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TRADITIONAL AVA CEREMONY OF SAMOA


I wanted to address the Traditional Ava Ceremony of SAMOA. There are many Samoan names for the Ava Ceremony such as the Fono Ava or the Taumafa Ava I was wondering what are other more Traditional names for the Ava Ceremony?

In Samoa many High Matai's etc have Ava Titles or names by which there own Ava Cups are known for example Tui Manu'a his cup was known as, "O LE IPU A TUI MANU'A". No one in all of Polynesia could use the term, "O LE IPU" as the name of there Ava drinking cup for it was a term only used for Tui Manu'a.

Mauga one of the highest Chiefs of Tutuila's cup was referred to as, "SE UGA LOLOA".

THE AVA CEREMONY (BRIEF DETAILS)


1. SAOFAFAI ALII O LE MALAGA I LE MAOTA

The visitors are allowed to enter the village and are greeted by the hosting village. They are seated in a semi-circle facing the hosting villages semi-circle of Chiefs. As far as seating arrangements, every village has its own way of seating the chiefs, but it is always customary to seat according to the rank of the chief. The high ranking chief always enters from the front of the semi-circle and the lower ranking chiefs enter behind the high ranking chief or chiefs.

The hosting village, already seated in their semi-circle because they are hosts, have the taupou seated in the middle of the semi-circle in front of the tanoa (ava bowl). The taupou is the village virgin, usually the daughter of the high talking chief. The taupou plays a major role in this ceremony. She is trained to mix the ava the proper way, for any mistakes will result in total embarrassment to the chiefs and the hosting village as well. The taupou must be a virgin, for virgins are considered pure and this sacred ceremony should be pure and sacred.

The ava bowl has four to six legs. One of the legs will always be wider than the others, thus marking the proper way of placing the bowl in front of the taupou. The wide leg must face the taupou. Inside the tanoa the fou or coconut fibers are placed. The fou will be used by the taupou to squeeze the ava root into a drink. The taupou should not wear any jewelry, no flower in her hair or ear, no chewing gum. She is not allowed to speak nor smile throughout the whole ceremony. The taupou is to show her purity throughout the whole ceremony and nothing else. She is seated between two males adorned with the traditional pea, the tattoo from the waist to the knees.

The male seated to the left of the taupou is called the tautuava, and is assigned to serve the ava to the chiefs. The male seated to the right is called the suiava and is assigned to assist the taupou in mixing the ava. The suiava does not actually mix the ava but makes sure the right amount of water is added and that the ava is diluted and strained properly. Seated next to the suiava is the tufaava or also named foasoaava. The Tufaava is in charge of chanting out to the tautuava, letting him know when and which chief should receive the next cup of ava. Located four to six feet behind the Taupou, kneeling on one knee is the tafou. The tafou is in charge of catching the fau and ringing out the old squeezed ava and returning the fresh fau back to the Taupou. The Tautuava, Suiava, Tufaava and the Tafau are chosen from a group of young men in the village. This group of men is referred to as the aumaga. The aumaga are being trained to participate in the ava ceremony, usually at the time they reach manhood and have received their pea. The young men assigned to these special duties are considered to have the most experience in the ceremony among all the rest of the aumaga men and are in line to become a matai if the individual qualifies in the future. However, the aumaga men do not have any ranking status what so ever.

2. GASOLO MAI MATAI O LE NUU MA TUGASE

The village chiefs are called to bring the ava root. If the visiting village brings their own ava, then that ava will be presented to the hosting village as a gift and will be kept in front of the tulafale, the high talking chief who will be doing most of the talking throughout the ceremony. The ava root brought by the visiting village will not be used in the ceremony at all; it is only a gift to the hosting village. It is not customary for visitors to bring the ava, but sometimes a chief will bring their ava to show off that they can grow a good piece of ava plant.

3. SAO LE AUMAGA I TUAFALE

All the remaining aumaga men are called to come forth and have a seat behind the semi-circle. (Remaining aumaga men are the men other than the tautuava, suiava, tufaava and the tafau.) They must sit in the back behind of the tafau and are only used to do all the last minute errands for the tafau, tautuava or the tuiava. They are not allowed to step before the tafau. If there is anything that the tautuava or the suiava needs, it is the duty of the tafau to obtain it from the remaining aumaga men; and then the tafau, and only can the tafau, make any kind of contact with the tautuava or the suiava.

4. SUFI AVA O LE USU

The tulafale calls out for the ava roots to be brought fourth for the faifeau, the high priest, to look at and bless the ava.

5. A AMI AVA O IPU MA AO AVA O LE USU E SE TULAFALE TAULE ALEA

The high chief calls to bring forth the Ipu ava and to collect all the ava roots that were brought to the ceremony. (Ipu ava is the ava cup)

6. FOLAFOLA E LE FUATAUALA A LE MALAGA AVA O LE USU

The High Chief of the hosting village now addresses each chief who brought ava root to the ceremony.

7. PULE SE AVA MO LE TANOA

This is the time when all the chiefs have to agree on whose ava root to use as the drink for the ceremony. This point of the ceremony is referred to as the Battle of the best ava root. You may hear some loud shouting and arguing but that is all a part of this section of the ceremony. In this part of the ceremony a lot of the high language is heard. The chief who can out speak all the other chiefs in the ceremony will have the opportunity to use his ava root in the actual ceremony.

8. TUI LE AVA E LE AUMAGA

The chosen ava root is now taken to the back to the aumaga men to pound and prepare the ava root for mixing by the taupou.

9. SAU LE TEINE PALU AVA

The taupou is called upon to get ready for the mixing of the ava root.

10. FAI LE LAUGA FAATAU A TULAFALE O LE NUU

The tulafale gives a speech, but the speech is unknown because of the high level language used. Only the matai and the aumaga can use and understand it..

11. LAUGA LE TULATOA

The tulatoa or the orator of the ceremony gives a speech.

12. AMATA ONA PALU LE AVA MA TA LE FAU

Now the taupou actually starts the mixing. She washes her hands at the beginning of the ceremony. She sits straight up with her legs folded and palms of her hands at the rim of the tanoa at all times. When the grated ava arrives in the tanoa, the taupou takes the fau, covers the ava and places the palms of her hands on top of the fibers with her thumbs located at the bottom of fibers. She will stay like that until the tulafale gives the signal to start mixing, and she will only start after the suiava pours his first ipu ava of water. The taupou then gathers some of the ava in the fau, making sure none of the ava falls out when raising the fau. After securing the ava in the fau, she then proceeds to raise the filled fau up high so that the chiefs can view the liquid dropping from the fau, making sure none of the liquid travels down her arm and drips from her elbows. She then takes the fau filled with ava and squeezes three times, and three times only, making sure no liquid is dripping outside of the tanoa or down her arm. She then wipes the rim of the tanoa one time to the left and one time to the right and then very quickly, she tosses the filled fau over her right shoulder to the back where the tafau is patiently waiting to catch the filled fau. The tafau must make sure not to drop or miss catching the fau. The fau must never touch the floor for the fau will be considered contaminated and the tafau will bescolded in front of all the high chiefs, sent out of the ceremony and replaced with another awaiting aumoga.

The tafou then swings the fau to the left and right of himself wringing all of the used ava scrapings and thus making a clean fresh fau for the taupou. The tafau then hands the fresh fau back to the taupouover her right shoulder into her awaiting right hand. The taupou has to be staring straight ahead making sure not to look back at the tafau. The taupou and the tafau repeat this procedure three times and by then the taupou has to make sure she uses all of the ava scrapings and that no scrapsleft in the tanoa.

The tufaava then gives a signal to the taupou to raise the fau three times for the chiefs to inspect the droppings to see if the drink is ready for drinking. The tufaava then gives the signal that the ava is good. From there, all the chiefs will give three claps signifying that the ava is ready. The taupou then squeezes the fau for the last three times, and then she lays the fau on the right side of the tanoa rim. This also signals to the tafau that he can rest now that the ava is ready.

13. LAUGA LE FUAAUALA

The visiting village high chief gives a speech thanking the hosting chiefs and the taupou for a good job at mixing the ava after the mixing is done.

14. FAASO A LE AGATONU; AMATA I SE SOLO AVA

The chant given by the tufaava starting the distribution of the ava.

15. TULA I MAI LE TAUTU AVA

The tautuava is now signaled to stand up and begin the distribution of the ava drink. The tautuava does three scoops of the drink with his right hand and with the left hand behind his back. The fourth scoop is raised up to the sky making sure he is standing in front of the tanoa to show all chiefs the First Ipu ava. The tautuava waits for the chant from the tufaava letting him know whom to serve the first Ipu ava to.

The tautuava and the tufaava have to work together making sure they distribute the Ipu ava in the right order and that the Ipu ava is delivered in the proper way. The tufaava has to know which chief is of higher rank so that he chants in the correct order. When the tautuava receives the chant, he then has to know how to serve the Ipu ava. The high chiefs are served Ipu ava with both hands on the cup raising the cup high at forehead level and hands forehead level and hands the Ipu ava to the high chief from theinner palm of his right hand. That shows that the chief is a high chief. Any chief below the high chief is served in the same way but with the left hand behind the back. The Ipu ava is then handed to the chief coming from the tautuavas forehead making sure the chief receives the cup from the inner palm of the tautuavas hand.

When receiving the cup back from high chief and a chief below him, the tautuava must not turn his back to the chief. He must walk backwards back to the tanoa only then can he turn around to refill the Ipu ava. When serving the Ipu ava to a talking chief, the cup is served by the back of the hand coming from the chest level of the tautuava. When receiving the cup back from the talking chief, the tautuava can turn his back and walk back to the tanoa. The taupou at this point has to sit straight up with her hands on the rim of the tanoa. No one is allowed to get up and leave the ceremony at this time until the ceremony is done.

16. FAI SE SOLO E MOTO AI LE AVA A LE FAASOA AVA

The tufaava announces the ceremony is nearing the end and that the last cup will be served soon.

17. MUAO MA TAAPE LE AUMAGA

The aumaga men sitting in the back are dismissed from the ceremony.

18. FOLAFOLA FONO O LE AVA

Announcing that the ceremony is done.

19. TAAPE LE USU

The hosting villagers are dismissed.

20. SAUNI MAI LE MALU TAEAO

The hosting village gets the big feast ready.

21. MUAI TAI MAI SE SUA A LE TAMALII O LE MALAGA

The visiting village gets served a big feast.

22. SAU LE SII LAULAU O LE TAUMAFATAGA

After the big feast then everyone just relaxes. But this is when Chief Thomas and the chiefs below him talk about the wedding plans. This is a long process that sometimes goes on for two to four hours. The ceremony is rarely practiced here in Hawaii but when it is, its usually a fast version unless someone really important like the Governor of Samoa were to visit church here, in which case it would be done in traditional style. In Samoa the ava ceremony is practiced whenever there is an official gathering of the chiefs. And it is always practiced in the traditional way. The ceremony is a culture that is still going strong, a culture that is still run by a Matai or chief system. The way of a Samoan is to always have respect, respect for your elders and high respect to the ones closest to God.



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An Amazing post. Thanks Manuatele. We see here the precise nature and the well detailed procedure of this ceremony. It is a thing of beauty when done right. The culture is exact and has purpose. Each piece of the ceremony is well thought out and delivered with specific language and protocol. It signifies the depth of the Samoan Culture that every part of the ceremony from the sitting arrangements to the timing of each part of the ceremony are established and set, not to be rearranged by anyone. his is the most important ceremony of the Samoan Culture and there are different Ava Ceremonies. But one thing to remember is the Ava is a sacred root and drinking it symbolizes the unity of the participants. Which is why if an ava ceremony is held during a family or village discussion or at a matai's saofa'i and you do not agree to the decision of the family or village or the ne being given the title, dont drink the Ava when it is passed to you because that will signify you are in agreement with the decision they made. Later on if you protest they will say why did you drink the Ava if you didnt agree? Its very symbolic and has serious ramifications. Not just a ceremony for looks. Faafetai.

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Very Cool stuff to read, great to have it in english and very understandable, do you have any other like how laugas are performed? Process of the ie toga or what each ietogas are used for???

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Kava: its ceremonial use.
From a report written in the 1850s

The ceremonies at which kava is partaken of are many and varied and the drinking of it at native functions is common to most of the Polynesian Islands of the Pacific as well as to many of the Melanesian and Micronesian Groups. Where and why the custom of Kava drinking first originated is shrouded in mystery, and the legends and myths that have been built up around it are insufficient in basal truths to warrant a definite opinion being given as to its initiatory use. Some of the stories relative to the introduction of the custom will be related at the end of this article, and it is left to the reader to satisfy himself as to where and why the practice began.

Before attempting to describe the various ceremonies in which kava plays a part, it should be understood that until recent years, the drinking of kava was always a serious matter, or perhaps one should say a solemn act. It was not a beverage that was on tap for every thirsty soul to freely partake of without due deference being shown for the ceremony that was inseparable from its legitimate use. The breaking down, or abolition, or weakening power of the Samoan ritual and customs as a result of contact with Europeans has materially lessened the solemnity of the ceremony as it is witnessed today, and it is correspondingly more difficult for the European mind to gauge the real significance underlying the outward manifestation of mental convictions as held by the Samoans. One can perhaps better interpret the significance of the ceremony if is compared with the supernaturalism inseparable from some of our own sacerdotal systems. The belief in, and fear of, a spirit or spirits, was common to the Samoans and the first offering of kava before being imbibed, was to the Gods. In this twentieth century much of the ceremony and solemnity has departed from the act of kava making and drinking, and many of the younger generation of Samoa do, but hazily, realise what an important and suggestive ceremony kava drinking was. Much kava is now imbibed by Europeans and by also/Samoans merely as a beverage and in many stores and offices one may find a full bowl for the use of those thirsty souls who believe that frequent drinking in the Tropics is necessary and who prefer kava to plain water when they cannot procure something stronger.
page 2

It may be stated that no constitutive gathering, no important undertaking, no valediction, no consequential ceremony, no momentous event whether pleasurable or otherwise, no trial by oath, is complete and worthy the name without the kava ceremony.

The plant or shrub from the root of which kava is made (Piper Methysticum) grows to a maximum height of about seven feet, the majority of specimens being much less. It usually has several stems springing direct from the roots. The leaves are flat and roughly heart-shaped and in colour resemble somewhat the leaf of the mulberry. The rough sketch of the plant attached hereto will give the reader an idea of the appearance of the plant. The Samoan word for both the plant and the drink manufactured therefrom is 'Ava, although at some distant date before the letter K was dropped from the language it was termed Kava by which name it is universally recognised by Europeans. The stems and roots of the plant are of a loose character are and the roots from which the drink is made are carefully cleaned and scraped. It is obligatory on each family to grow a supply of kava and as a general rule a number of small pieces of the root, about six or seven inches long, are planted together in ground that is sufficiently supplied with water. When fully grown, the roots vary considerably in size and with a section of the stem of the plant attached resemble roughly, a club. A root of kava in the vernacular of the natives is A'a 'ava, the first word meaning root. When the kava roots are being cleaned and after they have been hung up in the sun and dried, they are usually suspended from a part of the house under cover, where they will not be handled by the children.

The bowl in which the drink is prepared is called a tanoa or laulau. The former word is the more frequently used. The bowls vary in size from twelve to thirty inches and they stand on short rounded legs varying in number from four to twentyfour. The value of a bowl commercially is based on the number of legs and the class of wood used, the average price being three to four shillings per leg. It is unusual to find a bowl that has a greater depth than six inches and the majority are perhaps not more than three or four inches deep. A brim of a width varying according to the size of the page 3 bowl runs round the top of the tanea and a flange or sometimes a projecting piece of the original wood is left under the bowl. This is pierced by a hole through which a piece of afa (native sinnet) is threaded for suspending the bowl from a house post. The natives are, nowadays, with the aid of European tools, enabled to make the bowls very symmetrical, and with less difficulty add to the number of legs. Before the coming of the European the Samoans state that the usual number of legs was three or four and that the bowls were less shapely and did not show such a clean finish. This can be easily understood when it is remembered that there was even very little hard stone in the country. Considering that even at the present time the number and variety of tools used in the manufacture of Tanoa is few, and that all the work is done by hand, the bowls are models of woodcraft and suggest to the uninformed that they have been turned by machinery. The wood usually used is obtained from the Ifilele tree and it is a hard grained timber of a reddish brown colour. A piece of timber of roughly the diameter of the bowl to be made is selected, and by patient hacking and cutting the wood is reduced to the desired shape. In earlier times the cutting and shaping was done with the aid of stone tools and a pigs tusk was utilised in the scraping. The desired smoothness was acquired by constant rubbing with a kind of pumice stone. When the bowl was finished it was soaked in fresh water for a considerable time to remove the woody smell. Kava often was also allowed to remain indefinitely in the tanoa in order that the inside might acquire that enamelled appearance so dearly beloved of the Samoan. This enamel or sheen is called tane. In earlier bowls the legs were tapered towards the botton and reduced there to about a half an inch in diameter. The accompanying sketch will illustrate a bowl of the present period and also one of an earlier date much better than any description can do. There is no ceremony when the bowl is used for the first time and chiefs and orators, high and low, use the same type of tanoa. At ceremonies, the bowl used is that belonging to the chief or orator at whose house the ceremony is being held. The only time when a special bowl is used is when what is termed King's Kava is being presented. This is a highly ceremonious matter and will be described later on. On these occasions a special page 4 bowl, the property of a certain village or District is used. The name given to the bowl used for the King's Kava is Tanoa a le Tupu. King's Kava bowl.)

The cup used for distributing the kava is made from the half shell of a ripe cocoanut and it is cleaned and polished. It is sometimes ornamented with different designs, and since the coming of the European is sometimes found inlaid with silver. When not in use it is hung up from or deposited upon the rack or shelf built across the centre posts of the house. The Samoan name for this cup is tauau. Originally, the water for mixing with the kava was contained in one or more cocoanut shells. The kernel of the nut was removed by filling the nut with salt water. The action of the sea water on the meat of the nut was to dissolve the same and the more or less viscid contents were poured out through the three holes in the end of the nut. Repeated rinsing with fresh water thoroughly cleansed the inside. Two nuts thus treated and tied together with native sinnet which was run through the holes in the nuts were termed taulua (two tau.) When not in use these nuts were suspended from the centre pole of the house.

The material for straining the woody fibre when the kava was being prepared is obtained from the bark of the Fall tree. This bark is stripped off and the outer skin removed. The remaining skin is then shredded and forms a kind of baste.

The kava is actually prepared by a member or members of what is termed the Aumaga (kava makers). It is customary for the daughters of all chiefs to be taught how to prepare the kava. In the preparation of kava for a ceremony the services of one young lady or one young man, or one or more young ladies and young men may be utilised. Before being vetoed by the Missionaries, it was customary for the dried kava root to be masticated by one or more of the members of the Aumaga. Those chosen for this work were possessed of clean mouths and good teeth and they were required to thoroughly rinse out their mouths before commencing their duty. It was possibly the most disliked part of the work and produced great tiredness of the jaws. When the kava had been sufficiently chewed it was spewed out on to the leaf of a banana or breadfruit or taro and carried and deposited in the kava bowl.
page 5

The kava mixer seated behind the bowl knead[gap reason: unclear] and thoroughly mixed the chewed kava as another member of the Aumaga adds water from time to time. Nowadays a bucket is usually used to hold the required water. At the present time the kava is pounded into a semi powder between two stones or other hard surfaces instead of being chewed. At ceremonies the kava mixer is usually the virgin daughter of a chief (Taupo) or the son of a chief. As the mixing proceeds, the kava maker from time to time wrings the liquid from the strainer and folding the same into half its usual length passes it to another who standing outside or near the edge of the house, frees the strainer of the woody particles of the kava by several violent flicks. He then passes the strainer back to the mixer who proceeds as heretofore until all the particles of wood are removed. The water poured into the bowl as the mixing proceeds is done from either the left or right, not from in front. The action of mixing is one of contracting and expanding the fingers of the two hands as the strainer is slowly worked towards the mixer. When the mixing is completed the rim of the bowl is wiped to remove any water or woody material and the strainer is folded up and placed on the rim of the bowl. The mixer then places both hands on the bowl and sits quietly awaiting the next move. Kava mixers (Aumaga) always sit at the back of the house which is that side or part of the house farthest removed from the road running through the village. If made on the malae (open space in the village.) the same position is kept in relation to the roadway. There is no ceremony attached to the bringing into a house of a kava bowl. The Aumaga (or kava makers) is, at the present time, a rather comprehensive term, but in former times the kava makers were a much more select guild. There is no rule governing the strength of the kava. If the root is plentiful, the drink is naturally made several degrees stronger than if it is in short supply. During the process of making the kava or just when the manufacture is completed, an orator will call out O le agatonu lena o le fesilafaiga i le afio mai o le malaga fesilafa'i e lenei nu'u ua usi nei o le a faasoa a e tula'i se Tautu. (This is the kava of the reception to our visitors who we now meet in our village-it is ready and will be distributed now and the kava server will stand up.) The words vary according to the individual who says them page 6 and the reason for the ceremony. All those assembled then clap their hands loudly and slowly. The distribution of the kava then takes place, and each individual is called in turn by an orator. Occasionally the kava may be called by the son of a chief if he has shown that he is thoroughly conversant with the correct procedure. The first person to receive the kava is the highest chief of the visiting party, and he is followed by the highest chief of the entertaining village. The leading orator of the visiting party is then served followed by the leading orator of the village and so on. No taulelea (young men) or women are served. The man who calls out the kava titles is termed the Tufaava (kava divider.) and he indicates who is to receive the kava by mentioning the individual's kava title. The kava title is a name or names bestowed only on chiefs and the manner and reason for such bestowals is described later on. The man who actually carries and hands the drinking cup to the chiefs assembled is termed the Tautuava. (kava distributor.) He stands alongside the kava bowl and the maker of the kava after dipping the fau into the liquid raises it with both hands and rings a quantity of the slightly greenish brew into the kava cup held in the right hand of the Tautuava. The server then listens for the call from the Tufaava and is thus apprised of the correct individual to be served. He then advances towards the person indicated keeping his left hand with the palm outwards firmly lodged in the small of his back. Immediately he hears the kava title called and is aware of the standing of the individual named, he, if the chief to be served is the holder of an important title, raises the cup above his head and advances towards the chief. When the server is within comfortable reaching distance of the chief to be served, he with a graceful sweeping movement from right to left and with the inner side of the forearm presented to the chief, hands him the cup. Presentation to lesser chiefs takes the same form except that the cup is not held above the head but is extended at arms length at about the height of the waist. The back of the hand is presented to Orators when being handed the kava cup. Both these motions and attitudes are indicative of respect. At all formal gatherings of chiefs and orators there are definitely defined places in the houses where each shall page 7 at each end of a house sit. The middle posts/termed matua Tala are reserved for the leading chiefs and the side posts on the front section termed Pou o le pepe are occupied by the Orators. The posts at the back of the house talatua indicate the positions maintained by the servants, kava makers etc.

Objections are quickly raised if a chief or orator is served out of turn as it is considered and affront by the man who should have received the cup and serious disputes have frequently arisen as a result of careless or deliberately wrong distribution.

On the kava cup being presented to a chief he takes it in his right hand and after a moments pause he spills a few drops on to the floor of the house on his right side at the same time speaking a few words in a low tone. Today these words have some Christian significance but in olden times were no doubt a form of prayer to one of the numerous Gods. He then raises the cup and says Ia manuia which means be happy or prosperous. He then drinks a varying quantity of the kava and throws any remainder over his shoulder. He then hands the cup back to the tautuava. Should he not desire to drink the kava he may take a mouthful and then spew it out, or he may merely touch the cup held in the hand of the bearer or he may take hold of the cup and holding it out in front of him address a few remarks to the assembly, finally exclaiming Ia manuia. In earlier days the orators always held the cup in both hands when it was presented to them. This custom is very often disregarded nowadays. It would be interesting to record the exact words used in earlier days when the libation was poured out to the family God, but although efforts have been made to identify them, the words me given/are so obviously tinged with Christian teaching that they are of little value as a record.

It should have been mentioned in connection with the act of drinking the kava, that when the recipient of the cup calls out ia manuia the assembly reply Ia manuia or soifua, the latter word meaning may you live. The act of throwing by the drinker of the remainder of the contents of the cup over his shoulder mmay have been an unspoken desire that all misfortune should likewise disappear as it is noted that unconsumed kava is never returned to the bowl.
page 8

The spilling of a few drops of kava on the floor before drinking the would seem to have the same significance as do many of the ceremonies in/the various religions of the world - incense burning - sprinkling of holy water - offering libations of wine - and the offering of sacrifices varying from pound notes to lizards eggs - all are offered with the idea of placating or seeking the assistance of some God. We are apt, perhaps, to view the custom of the Samoan as being merely the prostration of the intellect at the thresh-hold of the unknown, but are not all sacrifices by whomsoever offered, just this.

Orators as a class have ne kava titles and when the cup is offered to them the kava caller merely announces This is the cup of so and so.

When all have been served, the tufaava calls out Ua moto le ava, mativa le fau, papa'u le tanoa, faasoa i tua nei ena tee. (A little kava remains, there is not much for the strainer to absorb, the kava in the bowl is shallow - the remainder will be divided amongst those at the back of the house.

If all the kava has been consumed before minor chiefs have been served they must go without, but if chiefs of importance happen along, a fresh brew is made and the ceremony is repeated. There are many variations in the ceremony and long and tiresome speeches may be made at different intervals. The orator officiating may meander on indefinitely as he assigns each drink, or those declining the drink may talk at length - in fact it is permissible for everyone to speak for as long as he desires.
If no one but a chief and his family are present when kava is made he dispenses with ceremony and as a rule nowadays merely quaffs the drink.

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Ole fesili fa'amolemole Manuatele; po'o sesi o ona iloa, pe sila fia le mafua'aga ole fa'atauaina ole SHAPE CIRCLE (lapotopoto) ile tu male aga i fanua anamua a Samoa atoa...
ole Fale Samoa e lapotopoto,
ole tanoa palu ava e lapotopoto,
ole ipu asu ava e lapotopoto,
ole nonofo a matai ise alofi e lapotopoto...

oute fiamalamala!!!! pe sa fa'apea ona tapua'i o tatou tagata anamua ia TAGALOA..Tasi lea vaega taua oute masalo ua misi e tatou scholar...ua ova a tatou sikola ile faitau ma su'esu'e tusitusiga a misionare, 'ae misi ai mea taua ile tatou ana i fanua...






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O le Circle of Life.

O lou manatu faatauvaa laea. I know it will be shot down by some well edmacated persona, namely Maa, but shux..it's the thought that counts.confuse.gifwink.gif



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This is what I learned from Survivor Samoa, which I never knew..O le shape ma le pou ia tofu le matai ma laga pou ma le circle ia faasagasaga uma i le isi ma le isi, a saunoa se matai ia iloa uma ona tala la e fai..

The outer part of the fale fono is desingnate for the taulele'a poo le au tautua, o latou o runners, easy access mo le latou role, in and out e fai le manao o sao ma alii.



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Angel wrote:

O le Circle of Life.

O lou manatu faatauvaa laea. I know it will be shot down by some well edmacated persona, namely Maa, but shux..it's the thought that counts.confuse.gifwink.gif





LOL....like the Lion king...Ae sa'o se;i fa'atali atu le atali'i matua o stui lea o maa...haahaa.

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tama upolu wrote:

Ole fesili fa'amolemole Manuatele; po'o sesi o ona iloa, pe sila fia le mafua'aga ole fa'atauaina ole SHAPE CIRCLE (lapotopoto) ile tu male aga i fanua anamua a Samoa atoa...
ole Fale Samoa e lapotopoto,
ole tanoa palu ava e lapotopoto,
ole ipu asu ava e lapotopoto,
ole nonofo a matai ise alofi e lapotopoto...

oute fiamalamala!!!! pe sa fa'apea ona tapua'i o tatou tagata anamua ia TAGALOA..Tasi lea vaega taua oute masalo ua misi e tatou scholar...ua ova a tatou sikola ile faitau ma su'esu'e tusitusiga a misionare, 'ae misi ai mea taua ile tatou ana i fanua...









The reason for this circular shape has to do with Perfection, Perfect Order, Balance Completeness,Cohesiveness,Continuity, etc

It is a Heaven and Earth....connection. The Fale'ula, the first house which was brought down from the heavens.....the abode of the gods, so to speak...but primarily the abode of Tagaloalagi....was in its form and design....circular...PERFECT.

This sense or concept of perfection was manifested within that design and thus brought down to Earth as the prototype of future samoan physical structures, but not only that, it addresses and encompasses the deeper aspects...fundamental tenets of the social, political and cultural order of things....enforced by the language of social etiquette and protocol...deserving of rank....from ascending to descending order. Most importantly...the relational space....O le "VA"...spatial and social relations between lets say Alii, Matais to Tagaloalagi, Ali'i i le Ali'i...Matai i le Ali'i... Lesser Matais to each other...Family members...au tautua to their Matai's etc, Male to Female, Father and Mother to children, Brother to Sister ETC....there is that continuous...circular flow of interrelationships, sacred space to consider.

Is the circle a perfect shape? Yes. It is continuous, there is no beginning and no end, so therefore it continues in perpetuity. Can it be or is it considered a sacred shape? Certainly it is a sacred shape within the context of our fundamental belief, social and political systems.

O le Fale, le Tanoa, Ipu, o le Alofi (Sa)... are Circular in form....there is purpose and meaning in the design.

Just like our culture...EVERYTHING has its own defined place, space and purpose.
Yes it is like that circle in life....because it is like the natural cycles of Life from birth, to finding our purpose in Life and fulfilling that purpose, and then death, and probably a Rebirth....not more so to live again...but to live on through our descendants who continue the Culture, the Traditions from our ancestors of yore.


To be contd




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Just look at the design of the Circular Fale Samoa.
Even the Fale Afolau...some may state that it is not a circle...lol
It is a circle.....just an elliptical one...a circle strectched to an oval shape.

There is tangible as well as symbolic meaning and purpose found in the design of these structures. From the taualuga...the circular roof to the posts, to the floor base, as well as the externally elevated raised paepae and to the ground there is a whole treasure of meaning and purpose.

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LN


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Sina wrote:

tama upolu wrote:

Ole fesili fa'amolemole Manuatele; po'o sesi o ona iloa, pe sila fia le mafua'aga ole fa'atauaina ole SHAPE CIRCLE (lapotopoto) ile tu male aga i fanua anamua a Samoa atoa...
ole Fale Samoa e lapotopoto,
ole tanoa palu ava e lapotopoto,
ole ipu asu ava e lapotopoto,
ole nonofo a matai ise alofi e lapotopoto...

oute fiamalamala!!!! pe sa fa'apea ona tapua'i o tatou tagata anamua ia TAGALOA..Tasi lea vaega taua oute masalo ua misi e tatou scholar...ua ova a tatou sikola ile faitau ma su'esu'e tusitusiga a misionare, 'ae misi ai mea taua ile tatou ana i fanua...









The reason for this circular shape has to do with Perfection, Perfect Order, Balance Completeness,Cohesiveness,Continuity, etc

It is a Heaven and Earth....connection. The Fale'ula, the first house which was brought down from the heavens.....the abode of the gods, so to speak...but primarily the abode of Tagaloalagi....was in its form and design....circular...PERFECT.

This sense or concept of perfection was manifested within that design and thus brought down to Earth as the prototype of future samoan physical structures, but not only that, it addresses and encompasses the deeper aspects...fundamental tenets of the social, political and cultural order of things....enforced by the language of social etiquette and protocol...deserving of rank....from ascending to descending order. Most importantly...the relational space....O le "VA"...spatial and social relations between lets say Alii, Matais to Tagaloalagi, Ali'i i le Ali'i...Matai i le Ali'i... Lesser Matais to each other...Family members...au tautua to their Matai's etc, Male to Female, Father and Mother to children, Brother to Sister ETC....there is that continuous...circular flow of interrelationships, sacred space to consider.

Is the circle a perfect shape? Yes. It is continuous, there is no beginning and no end, so therefore it continues in perpetuity. Can it be or is it considered a sacred shape? Certainly it is a sacred shape within the context of our fundamental belief, social and political systems.

O le Fale, le Tanoa, Ipu, o le Alofi (Sa)... are Circular in form....there is purpose and meaning in the design.

Just like our culture...EVERYTHING has its own defined place, space and purpose.
Yes it is like that circle in life....because it is like the natural cycles of Life from birth, to finding our purpose in Life and fulfilling that purpose, and then death, and probably a Rebirth....not more so to live again...but to live on through our descendants who continue the Culture, the Traditions from our ancestors of yore.


To be contd







Ole mea lena e ese ai lava Samoa mai isi atu Polenisia ona e lapotopoto fale. The only other round thatch roof hut I saw was in the jungles of the Amazon. One tribe had this same architecture.

-- Edited by LN on Monday 22nd of March 2010 10:24:05 AM

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LN wrote:

Sina wrote:

tama upolu wrote:

Ole fesili fa'amolemole Manuatele; po'o sesi o ona iloa, pe sila fia le mafua'aga ole fa'atauaina ole SHAPE CIRCLE (lapotopoto) ile tu male aga i fanua anamua a Samoa atoa...
ole Fale Samoa e lapotopoto,
ole tanoa palu ava e lapotopoto,
ole ipu asu ava e lapotopoto,
ole nonofo a matai ise alofi e lapotopoto...

oute fiamalamala!!!! pe sa fa'apea ona tapua'i o tatou tagata anamua ia TAGALOA..Tasi lea vaega taua oute masalo ua misi e tatou scholar...ua ova a tatou sikola ile faitau ma su'esu'e tusitusiga a misionare, 'ae misi ai mea taua ile tatou ana i fanua...









The reason for this circular shape has to do with Perfection, Perfect Order, Balance Completeness,Cohesiveness,Continuity, etc

It is a Heaven and Earth....connection. The Fale'ula, the first house which was brought down from the heavens.....the abode of the gods, so to speak...but primarily the abode of Tagaloalagi....was in its form and design....circular...PERFECT.

This sense or concept of perfection was manifested within that design and thus brought down to Earth as the prototype of future samoan physical structures, but not only that, it addresses and encompasses the deeper aspects...fundamental tenets of the social, political and cultural order of things....enforced by the language of social etiquette and protocol...deserving of rank....from ascending to descending order. Most importantly...the relational space....O le "VA"...spatial and social relations between lets say Alii, Matais to Tagaloalagi, Ali'i i le Ali'i...Matai i le Ali'i... Lesser Matais to each other...Family members...au tautua to their Matai's etc, Male to Female, Father and Mother to children, Brother to Sister ETC....there is that continuous...circular flow of interrelationships, sacred space to consider.

Is the circle a perfect shape? Yes. It is continuous, there is no beginning and no end, so therefore it continues in perpetuity. Can it be or is it considered a sacred shape? Certainly it is a sacred shape within the context of our fundamental belief, social and political systems.

O le Fale, le Tanoa, Ipu, o le Alofi (Sa)... are Circular in form....there is purpose and meaning in the design.

Just like our culture...EVERYTHING has its own defined place, space and purpose.
Yes it is like that circle in life....because it is like the natural cycles of Life from birth, to finding our purpose in Life and fulfilling that purpose, and then death, and probably a Rebirth....not more so to live again...but to live on through our descendants who continue the Culture, the Traditions from our ancestors of yore.


To be contd







Ole mea lena e ese ai lava Samoa mai isi atu Polenisia ona e lapotopoto fale. The only other round thatch roof hut I saw was in the jungles of the Amazon. One tribe had this same architecture.

-- Edited by LN on Monday 22nd of March 2010 10:24:05 AM





There is a reason for everything in Samoa for example:

During the time of Tagaloalagi the houses in Samoa varied in shape and this lead to many difficulties for those who wished to have a house built in a certain manner. Each carpenter was proficient in building a house of one particular shape only and it was sometimes impossible to obtain the services of the carpenter desired. A meeting of all the carpenters in the country was held to try and decide on some uniform shape. The discussion waxed enthusiastic and as there seemed no prospect of a decision being arrived at it was decided to call in the services of Tagaloalagi. After considering the matter he pointed to the dome of Heaven and to the horizon and he decreed that in future all houses built would be of that shape and this explains why all the ends of Samoan houses are as the shape of the heavens extending down to the horizon and vice versa.

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SINA Wrote..

It is a Heaven and Earth....connection. The Fale'ula, the first house which was brought down from the heavens.....the abode of the gods, so to speak...but primarily the abode of Tagaloalagi....was in its form and design....circular...PERFECT.
________________________________________________________________________

Thank you Sina..

check this out...

ISAIAH 40:22.
It is who sits above the circle ofthe earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
who streches out havens like a curtain,
and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in............how cool is that..

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Isaiah 40:22
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.


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tama upolu wrote:

SINA Wrote..

It is a Heaven and Earth....connection. The Fale'ula, the first house which was brought down from the heavens.....the abode of the gods, so to speak...but primarily the abode of Tagaloalagi....was in its form and design....circular...PERFECT.
________________________________________________________________________

Thank you Sina..

check this out...

ISAIAH 40:22.
It is who sits above the circle ofthe earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
who streches out havens like a curtain,
and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in............how cool is that..






Yup....it is WAY COOL!

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Now this is some good reading. Great post. Fa'afetai.

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LN


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Something I came across by one of the Original Palagi's who were translating the Bible into Samoan language. And we need to give these guys credit. They came to Samoa and had family members born and die there for the work. great sacrifice. I will list their names here later. but this is what one of them said after translating the Bible into Samoan because he was a linguist.

The Rev. T. Powell, F.L.S., of the London Missionary Society spent at least 40 years in Samoa and presented the following to the Victoria Institute or the Philosophical Society of Great Britain in 1886 or 1887.__"[The Samoans] are of Asiatic origin, and, in my own opinion, of Hebrew descent; the language is essentially Semitic. This would have been evident at a glance to any philologist, had the missionaries, who gave the people signs for their sounds, have given Hebrew letters instead of Roman. Only fifty six years ago these people were in heathen darkness. 'They had gods many and lords many, in a remarkable system of zoolatry which prevailed, linking them on alike to the Asiatic continent and to the animal worship of the ancient Egyptians.'" (pg. 146)__"[The Samoan] legends seem to me to commence with the Creation and to end with the captivity in Babylon, and the conviction on my mind is that the people who have thus preserved them are of Israelitish originthat they have come through Babylon. You may trace in their language very important Chaldaic forms, and find them recurring in preference over and over again to the Hebraic forms. In these things, and in the habits and customs of the people, we discover so vast an amount of likeness to what we find in the Bible, that we seem to have in reality very like a parallel history to that of the Bible, from Genesis to the Babylonian CaptivityMy idea is that the people I have spoken of are of Israelitish origin; that they were in Babylon, and have been enabled to preserve their history in the form in which we find it. I regard them as a people who have clothed their history in this mystic way, and so handed it carefully down from generation to generation. I asked the man who gave me this tradition, "When did you get it?" and his reply was, "Oh, we cannot tell that; it has been handed down from one generation to another, and that is how we have retained it." The house is always guarded when they relate these legends among their familiesHere is a little book full of Hebrew words in Samoan, and they are put down just as I have come across them. There are so many of these similarities, and when we find that they are so numerous, and that if we used the Hebrew instead of the Roman character we should see at once that the language is triliteral, I think I have said enough to give some probability to my view until the opportunity is given me of submitting further evidence to philologists and scientists. " (pg. 170)__If you read the full account given by Rev. Powell and the discussion he has with others of the society, many other interesting insights may be found relative to a possible Samoan-Hebrew connection.

Mr. Pratt (another of the Original Palagi translators) wrote, "For my own amusement in 1875 I wrote out a syntax of the Samoan grammar. I was led to do this by observing, while reading Nordheimers Hebrew Grammar, that the Samoan, in many points resembled the Hebrew."__Not knowing Hebrew myself, I do not truly know how Samoan and Hebrew are similar. I have, however, found a few points of comparison in Pratt's 3rd edition of his dictionary (a reference and link for which can be found at the bottom of the original post).__"The Causative, like Hiphil in Hebrew." (pg. 23)__"The Intensive, like Piel." (pg. 23)__"The Reciprocal, Hithpael." (pg. 24)__"Particles of negation: e leai (like the Hebrew particle), signifies non-existence: as e leai se lelei, there is nothing good." (pg. 35)


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