Matai: A Complicated System of Chiefs

Matai: A Complicated System of Chiefs

Matai is the Samoan word for leader, or chief, or even (in the poetic sense) father. Samoan society is organized by family, and each family has its own matai titles, which are connected to certain districts, villages and plots of family land. And that was the short...

The Creation Story in Samoan (with audio)

The Creation Story in Samoan (with audio)

The best way to learn a language is to just dive in and learn it, right? As part of my goal to speak Samoan like a matai, I've been trying to stay immersed in the Samoan language - as much as I can in New Zealand. I've been hanging out with my matai uncles, listening...

How to Greet a Samoan Matai (Chief)

How to Greet a Samoan Matai (Chief)

The heartbeat of Samoan culture is love and respect, or fa'aaloalo. How we greet people is a very public demonstration of this respect. Like a lot of languages, we have informal greetings for our peers and friends and then formal greetings for people we don't know as...

Matai – How to become a Samoan Chief [Part 2]

Matai – How to become a Samoan Chief [Part 2]

This is the second part of our series on The Path to Becoming a Samoan Chief. Please read Part 1 first, if you haven't already. Part 1 gives you a bit of background - where do matai titles come from? Who decides how your family's titles are distributed? How do you...

Village One Samoana

Were you once a One Samoana ‘Native’? If you were a member of the One Samoana social network (which ran from 2008 – 2012), then a you may recognize some of these Native-written blogs from a heartbeat and a lifetime ago.

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