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.

Lu told the cause of his anger:  his Sa Moa or preserve fowls had been stolen, and he had found the thieves in the very act of eating them.  Tangaloa said, “It is indeed very bad; but now that you have left behind all the places where wars may be fought out, and have come to this heaven of peace, let your wrath abate, spare these men, and you shall go back with the title of King of heaven, and take my daughter Langituavalu, Eighth heavens, to be your wife.”  “Very good,” said Lu; “let these men live, and let us be at peace, and conform to the custom of Malae totoa.”

A handsome dowry was got up, the marriage took place, and Tangaloa told Lu to name the earth Samoa when he came down, and so keep in remembrance his preserve fowls.

The two came down, had a child, and named him Samoa, and from them these islands have been peopled.  Hence also the proverb from this lady coming from heaven and having children on earth:  “The heavens are swinging and touching the earth.”  Of any one who marries a person far away it is also said, “It is like Langituavalu.”

At the marriage of Langituavalu and Lu, Tangaloa ordered all his people to contribute a fine white mat each, with which to form her dowry.  A great feast was also provided, but only those were admitted who had contributed a white mat.  When the festive day came there were many outside who were chagrined that they had not made an effort to get the white mat, and so have been permitted to share in the grand celebration, to the music of which they could only listen outside and in the distance.



The Samoans believed in a soul or disembodied spirit, which they called the anganga.  Anga means to go or come, according to the particle of direction suffixed.  Anga atu means to go away; anga mai signifies to come.  The reduplicated anganga is used to designate the soul as distinct from the body, and which at death was supposed to go away from the body and proceed to the hadean regions under the ocean, which they called Pulotu.

In describing the localities about Falealupo in another chapter, we have noted some things about the lower regions which were supposed to enter from the neighbourhood of Falealupo.  We know little, if anything, more of the notions which the Samoans had of a future state, and therefore pass on to the religion which prevailed all over the group.

At one time it was supposed that Samoa was destitute of any kind of religion, and by some of the early visitors the people were called “the godless Samoans.”  On closer acquaintance with them, however, it was discovered that they lived under the influence of a host of imaginary deities, claiming alike belief and corresponding practice.

At his birth a Samoan was supposed to be taken under the care of some god, or aitu, as it was called.  The help of several of these gods was probably invoked in succession on the occasion, and the one who happened to be addressed just as the child was born was fixed on as the child’s god for life.

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