Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before eBook

George Turner (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 230 pages of information about Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before.

When Pili was old and dying he called his children together and appointed them their places and employments.  To Tua, the eldest, he gave the plantation dibble, as the business of agriculture, and the eastern division of Upolu now called Atua.  To Tuamasanga he committed the orator’s staff and fly-flapper, with which to do the business of speaking, and, as a residence, the central division of Upolu called Tuamasanga:  hence the name of the district there called Sangana, sacred to oratory.  To Ana he gave the Spear as the emblem of war, and as a district, the western division of Upolu called Aana.  Tolufale was to live on Manono, but to go about and take the oversight of all.  The old man finished up his will with:  “When you wish to fight, fight; when you wish to work, work; when you wish to talk, talk.”  After his death they separated, and went to their respective places and employments.

1.  ATUA is the eastern division of Upolu, and it again was subdivided into what they called the head, the middle, and the tail.

(1.) Aleipata is a district at the east end of the island, and was called the head, as the titled king or head of Atua resided there.  The name originated in Alei and Pata, a couple who were said to have come from the heavens and taught their children to build houses.  They were very good-looking, and charged their children that when they died they were to be buried in a standing posture, with their faces uncovered, that people might still come and look at them; and from this probably originated the custom of embalming practised there.

Lefao was the name a chief who came from Tutuila and lived in one of the districts bordering on Aleipata.  When the meeting was held for the division of the lands of Atua he did not attend, but the chiefs voted him the place and neighbourhood where he lived at Lepa, or the wall, which, of old, ran across the island and ended there, and hence the place was named Salefao—­sacred to, or, the province of Lefao.

(2.) Lufilufi.—­This settlement, on the north side, was the principal residence of the kings of Atua.  The word means food-divider.  It had its origin in the name of a fish called Naiufi, which was cut up, on one occasion, with surprising dexterity by one of the king’s attendants with only a bit of the cocoa-nut stem as a knife.  He received on that account the name of Lufilufi, and was promoted to be chief carver to the king, and to rule in all divisions of food on public occasions.  The town was named after him, and to this day in all public gatherings the distribution of the food part of the entertainment is committed to some of the young men of this place.

(3.) Saluafata.—­This village is closely attached to Lufilufi, and was so named from a lady called Luafata who lived there, and whose daughter married the king of Atua.  Her grandchild by this royal father was among the indulged, and, like other scions of royalty in Samoa, had such privileges as to stand or walk about when he ate his food; and, while others carried burdens of cocoa-nuts, etc., he was allowed to march up and down with a fancy spear, and play at spear throwing.  He was named the Right-arm-of-Atua, and took the lead in the village as body-guard of the king.

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Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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