As the heart of the Pacific ocean, it makes sense that so many of Samoa’s alagaupu & muagagana (proverbs & idioms) use the imagery of fishing. Like this one: O le upega e fili i le po, ‘ae tatala i le ao Its literal translation: The fishing net is knotted (or braided) at night, but […]
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 […]
One night my mom and I and some relatives were discussing all the crazy ghost stories we’ve heard from around the Samoan way – and it’s not just a few. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think all Samoans were haunted from birth. Spooky paranormal things just seem to happen to us all the […]
I’ll be the first to admit it. I eat on my feet all the time. Hello, I’m a busy lady. I don’t always have time for a sit down meal, etc. and other excuses like that. Lucky for me, I’m too big now to get a bashing for such horrible manners… but I still try […]
Do you know how they made the ava (kava) back in the day? I’m talking over 100 years ago… Well, the taupou in the village would break off pieces of the ava root, chew them into a pulp, then spit all that good stuff into the tanoa (that’s one of these things), where it would […]
A few days ago, someone asked me why in our Samoan Lyrics database, the categories for Felise Mikaele and Kapena are both empty. Well, it’s an interesting and a kinda touchy story. If you’re Samoan, especially if you’ve got any interest in our rugby then you’ve most likely heard the song ‘Tama a Samoa‘… except, […]
In our culture it’s really rude to have conversations with your elders if you’re standing while they’re seated. If you dare to be so inappropriate like that in a very traditional Samoan household, look out for flying saucers (followed by tea-cups, or spoons, etc.) aimed at your head. To show respect, you try to speak […]
A few years ago I wrote this introduction to the world of the Samoan matai. More recently, I started a series on the path to becoming a Samoan chief… as in, how do you get chosen (against other eligible relatives) for a chiefly title? How do you prepare for the bestowal ceremony, or saofa’i? What […]
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.
[If you invest in this Samoan Language coursebook by Galumalemana Afeleti Hunkin, a small percentage of your purchase will also help support One Samoana].
Happy Samoan Language Week!
To celebrate, I’m posting here something I shared a recent Notebook Samoana newsletter. I love that the number one request I get from our readers is, “Please help me learn our language!”
We’re working on it :).
In the meantime, other amazing Samoans have developed some great online tools for keeping the Samoan language alive. Check them out here.