Another god called the Supa or paralysis, rose and proposed that the life of man should be like the extinction of the candle-nut torch, which when once out cannot be blown in again.
Then followed a number of speeches, some for the one proposal and some for the other. While the discussion was proceeding a pouring rain came on and broke up the meeting. The gods ran to the houses for shelter, and as they were dispersing they called out, “Let the proposal of Paralysis be carried, and let man’s life go out like the candle-nut torch.” And hence the proverb: “It is as Paralysis said.” Man dies and does not return.
Another account of this meeting adds other two proposals. One that men should cast their skins like the shell-fish; and another that when they grow old they should dive in the “water of life” and come up little boys. It finishes, however, with the proposal of Paralysis being carried, but adds that only men were to die, not women.
Origin of the Name.
1. The rocks married the earth, and the earth became pregnant. Salevao, the god of the rocks, observed motion in the moa or centre of the earth. The child was born and named Moa, from the place where it was seen moving. Salevao ordered the umbilicus to be laid on a club, and cut with a stone; and hence the custom ever after on the birth of a man-child.
Salevao then provided water for washing the child and made it sa, or sacred to Moa. The rocks and the earth said they wished to get some of that water to drink. Salevao replied that if they got a bamboo he would send them a streamlet through it, and hence the origin of springs.
Salevao said he would become loose stones, and that everything which grew would be sa ia Moa, or sacred to Moa, till his hair was cut. After a time his hair was cut and the restriction taken off, and hence also the rocks and the earth were called Sa ia Moa, or as it is abbreviated, SAMOA.
2. Tangaloa of the heavens had two children—a son called Moa, and a daughter called Lu. Lu married a brother chief of Tangaloa, and had a son, who was named Lu after herself. One night when Tangaloa lay down to sleep, he heard his grandson singing—
After a time he changed it to—
Tangaloa was annoyed at the presumption of the lad, as if he wished to be above Moa the firstborn. He feigned an errand, and called the boy to come and scratch his back. The boy went to perform the operation, but on stretching out his hand was seized by his grandfather, and beaten with the handle of his fly-flapper. Lu made his escape, came running down to the earth, and named it SAMOA.
3. At one time the land was flooded by the sea, and everything died except some fowls and pigeons. The pigeons flew away, but the Moa, or fowls, remained and were made sacred by Lu, and not to be killed, and hence called the Sa Moa or preserve fowls of Lu.