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ETM


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Samoan female orators?
 


I recently attended a Samoan seminar where one of the listed topics of discussion was Fausaga o Lauga Samoa. However, after the presenter did a quick sweep of the crowd and noticed that there was quite a significant number of women present and only a few men, he informed us that he would skip that particular part of the presentation because the women would find it boring.
I figured, alright, maybe that's just an excuse because he just ran over the scheduled time. I'll just come back for the 2nd instalment and catch the Lauga presentation.
The next day, similar numbers showed up - mostly women, few men. The presenter made the announcement that he would again skip the Fausaga o Lauga Samoa because the ladies would not be interested.

Why would someone assume that Samoan women would not be interested in Samoan speeches? Are there no female orators?
What do you all think - Does the role befit a woman?


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it's a male role and does not befit a woman..e le onomea ai ni fafine..there's also some sexual connotations involved in samoan oratory that does not befit a woman speaker..

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ETM wrote:

I recently attended a Samoan seminar where one of the listed topics of discussion was Fausaga o Lauga Samoa. However, after the presenter did a quick sweep of the crowd and noticed that there was quite a significant number of women present and only a few men, he informed us that he would skip that particular part of the presentation because the women would find it boring.
I figured, alright, maybe that's just an excuse because he just ran over the scheduled time. I'll just come back for the 2nd instalment and catch the Lauga presentation.
The next day, similar numbers showed up - mostly women, few men. The presenter made the announcement that he would again skip the Fausaga o Lauga Samoa because the ladies would not be interested.

Why would someone assume that Samoan women would not be interested in Samoan speeches? Are there no female orators?
What do you all think - Does the role befit a woman?





The oratory art belongs to everyone and anyone in my view. It looks to me I know that presenter if he is the one who ran in the last election from Sagaga.

I visited few Samoan churches both in Auckland and Sydney where I witnessed that some of the women are more talented in the oratory skill than men.

Sa fai le felaugaiga a le pulega lea i Sigi oga valaaulia uma lea o malo e koogai ma le faifeau lauga ... very sad that none of the men in this church know how to lauga so Nafanua stood up and paepae ulufanua paia o le taeao seia oo lava i le faamakafiga o le aso.

In that case, o le gagana fa'afailauga e tatau ona silafia e soo se tasi e fia aoaoina ma faaaogaina. Also speaking from experience, my sisters learn this skill when we were young from my father a true orator of my village.



-- Edited by Lioner on Wednesday 21st of September 2011 11:32:29 AM

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A matai is also a warrior, in days of old sometimes powerful woman would be on the battlefield to hold the matai's weapons but that was all. If woman want to be orators then they have to take the role of a protector as well. It's a no for me.

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Admiral wrote:

A matai is also a warrior, in days of old sometimes powerful woman would be on the battlefield to hold the matai's weapons but that was all. If woman want to be orators then they have to take the role of a protector as well. It's a no for me.





How many years ago are you talking about? And how many men bowing to Nafanua for power?

Where do you get your information from regarding a woman to be the protector as well if she want to be an orator?

A woman with the oratory skill is much better than a man who know nothing but just a fagupia. There are also so many broken families where single women raised their kids by themselves. Isn't that a protector by definition?

We are living in the cold war zone ...



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I'm with Lioner on this one. I think there is room for our culture to transform with the changing times.

There are many examples of women who lead entire countries, monarchy's, multi-national corporations and what have you.

Whenever I hear Fiame on the radio I think to myself - what oratory abilities does she lack in relation to male chiefs - I can't find many.

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see-double-u-are wrote:

it's a male role and does not befit a woman..e le onomea ai ni fafine..there's also some sexual connotations involved in samoan oratory that does not befit a woman speaker..





Is there sexual content in the laugas? Seriously? lol. Can you pls give an example?

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Lioner wrote:





How many years ago are you talking about? And how many men bowing to Nafanua for power?

Where do you get your information from regarding a woman to be the protector as well if she want to be an orator?

A woman with the oratory skill is much better than a man who know nothing but just a fagupia. There are also so many broken families where single women raised their kids by themselves. Isn't that a protector by definition?

We are living in the cold war zone ...





As soon as I saw that comment about women on the battlefield, I thought of Nafanua as well.

We have our women warriors and protectors too - showing strength and ability in various ways, not just in a physical battle. And I hope many too can keep in mind e au le ina'ilau a tamaitai.

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Saanapu-Tai wrote:


Whenever I hear Fiame on the radio I think to myself - what oratory abilities does she lack in relation to male chiefs - I can't find many.





I agree, she speaks well. Her title does not require her to be an orator but it still shows through that she has the knowledge and skill to put up in a battle of lauga if necessary.

I have yet to witness a woman standing with a to'oto'o but I believe that it is out of mutual respect rather than the arrogance/assumption that women are not able to perform a speech. Respect as in - shown from the women giving the male orators the chance to showcase their skill, or respect from the men taking on the task so that the ladies do not have to do it.


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Tattoo - Pe'a for the Men, Malu for the Women.

Central ceremonial welcomes - Manaia, Men. Taupou, Women.

Our Culture at its foundation encourages that honour is not subjective to ones Sex, but rather ones ability and traits to deserve such honour.



"Of Samoa's total population of 180,741 (2006 census), 87,064 were female, comprising 48% of the population. The male (52%) to female (48%) ratio for the country is higher than the world ratio. In 2006, there were 3,194 female matai, 20.2% of the 15,783 matai living in the country.[4]

A woman can hold a matai name and have the pule (authority) of the family but this does not often occur. Should she have both she will usually bestow her matai title on one of her family, probably her husband, and retain the pule.

In 2006, there were four female Members of Parliament in Samoa and three were cabinet ministers out of a 13-member cabinet.[4]

Prominent women matai in Samoa include scholar and historian Aiono Fanaafi Le Tagaloa (matai title Aiono), high chief and senior cabinet minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa (matai title Fiame), politician Safuneitu'uga Pa'aga Neri (matai title Safuneitu'uga) and writer Letuimanu'asina Emma Kruse Va'ai (matai title Letuimanu'asina).

With many Samoans also living overseas in other countries, other prominent Samoan female matai includes New Zealand former Member of Parliament Luamanuvao Winnie Laban (matai title Luamanuvao)."


- Source; Wiki.

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Thanks for posting the video, SamoanSaiyan. Now I've seen it :)

That whole ritual she did at the beginning with the fue and the tootoo - is it necessary before a speech? It didn't seem natural but rehearsed.

Also, there was a comment on the clip about how her hand should have been sitting on top of the tootoo. Does anyone know the significance of where the hand is placed on the tootoo? Are there any other standard tootoo rituals or etiquette? I am only aware of when the tulafale fa'alava le tootoo which indicates they're done.

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SamoanSaiyan wrote:

Our Culture at its foundation encourages that honour is not subjective to ones Sex, but rather ones ability and traits to deserve such honour.





I'm not so sure.

I think gender has a lot to do with our culture. Let's take for instance this title from the ministry - faletua - literally translates into the back of the house. It is also the title reserved for a Reverand's wife in my congregation.

Even though she leads the sunday school, the mother's programme and what have you she is still known as a 'faletua'. Some say that this title is demeaning of females in the ministry.

-- Edited by Saanapu-Tai on Thursday 22nd of September 2011 02:52:27 PM

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Saanapu-Tai wrote:

SamoanSaiyan wrote:

Our Culture at its foundation encourages that honour is not subjective to ones Sex, but rather ones ability and traits to deserve such honour.





I'm not so sure.

I think gender has a lot to do with our culture. Let's take for instance this title from the ministry - faletua - literally translates into the back of the house. It is also the title reserved for a Reverand's wife in my congregation.

Even though she leads the sunday school, the mother's programme and what have you she is still known as a 'faletua'. Some say that this title is demeaning of females in the ministry.

-- Edited by Saanapu-Tai on Thursday 22nd of September 2011 02:52:27 PM



Of course,

Gender has a lot to do with any Culture - but the point is that within Fa'a Matai (which is a main building block of Fa'a Samoa) both Males and Females can be bestowed Matai titles.

For example - a Man having no traits to become a Matai over a Woman who has many traits needed for leadership? The title would not go to the Man merely because he is Male priority over the Woman.


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Do you think that female chiefs are more recognised though? are they on equal terms with their male counterparts in terms of that respect afforded by the greater fabric of our society?

From personal experience I would say NO. A female might carry titles but she won't carry them with the same PRESTIGE as a male chief.

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ETM wrote:

Thanks for posting the video, SamoanSaiyan. Now I've seen it :)

That whole ritual she did at the beginning with the fue and the tootoo - is it necessary before a speech? It didn't seem natural but rehearsed.

Also, there was a comment on the clip about how her hand should have been sitting on top of the tootoo. Does anyone know the significance of where the hand is placed on the tootoo? Are there any other standard tootoo rituals or etiquette? I am only aware of when the tulafale fa'alava le tootoo which indicates they're done.





Read this,

I read it a while ago - very insightful.

Here - Oratory in Samoa

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Saanapu-Tai wrote:

Do you think that female chiefs are more recognised though? are they on equal terms with their male counterparts in terms of that respect afforded by the greater fabric of our society?

From personal experience I would say NO. A female might carry titles but she won't carry them with the same PRESTIGE as a male chief.





This is the discretion of the Aiga I would say,

For example - within my Aiga on my Fathers side, from where my Matai title comes from, the ratio of Woman Matai to Male Matai is quite higher than other Aiga I know of (nearly 1:1 ratio). This stems from the historicity of Woman who were of great prestige in the gafa of my Aiga, for this reason also, a Woman Matai (out side of the Aiga) is looked on with a more positive attitude than a "oh... a Woman Matai..." attitude.

Salamasina curbed the authority of the Tulafale to decide/dictate marriages of young Manaia/Taupou during her reign.

In comparison to say; Islamic royal implications, Samoan appreciation for Female Chieftains and leaders is far more encouraging and uplifting.



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There is nothing wrong with women orators, however i believe a man is well suited for the role of a matai. Women already have their status in the family, Taupou, augafaapae, tausi, faletua, feagaiga a le aiga.

I do believe that the best teacher of samoan oratory are women! I havent learnt alot from the older women of my family. They know the history too, they know the geneologies etc.

In my family on both side, titles are given to men first, if there is no male hier fit for the title then a woman is bestowed. But the high ranking titles of my family has always been given to male heirs. It also depends on the families.

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Lioner wrote:

Admiral wrote:

A matai is also a warrior, in days of old sometimes powerful woman would be on the battlefield to hold the matai's weapons but that was all. If woman want to be orators then they have to take the role of a protector as well. It's a no for me.





How many years ago are you talking about? And how many men bowing to Nafanua for power?

Where do you get your information from regarding a woman to be the protector as well if she want to be an orator?

A woman with the oratory skill is much better than a man who know nothing but just a fagupia. There are also so many broken families where single women raised their kids by themselves. Isn't that a protector by definition?

We are living in the cold war zone ...



I'm talking about pre missionary times. Nafanua was an oracle or Goddess of War. An exception to the rule. A freak. I'm not doubting a womans capability in becoming a good orator. Even a good provider for there disfunctional family. Just like men, some are good leaders as well. I'm talking about being a Protector. The Alpha in ones family. Someone who, when in their prime, can defend their wife and kids untill their kids are old enough to take over. We're talking about the Tulafale here, not Queens, Alii, Politicians, lecturers or the chairman of the P.T.A.



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