named Fonea and her daughter which she named Salofa. They lived in Salega, Savai’i. There was a famine and the village of Salega were starving. Funea’s family gathered up *soi which was gathered from the forest the day before.
Fonuea and her daughter kept an eye on the cooking from where they lived. Once the smoke had disppeared Funea guessed that the stones had been heated and that the food would take around two hours to be ready.
Once it had been two hours, Funea asked her daughter Salofa if she could see anyone coming to give them some food. The answer was no. Hour after hour she would ask her daughter, and Funea would get the same reply.
By then, Funea had become so convinced that her own family had left them to starve that she went to the cliffside with her daughter and they jumped off. As soon as the hungry daughter and mother hit the water they transformed into a turtle and shark. They swam east for miles untill they reached Vaitogi, Tutuila.
On the beach they transformed themselfs back into human form so that they could meet the high Chief Letuli and the people of the villiage. He treated them with food and clothing untill they regained their strength.
Funea expressed her deep gratitude to the High Cheif Letuli and made a vow that she and her daughter would reurn to the ocean to live under the Vaitogi cliff. It is there that she said she and her daughter would come to the surface and entertain him and his people, all he needed to do was to recite the chant (shown above). They have lived there for centeries, and have never failed to appear when the chant is recited!
I did research and I found this…
“It may sound too good to be true but the scene at the Vaitogi cliff is one of the great wonders of the world. Scientists have yet to find why the turtle and shark never appear to the surface unless Letuli’s chant is sung. It is as much a mystery to the foreigners as it is to the Samoans who have tried for several generations to attract the turtle and shark to the surface by other means but always failed. Best of brass bands played and large choirs sang the best of anthems, hymns and island songs over the cliff but they were all disappointed. Seeing the turtle and shark tops the tourists attraction in American Samoa today. It signifies Founea’s sincere love and appreciation”.
How cool is that? =]