Sina’s Mavaega: Her Promise to Create the Moon

TALA ‘ I LE MAVAEGA A SINA

aso lava e tele ‘ua mavae, sā maua ai e le Tui Uea se pā ma se maga. ‘O ia mea e lua e fausia fa’atasi e maua ai se pā-fāgota e fa’a-aogā ‘i faiva ‘o le seuseu, ‘afa’afa-loloa, ma alogā-atu. ‘A e peita’i, sā le iloa e le Tui Uea ona fausia fa’atasi le pā ma le maga sā ia maua.
Sā ia fesilisili solo fo’i ‘i tagata o Iona motu, po ‘o ai o lātou e
iloa ‘ona fausia fa’atasi ia mea e lua. ‘Ae sa tali mai tagata o Iona motu, ‘ua na ‘o Samoa lava e mafai ona maua ai ni tautai ‘ua popoto i le
fausaga o pā-fāgota. Sa malaga loa le Tui Uea ‘i Samoa, ‘auā ‘ua ia
silafia lava, ‘e le aogā lana pā, se’iloga e sa’o Iona fausaga. Sa taunu’ u lana malaga ‘ i Laua, ‘ o le tasi lea nu’u, o Savai ‘ i.
‘Ina ‘ua ‘uma le fesilafa’iga a le Tui Uea ma le nu’u, ‘ona ia fa’aali ane lea o le fe’au na māfua ai ona malaga mai. Mā, sā fa’apotopoto ane loa tautai ‘uma o lea nu’u ‘i le nofoaga ‘ua ta’ua ‘o le Faga i Laua.
‘I le, sā latou gālulue ai loa e soso’o le pa ma le maga a le Tui Uea.
Sa vave ‘ ona mae’ a lea galuega ‘ ona ‘ o lo latou popoto ma atamamai. ‘ Ina ‘ua tu’uina atu le pā-fāgota ‘i le Tui Uea, sā ia ‘auina ai loa se tasi o tautai e fa’ ata’ ita’ i lana pā-fāgota i le sami. Sā alu loa le tautai ‘ua aloatu ai i le pā-fāgota a le Tui Uea. Sā leai se ‘umi na aloatu ai le tautai ‘a e toe fo’i mai ma le anoano o atu. Sa ofo lava le tautai i lenei mea, ‘a e maise lava le Tui Uea ma ali’i o lo ‘o i uta. Mā, sā fiafia ātili ai le Tui Uea, ‘auā ‘ua ia iloa nei ‘ua sa’o le fausaga o lana pa-fagota.

‘A ‘o nofo le Tui Uea i Laua, sā ia fa’amāsani ‘i le tasi tama’ita’i e igoa ‘i ā Sina. Sā i’u lava ‘ina fa’aipoipo le Tui Uea ma lenei tama’ita’i. ‘Ina ‘ua ‘uma le fa’aipoipega, sā malaga loa Sina ma le Tui Uea ‘i le motu ‘o Uea. Sā fa’atasi ai fo’i i lenei malaga tuagane e to’atolu ‘o Sina: ‘O Faumea, Lā’ulu, ma A’aufa’ae’e. Na ala ona malaga tuagane o Sina ‘ona ‘o lo lātou mānana’o e maua mai mō lātou le pā-fāgota a le Tui Uea, ‘auā ‘ua uiga ‘ese lava lea pā. ‘0 lea fo’i pa sā fa’aigoaina ‘o le ‘auamanū.
Sā lātou taunu’u ‘i Uea ma nonofo ai loa. Sā ‘avea Sina ma āvā lelei,’a e maise i ana fautuaga lelei ‘i le Tui Uea. ‘A ‘o le Tui Uea fo’i ‘ua matuā alofa lava ‘i lana āvā ‘o Sina. Sā ia tu’u atu ‘i ā Sina ana ‘oloa ‘uma, ‘a e maise ‘o le ‘auamanū sa fai ma mitamitaga o le Tui Uea. ‘Ina ‘ua fa’alego le ‘auuso ‘ua mamulu ane le pa-fagota ‘i lo lātou tuafafine, sa lātou taupulepule loa ‘i se ‘auala e mafai ai ‘ona latou ‘ave le pa-fagota ‘i Samoa. Na pau le ‘auala e mafai ai, ‘o lo latou sōsola lea ma ‘ave Sina ‘i Sāmoa. ‘A ‘o le fa’alavelave, ‘e leai se va’a. ‘A e ui ‘i lenā, sa lātou le toe fa’atali, ‘a ‘ua lātou ō ifo loa ma Sina ‘ua fe’ausi mai le sami. Sā tigā ‘ona musu Sina ‘ona ‘o lona ma’itaga, ‘a e sā ‘aumai fa’amālosi pea e ona tuagane. Sa latou fe’ausi ma te’a ‘ese ma le a’au o Uea, ‘a e talofa, sa lagona e Faumea le gagase o tino, ma sā i’u lava ‘ina malemo le ali’i ma oti ai. ‘E fa’apea le tala, ‘o lo ‘o igoa ai le tasi pito a’au o lena motu ‘o “Faumea.” ‘E ui ‘ina ‘o lea, ‘ae sā fa’aauau pea le fe’ausiga a Lā’ulu, A’aufa’ae’e, ma si o lā tuafafine ‘o Sina. Sā lagi fo’i le pese a tama fa’apenei:

Sina e, soia e te tagi

Olo’o lele le matagi

O launa na ‘ua tu mai

‘A mea ‘e te o’o ‘i ai

Sina e, ‘aua le vaivai,

Lou nu’u ‘ua fotu mai

Fa’amalosi ‘ia taunu’u

‘I Samoa le ‘auamanu.

Sā le toe fa’avaivai Sina, ‘a ‘ua fa’asaga ane nei e fe’ausi ma ona tuagane. Sā lātou latalata ‘i le a’au o Faleālupo, ‘a ‘o Lā’ulu ‘ua fa’atāutāu, ‘ua vāivai. Sā tigā lava ‘ona fa’amalosi ane, ‘a ‘ua le mafai, ma sā i’u lava 1 ina malemo le ali’i ma oti ai. ‘O lo ‘o igoa ai nei le
a’au e lata ‘i Faleālupo ‘o “Lā’ulu.” Sā fe’ausi ane pea le tama ‘o A’aufa’ae’e ma lona tuafafine ‘o Sina. ‘Ae sā le pine fo’i ‘ona goto ifo le tama ‘ua le lava ‘a’au. Sā fiu Sina e taumafai, ‘a ‘ua malano lava le tama. Ma ‘o lo ‘ō igoa ai nei lena vāega o le a’au e lata ‘i le Fafā i Faleālupo ‘o “A’aufa’ae’e.”
‘Ua mālelamo nei le ‘auuso e to’atolu, ‘a ‘ua-ola pea na ‘o Sina. ‘E le taumate sā vāivāi fo’i ia, ‘ae sa i’u lava ‘ina taunu’u ane Sina ma lana ‘auamanū ‘i le matāfaga. ‘Ā tonu lava ‘o lona lototele ma lona finau maua’i na ia sao ai ‘i uta ma le pā-fagota sa tu’inanau ‘ i ai ona tuagane.

‘Ina ‘ua mavae ni nai aso talu ona taunu’u ‘i Savai’i, ‘ona fānau ai lea ‘o Sina, ‘o le tama. Sā ia fa’aigoa lana tama ‘i ā Tautunu. Sā ia tausi
lana tama se’ia o’o ina ‘ua savali, ‘ona ‘ānata lea ‘ona ia ‘ave le tama ‘i le sami ‘ua a’oa’o ai ‘ina ‘ia fiafia ma tō’aga ai e fāgota. Sā o’o ‘ina ‘ua matua Tautunu, ‘ona ia fa’aipoipo lea ‘i le tama’ita’i Palauli i Savai’i e igoa ‘i ā Talaga. Sā nonofo le ulugali’i i Palauli, le nu’u o le āvā a Talaga. Mā, sā fa’apea fo’i ‘ona alu atu ai ma Sina ‘ua lātou nonofo fa’atasi ai. Sā nofo ai pea Sina i lena nu’u se’ia o’o ‘ina ‘ua lo’ematua ‘o ia. Sā ia tausia fo’i le fanau tama e to’alua a Tautunu ma Talaga. ‘0 igoa o tama ‘o Faga ma Leu. Sā tausi ma agalelei Sina ‘i nei tama se’ia o’o ‘ina ‘ua mātutua ‘ilā’ua.
‘Ina ‘ua vāivāi Sina, ma ‘ua ia lagona fo’i ‘ua lata ‘ona ‘uma ona aso e ola ai, ‘ona ia vala’au ai lea o lona ‘au’āiga e potopoto ane, se’i faiatu lana māvaega. Sa potopoto ane Tautunu ma Talaga ma le lā fānau,
‘ona mavae atu ai lea o Sina i lana rrāvaega lenei:
>”Si a’u fānau e, ‘ua o’o ‘i le itūaso tātou te māvae ai ma ‘outou.
Sā ma’eu lava lo tātou nonofo fa’atasi. Sā mā’eu fo’i le fealofaniga,
‘ātoa ma lā ‘outou tausiga ‘i ā te a’u i aso ‘uma na ‘ou ma’i ai.
Fa’afetai lavai Ma ‘o lea lā, ‘ou te fia aoga ai pea lava mo ‘outou ‘uma.
Tautunu e, si a’u tama tōtino, ‘ou te mavae atu ‘i a te ‘oe i le pā-fāgota lenei. Sa ‘ou tausi ‘i lenei pā, ‘aua ‘ua uiga ‘ese lava lenei pā-fāgota. ‘0 le ala fo’i lea ‘ua ta’ua ai ‘o le “‘auamanū.” ‘A’£ alu e fagota ai, ‘ona ‘e fa’ato’ā malamalama lelei lea i lona aogā tele ‘i lou ‘āiga, fa’apea fo’i ma lou nu’u.
‘Ina ‘ia faigōfie ai lau sāusāu i pō loloa, ‘o le mea lea o le’ā ‘ou alu a’e ai ‘i le lagi. ‘0 le’a ‘ou fa’amālamalama le pō e pei ona suluia e le lā i le ao, ‘auā ‘o le’a ‘avea lava a’u ma fetū fou e aupito lāpo’a i fetū ‘uma. ‘A e ne’i galo a’u i ā te ‘outou, ‘o lea ‘ia tou fa’aigoa lea fetū fou ‘o le “māsina” e fa’amanatu ai a’u. ‘O le’a ta’ amilcmilo fo’i lea fetū lāpo’a e le aunoa i le vānimonimo, ma ‘o le’a ‘ese’ese fo’i lona ata i lea p5 ma lea po.
Ma le toe mea, ‘ā fai ‘ua tāli ‘ātoa lo’u ata o lo ‘o ‘outou va’aia i le lagi i le pō, ‘ona fa’aigoa lea ‘o “punifaga,” ’e fa’aaloalo ai ‘i si tama ‘o Faga. ‘Ae ‘ā fai ‘ua te’a atu nā pō, ‘ona fa’apea ai lea o ‘outou,
‘ua “tafaleu” le masina, ‘e fa’aaloalo ai ‘i si tama ‘o Leu.Na ’uma atu le māvaega a le lo’cmatua ’o Sina, ona maliu filem ai lea o le tama’ita’i. Mā, ‘o lo ‘o manatua pea Sina pe ‘a tātou va’aia 1 māsina i le pō.
Sina’s Mavaega:Her Promise to Create the Moon

This legend tells how Sina directs her family to remember her by observing her life’s meaning as it is captured in the night sky, especially the moon. It begins in the Island of Uea, now one of the Wallis Islands, where the King (Tui) receives a special and valuable fishing net which requires Samoan expertise to assemble it. Sina, of course, is the center of the action, since, throughout our mythology, her physical prowess and beauty seem always to overwhelm and often outperform nearly all men everywhere.

The story begins:

Many years ago, the Tuiuea received a pa and a maga from an itinerant voyager who came in his canoe from across the Pacific. These two things were used to build a pa-fagota (fishing fence) for catching seuseu (mullet), ‘afa’afa-loloa, and aloga-atu which is especially useful for night-fishing, a Samoan art. However, the Tuiuea did not know how to put the two parts- the pa and the maga– together. He asked the people of his island if any one of them knew how to build these things together. To his disappointment, the people of his island answered that only in Samoa would he be able to find the exceptionally skilled fishermen who were smart enough to build such a fishing fence.

Eagerly, the Tuiuea traveled to Samoa, for he knew that his pa would be useless unless it was built correctly, and he might become enriched if it were. His traveling party arrived at Laua, one of the villages in Savai’i.

After Tuiuea introduced himself at a meeting with the village chiefs, he then revealed the reason for his travels.

Eager to help, all the fishermen of the village were then gathered together in a place called the Bay in Laua. Immediately, they began to work to bind the pa and the maga. The work was completed quickly because they were very smart, skilled and diligent fishermen. When they presented the pa-fagota to the Tuiuea, he immediately sent one of the fishermen to test it in the ocean. The fisherman rowed out in his pa-fagota. It didn’t take long for the fisherman to return with an abundant load of atu (bonito). The fisherman was not at all amazed by this, since he knew how it functioned, but the Tui and the other chiefs who were inland were astounded. This made him happy because now he knew his pa-fagota was built correctly, and would bring him an abundance of fish.

While the Tuiuea was in Laua, he befriended a very beautiful woman named Sina who he soon married. After their wedding, Sina traveled with him to make their home on the island of Uea. Traveling together in this party were Sina’s three brothers: Faumea, La’ulu and A’aufa’ae’e. Sina’s brothers did not accompany the newly married couple for their love of their sister alone, but, more importantly, because they wanted to steal for themselves alone the exceptional pa-fagota of her new husband, the Tuiuea.

They arrived in Uea and began new lives there. Sina became a good wife, especially in her advice. Tuiuea also deeply loved his wife Sina. He gave to Sina all his riches, especially the ‘auamanu which was the pride of Tuiuea. After the brothers heard that the pa-fagota was bequeathed to their sister, they began plotting a way to take the pa-fagota back to Samoa. They calculated that the only way that they could do this was to steal Sina herself away from Tuiuea, and run away with her to Samoa. But there was one great obstacle- they had no boat. Despite that fact, they were too impatient to wait and make a proper plan, but instead, captured Sina and carried her down to the ocean with the foolish and dangerous plan to swim to Samoa. Despite being a strong swimmer, Sina refused to go because she was pregnant. But her impetuous and impatient brothers forced her to go, nevertheless. They swam easily through the surf at first, but once they had passed the reef of Uea, Faumea felt his body aching so much that he could swim no longer, and it was here that this young man drowned and died. The story goes that a part of the reef of that island is named “Faumea.” In spite of that, La’ulu and A’aufa’ae’e and their sister Sina continued their swimming. The boys sang this a song:

Sina e, soia e te tagi (Sina, stop crying)

Olo’o lele le matagi (The wind is flying)

O launa na ‘ua tu mai (The end is standing before us)

‘A mea ‘e te o’o ‘i ai (You will reach there)

Sina e, ‘aua le vaivai, (Sina, don’t get tired)

Lou nu’u ‘ua fotu mai (Your land is standing there)

Fa’amalosi ‘ia taunu’u (Be strong until we reach)

‘I Samoa le ‘auamanu. (The ‘auamanu will reach Samoa)

Sina did not weaken at all, but continued to swim with her brothers. They neared the reef of Falealupo, but now La’ulu was weakening and becoming exhausted. He tried to keep going, but could not, and he too drowned and died. The reef near Falealupo is named “La’ulu.” A’aufa’ae’e and his sister Sina kept swimming but it wasn’t long before the last brother became so tired that he could not swim anymore. Sina tried and tried to keep him afloat, but the boy drowned. That part of the reef near Fafa in Falealupo is now named “A’aufa’ae’e.”

The three brothers had now drowned and only Sina was still alive. No doubt she was also very tired but she arrived with her ‘auamanu to the shore. Perhaps it was her courage and persistence that got her safely on land with her pa-fagota that her brothers had so much desired.

A few days after she arrived in Savai’i, Sina gave birth to a boy. She named her son Tautunu. She cared for her child, and as soon as he could walk, she began to take the boy to the ocean so that he would learn to love the ocean and become a zealous fisherman.

Tautunu matured and married a woman from Palauli in Savai’i named Talaga. The couple lived in Palauli, the village of his wife. Sina also went and lived with them. Sina continued to live in that village until she grew much older. She also cared for the two sons of Tautunu and Talaga. The names of the two boys were Faga and Leu. Sina cared for and was very kind to these boys throughout their youthful years.

After Sina grew weaker, and she felt that she was close to the end of her days, she called her family to gather together so she could say her farewell. Tautunu and Talaga and their children came together and then Sina said these parting words:

“My dear children, the day has come for me to part with all of you. It was remarkable how our life together has been. Our life was also remarkable for our living with kindness and love and care, especially during all the recent days I was sick. Thank you very much! Because of this I want to still be of use to you all.

Tautunu, my dear, my own flesh and blood, I give to you this pa-fagota. I have kept it because this pa-fagota is unique. For this reason it is called “auamanu.” When you go to fish with it, only then will you understand its usefulness to your family and to your village.

I want to ease your sausau i po loloa (fishing through the night), so for this reason I will ascend to Heaven. Once I am in the Heavens, I will lighten the night, just as the sun lights the day. I will become like a new star that will be the largest in the entire night sky. I forbid you to forget me, and for this reason you will name the new star “masina” (moon) to remember me. This new large star will also circulate the night sky space unceasingly. Remarkably, its appearance will be different from night to night, as the light and shape of the moon will change.

Last, if my appearance that you see at night is completely full and round, then call it “punifaga” to show respect for the boy Faga. But if that night is past, then you shall say ‘ua tafaleu le masina to show respect for the boy Leu.”

After her parting words, the legendary lady Sina passed away peacefully. We still remember Sina when we look out at the moon every night.

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