Posts tagged ‘origin story’

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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