Moso the Demon

Moso

O le igoa lenei o se tasi o atua sili o le fanua po o le ‘ele’ele, o le fa’afeagai o Tagaloa le atua o le lagi. E fai ma a’a o lenei upu le la’au e ese le sasala o le manogi o ona fugāla’au samasama, o le moso’oi. O se ma’a lona fa’atinoga i se tasi nu’u. E fa’a’ulaina lea ma’a e malaga e ui atu i ona tafatafa, o le taulaga lea i a Moso.

I se tasi nu’u, ua fai ma fa’atinoga o Moso le tānoa. E teuteua lea tānoa i atigi figota papa’e, ma sa fa’aigoa i a Lipi po’o le oti vave e pei ona fa’amatalaina i le atua o le Fe’e. E fa’alologo le aiga a’o fai talanoaga a le atua ma le toea’ina o Moso talapelo; o se fale, po o se paopao po o se isi lava mea ua fiamaua o le a fai ma matā’upu o le asiasiga a le atua.

Ua fa’atino mai fo’i Moso i se tasi itu’āiga lupe ua ta’ua o le Tū. A asu vai, e le tatau ona fa’amasa’a sina vai i le faitoto’a, auā e ita ai le atua o Tū. O le a teva loa le atua ma ua tu’ua le aiga e aunoa ma le fe’au a le atua. I ni isi fo’i aiga, e ulu i tino Moso i se moa, a ‘aiina e se tasi lea manu, o le a lili o ia ma oti ai.

E ulu Moso i le fe’e i se isi aiga, ma e leai se isi e fa’amālosia e pa’i atu i lea i’a.

E talia e le faitaulaga ia meaalofa, ona fai ai lea e ia tautu’iga ia Moso ma ta’u i ai le tagata gaoi ua fia maua. E fa’apea ana talosaga; “Se Moso, ia e fa’avave mai, ia fa’aali lou mana, ia aveolaina i latou i se lolo ma ia aua ne’i toe va’aia e latou se isi la.” O fetu’u nei e māsani ona faia. O se tasi o ali’i o le itūmalō o Ātua, e fa’apea e itūlua; e fealua’i fa’atasi ma tagata ola i le ao, ae a po ona liu ai lea o ia i a Moso ma feoa’i ma sauali’i.

I ni isi aiga, e avea fo’i Moso ma atua nofofale. E māsani ona ulu i se tamāloa. Fai mai e fai le faiga a lea tagata i ma’umaga o e latou te tua’oi; e te’i lava ua mou o ia pe a o atu tagata, “Ua mafua ona māfaufau ia tagata, ai lava o ia o se atua ma ua avatu ia te ia tatalo atoa ma taulaga.”

E fa’atinoina fo’i Moso i se tasi aiga; na’o le to’atasi lava le toea’ina o le aiga na te iloa o ia pe a o’o mai. E fa’apea upu a le toea’ina, “O lau afioga, afio mai ia lau afioga.”

E ulu fo’i Moso i le manulele e igoa o le fuia. A lele mai i le taeao, ona iloa ai lea e le aiga ua talia a latou talosaga, ma e fa’apenā fo’i i le afiafi. A le sau o ia, o lona uiga ua ita. Ua le aliali mai o ia ona o le sesega o le lā. A ua fa’amatala atu e le faitaulaga i le aiga atoa le uiga o le tagi a le manu e tusa ai ma lona lava mana’o fa’apea ma lona lava lagona.

Moso the Demon

Moso was the name of one of the high gods of the land or the earth below, the opposite of Tagaloa, since in many stories Tagaloa is the supreme god of the Heavens only. The origin of the name was a fragrant twig of the yellow flower, the moso’oi. A rock was its symbol in a certain village. The rock was draped with a lei presented on its side as the sacrifice for Moso.

In one village, Moso was symbolized by the tanoa. The tanoa was beautifully decorated with white seashells which were called Lipi used upon the occasion of a sudden death, as explained for the god of the octopus. Moso would visit the family and speak either with a family member or the aitu of the family. He would engage in a dialogue, while the family would listen. The dialogue most typically took place with the eldest male, often inhabiting him. They would discuss consideration of a house or a canoe or any other thing that was wanted. This would be the reason for the atua’s visit.

Moso was also symbolized by a particular kind of pigeon named Tu. He was known to be very upset if there appeared even a drop of water spilled at the door of the house. Seeing water in the doorway, he would then disappear, and leave the family without giving any message or answer to their questions or hopes. The demon would then disappear and leave the family without permission from the atua. In some families, Moso would assume the body of a chicken; if someone mistakenly cooked and ate this animal, he would become possessed by the spirit, fall into the shakes and die.

Moso would also enter into the form of an octopus, as spirit for another family; so fearful was its presence, one could not be forced to touch this fish.

These sacred offerings would be accepted and then, on occasion, the spirit would pronounce a curse in the name of Moso, asking him to identify the thief who they were trying to capture. The plea would be, “Moso, hurry and return and show your power, that they might be captured by this curse, and never see sunshine or daylight again.” Those were the typical curses.

One of the district ali’i or gods was said to have dual natures; he walked around, intermingling with living human beings during the daytime, but at night he would turn into Moso and walk around with the sauali’i, the other gods.

In other families, Moso was also a demon of those living at home. He would usually enter as a man. It was said that he might enter a plantation of their neighbors, and suddenly disappear whenever people arrived.

Moso could also turn into human form in a family. Only one man of the family, typically an elder, would know him when he came. The old man would say, in the most honorific terms,  “Your Majesty, come in your Majesty.”

Moso could also enter as a bird name the fuia (or Samoan starling). When the fuia came in the morning, the family would know that their prayers had been answered; this was also true if it arrived in the evening. If the bird never came at all, that meant it was very mad. Finally, the fuia never showed himself when the sun was glaring hot.

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