Samoan Proverb – Sorted like a fishing net in the morning

Samoan Language Wisdom & Philosophy2 Comments on Samoan Proverb – Sorted like a fishing net in the morning

Samoan Proverb – Sorted like a fishing net in the morning

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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 opened (or untangled) in the morning/day.

Dr Schultz explains that after night fishing, fishermen would hang their nets up, but would only come back to put them in order in the morning.

According to Schultz, this proverb is about settling disputes, how we have to really understand what the true cause of the conflict is, first.

I think it also refers to how, when we’re all dark, angry and emotional with each other, sometimes it’s wise to just walk away for a while, to come back in the ‘morning’ (i.e. when we can see more clearly) and sort things out.

I love that these proverbs are somewhat open to interpretation. What are your thoughts about this bit of Samoan wisdom?


I am working through some alagaupu & muagagana I found in my grandfather’s notebook. Maybe with a little common sense and creativity, I can figure out what they mean all by myself… hmmm… lol

Known IRL as Lillian (Lils, Lei'a) Arp, I'm just a Hamo Geek Girl, sitting behind a screen... learning, deep-thinking and typing up Samoan things.

2 thoughts on “Samoan Proverb – Sorted like a fishing net in the morning

  1. I really enjoy this proverb. This proverb teaches us a lot about how to resolve conflict. Some Polynesians and most Samoans are known to have a bad temper (including me), and the only way that we can really resolve any conflict or situation is to walk away and wake up the next morning with a clearer understanding of what happened the day before. It’s true that you should never go to bed angry, because you’ll only wake up angry; but how can you not?
    I believe that it is best to just walk away and come back with an open mind about the situation. That way, you won’t be saying things out of anger, because that’s when we start regretting the words we say. Thank you for sharing. I hope you can post more!

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