Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before eBook

George Turner (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 189 pages of information about Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago And Long Before.

(5.) Lefanga, or “The bay,” is a name embracing a number of villages on the south side of Aana.  There is a rising ground there called Taape, or “Dispersion,” which is said to have been the place where a party broke up and dispersed after a visit to the heavens.  There were five Atua men and four belonging to Aana.

As soon as they got up to the skies the people of the god Tangaloa laid a plot to kill them.  They prepared a bowl of ’ava for their entertainment, and mixed it with poison, but no one was seriously affected by it.  The Tangaloans then prepared a game at sitting in the rain to see who could endure it longest, hoping to kill some of them with cold.  One of their party, called Mosofaofulu, that is, “Moso-feather-refuge,” covered them with a lot of feathers, and so the rain had no effect on them.

The Tangaloans next proposed a game at floating down a stream which rushed over a cataract, of which strangers were ignorant until they were on the edge of the fall and tumbling over.  The visitors were to float first, and Fulufuluitolo, or “Sugar-cane-down,” took the lead.  He planted his feet firmly on a rock near the fall, and as his party came floating down he seized them one by one and jerked them out of the stream and danger on to the land.  And hence the proverb for an unexpected deliverance:  “Saved by Fulufuluitolo.”  It was then the turn of a select party of the Tongaloans to float.  Fulufuluitolo held out no helping hand to them, and over the fall they went one after another and were killed.

The Tangaloans next told their visitors they were going to treat them to some food, and made ready accordingly.  They plotted at the same time to fall upon them when they were eating and kill them.  The Tangaloans went with the food in basket-burdens as usual, carried on poles over the shoulder, and laid all down.  The strangers set to work and ate furiously not only the food, but baskets, sticks, and all, to the utter amazement and unnerving of the Tangaloans, who only gaped and stared, and could not summon courage to strike a blow.

As quieter measures failed the Tangaloans proposed a game at club exercise, and thought in that way to kill them off at once.  This too was accepted by the strangers.  First of all Tangaloaatevalu, “Eight-livered-Tangaloa,” or Tangaloa the plucky, stepped forward with his club, and up rose Tuimulifanua, “King-of-the-end-of-the-island,” club in hand also to fight with him.  Every blow was well aimed, struck off a liver, and made Tangaloa reel.  By-and-by seven were gone, and as he had only one pluck left he called out:  “Enough, enough!  I am beaten; let me seek something to give you for my life.”  He went off and brought a fine mat cloth to wear round the body.  Tuimulifanua put it round his loins, but it trailed on the ground, and had to be lifted up; hence it was called Lavasii, or “Cloth-lifted-up.”  He could not be troubled with the long train, and gave it to another of the party called Tuimuaiava, “King-of-the-first-harbour,” who kept it and brought it down to the earth.  Its name, Lavasii, became a title of chief ruler, and that title has remained in that particular family to this day.  One of the Samoans killed in 1876 in a skirmish with the marines of H.M.S. Barracoutta had at that time the title of Lavasii.

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