Posts tagged ‘Manu’a’

February 20, 2015

Post 48 — What Happens in Manu’a, Stays in Manu’a (Part 2)

Manu'aIn the history of the Samoan islands, there is an origin story that claims Manu’a is the founding place of all Polynesian culture and its’ peoples.

“There are various Tui Manu’a descent lines, many of which bear little resemblance to each other. It is common belief, however, as part of Samoan myths and legends, that the first Tui Manu’a (sovereign ruler) was a direct descendant of the Samoan supreme god, Tagaloa. In Samoan lore, the islands of Manu’a (Ofu, Olosega, and Ta’u) are always the first lands to be created or drawn from the sea; consequently the Tui Manu’a is the first human ruler mentioned. This “senior” ranking of the Tui Manu’a title continues to be esteemed and acknowledged by Samoans despite the fact that the title itself is no longer occupied.”*

This theory does not always sit well with the natives of other Polynesian islands. To a Tongan, this fanciful fable is wishful thinking, and the whole Tui Maunu’a question should be settled in a bar fight involving broken beer bottles.

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April 1, 2014

Chapter Seven: Post 47 — What Happens in Manu’a, Stays in Manu’a (Part 1)

Larry exiting a longboat (called a tulula) but this is not Manu'a. The eagle eyes of George Hastings identify it as Aunu'u. But same general idea.

Larry exiting a longboat (called a tulula) but this is not Manu’a. The eagle eyes of George Hastings identify it as Aunu’u. But same general idea.

A wave of freezing Pacific crashed over the crowded bow of the deck, soaking the already dripping wet palagis as they huddled together on the hatch of the creaking ship. The moans of the sea barely covered up the groans of the passengers, many of whom were regretting the celebratory dinner they had consumed. Five hours earlier, the television teachers had gathered excitedly on the dock, their piles of luggage outnumbering the amount that most passengers would require for a long pleasure cruise. The Samoans on the trip had each brought an extra lavalava and a case of beer. Everyone travels the world in their own way.

The boating excursion was an information-gathering expedition. The teachers were on their way to Manu’a, a group of three isolated islands that make up the eastern half of American Samoa. The largest island of Ta’u reaches an elevation of 3000 feet, higher than the mountains of Tutuila. The other two are Ofu and Olesaga. The islands are beautiful, with green volcanic peaks covered in lush vegetation and far fewer western influences than the place the travelers now called home.

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