Assassination of Mata’utia

TOI ĀTUA MĀTA’UTIA FA’ATULOU

‘E le taumate o le’ā manatua, ‘o Māta’utia ‘o le alo tama.o Lalo- vimamā ma Sefa ‘atauemana. ‘Ona ’o lona tinā ‘o le āfafine o ie Tui Ātua, nafilifilia ai Māta’utia e le Fāleono o Lufilufi e suia le Tui Ātua na se’i mavae atu.

Sa fānau Māta’utia i Sāfata, ‘ae ina ’ua matua, sā ia alu ma nofo 1 Āleipata, le ‘āiga o lona tina. ‘0 lenei lā, ‘ina ‘ua Tui Ātua, sā sā’ilia loa e ana uō ma ‘āiga, Leifi ma Tautolo, sona faletua e tatau ai. Mulimuli ane, na i’u la lātou filifiliga ‘i ā So’oa’emalelagi, le āfafine o Tonumai- pe’a Sauo’āiga, sā fa’ amamalui na ātili’ona ‘o le Taupou fo’i a Tamaalelagi i Leulumoega.

Sā fa’ao’oina atu lenei fuafuaga ‘i a Māta’utia. Ina ‘ua fa’alogo atu ‘o ia ‘i lenei fuafuaga, s3 ia faiatu, “Fa’apefea ona ‘ou fa’aipoipo ‘i lea tama’ita’i; lua te le iloa ‘o lona tinā ‘o le tuafafine o lo’u tamā, ma e tauosoga o mā mātua?”

“Mātou te iloa e sa’o lelei lava ‘oe,” sā tali atu ai Leifi, “‘a e manatua fo’i, ‘o le mamalu o Tamaalelagi i Sāmoa ‘ātoa ‘ua matuā tele; ma ‘ina ‘ua fa’aipoipo fo’i ‘i ā Vaetoe le alo o le Tui Toga,’o le’ā le taumate ona ātili ai ona fa’ateleina lona mamalu. ‘Ae ‘o le suafa Tui Atua, ‘o le suafa aupito leva lea ma aupito maualuga i Sāmoa ‘ātoa ma ‘o le_mea lea, o le Tui Ātua o lo ‘o nofo nei (Māta’utia) ‘o ‘oe lea, e ao ina e taumafai , ‘ia toe maua mai e Lufilufi lona mālosi sā iai muamua, ‘ia le gata i Atua a e ’iā aofia ai Sāmoa ‘ātoa. Sā mā’ua matua fuafua tatau lava lea tulaga, ma ‘o le ‘auala lava e tasi, ‘o le lua fa’aipoipo lea ma So’oa e. Tau o se mea e ala ai.”

Sā i’u’ina malie atu ‘i ai Māta’utia, ma na ‘auina atu loa ‘ilā’ua ‘i_ Leulumoega.“Peita’i?sS”ia’itiitilonafa’amoemoe;sāiamanatulava’ole’a te’ena e Tamaalelagi ma So’oa’e taluai le felata’i tele o o latou a,ga.Fa’ear«^f’O o lenāuma mo nu’u. _ . K. /Mā+a’ntia) ‘i Aleipata’ina ‘ia sāunia mea ‘u Sā toe taliu Tut Atua (Mata utia) Aieipa ]ona so.otaga ma ‘āiga la lā’ua fa’aipoipoga ma So oa e; o aso , lea tama.ita’i i Sāmoa. maualuluga e tele, sa mamalu ma fa aaloaiogia ai.

Sā le’i fa’amoemoeina e Māta’utia,’Pe^a^? io Fālei^ma1Tamafia e So’oa’e lenei tauaumoega, e .TM,. fJ.aa]oaiogia ma le Tui Atua. ‘0 le^uigaionl^ eme’e,ona’ ololā toupopolene’i’avea lonamam alu sā tausalafia pea e A’ana, ‘e si’itia atu i Ātua, pe ‘ā fa’ataunu’uina ie fa’aipoipoga a Māta’-utia ma So’oa’e.

Sā tele le poto-māsani o So’oa’e i polotiki faitogafiti a Nāfanua, Tonumaipe’a ma 1e Fāleiva; ‘o lea na faigōfie ai ona ia mātea uiga tonu o ō lātou māfaufau. Sā nofo ia i Faleālupo, Sātupa’itea ma Leulumoega, ma sā ia iloa ai lava le fa’aauau o fuafuaga a nei tulāfale. ‘0 nei lā togafiti faifai pea na oso tele ai lona lāfiafiar, ma na māfua ai ona o’o lona manatu e nonofo ma Māta’utia.

Sā fa’amanatu ma fa’amaniafa pea e Tamaalelagi ma lona Faleiva, ‘o Mā- ta’utia ma So’oa’e e uso o lā mātua, taluai ‘o le tamā o Māta’utia ma le tinā o So’oa’e ‘o le fānau e tasi o lā mātua. Peita’i, ‘o le talitonuga o le to’atele, nā ‘o fānau a le uso teine e to’alua e ta’ua ‘o ulua’i tausoga o mātua ‘a ‘o fānau a le tuagane,’e fai sina mamao lo lā vā ma fānau a le tuafafine. ‘Ona ‘o le talitonuga fo’i lea o So’oa’e sā le’i fa’atali ai lana ‘ioe e tusa i 1e mana’o o Māta’utia.

Ina’ia logo ona ‘āiga i Savai’i mo lenei sāuniga tele ma le mamalu; ma ina ‘ia sāunia fo’i ‘ia lava ni ‘ietoga mo lea fa’aipoipoga tele, sā manatu ai So’oa’e e ao ina malaga ‘o ia ma lona tuagane ‘o Tupa’i ‘i Savai’i.

Sā talanoa ‘ilātou ma ‘Auva’a ma Tupa’i i Faleālupo e uiga ‘1 suafa o lo ‘o iai pea i le pule’aga a Nāfanua. Sā ia mana^o’ina ‘ia fautuaina le atua fafine e fa’afo’i ao ‘i ā ‘ilātou ‘o e pule ai\ Sā 1e mālilie ‘i ai ‘Auva’a ma Tupa’i; ‘ae sā 1ā ofoina atu suafa 1 uma ‘i ā te ia. Peita’i, sā le’i taliaina e So’oa’e.Ona la asiasi atu ai lea ‘i le Alātaua ma Sātupa’itea. Sā talia 1elei lava ‘o la pei ona talia se aloali’i (tama’ita’i) i so ‘o se nu’u Sā sapa- sapaia uma e atou le fa’aipoipoga ma folafola ane fo’i o le’ā sāunia ma ‘auina atu ni ‘ietoga pei’ona mana’omia sauma.

‘0 le aso na soso’o ai, sā ia fa’amāvae ai ma lona nu’u na fānau ai, ‘a e malaga atu fa’atasi ma Tupa’i, ma fōlau sa’o lava ‘i Aleipata; taluai sā musu ‘o ia e toe fa’afesāga’i ma le Fāleiva ma Leulumoega. Sā mānaia le mata- gi,ma, ‘o lona tolu o aso na lātou taunu’u ai Sā mānaia tele le fa’ataliga mai o lea malaga, sā ‘ave loa lava ‘i le maotā o Mata’utia 1 Sāle’aumua.

Sa faia loa le fa’aipoipoga ina ‘ua mavae ni nai vā’iaso. Sā ‘auai ma uōmamae mai itū ‘uma o Sāmoa. ‘E o’o lava ‘i Tutuila ma le motu mamao o Manu’a ‘e to’atele lava ni ali’i sā malaga atu e mōlita’i alofa’aga mo le Tama’ita’i.

Assassination of Mata’utia

Mata’utia and Sooa’e: Mata’utia was the son of Lalovimama and Sefa’atauemana and had become the Tuiatua.  Now that he was Tuiatua, his old friends Leifi and Tautola determined to find him a wife, and, after much thought and planning, they decided the most favorable alliance would be with Sooa’emalelagi, the honored Taupou of Tamalagi at Leulumoega.

Matautia was troubled by this choice, since she was his cousin; their parents were siblings, but the two orators were persistent, pointing out how influential and advantageous the lineage of Sooa’e would be. They had another motive, which was to seek to get back the four titles Nafanua had seized in the earlier wars [and, after all, Sooa’e was the favorite of Nafanua].

Mata’utia yielded to the orator’s insistence. Tuiatua returned to Aleipata in order to prepare everything for his marriage with Sooa’e, who was then, due to her relationship with several of the highest families, the most influential and venerated lady in Samoa.

Sooa’e had ample experience with political intrigue, and contrary to Mata’utia’s expectation, she immediately and joyfully accepted his proposal. In fact, her cousin and the Faleiva of Leulumoega had done their utmost to prevent her marriage with the Tuiatua since they feared losing her influence, which would certainly be transferred from A’ana to Atua once she married Mata’utia.

Tamalelagi and his Faleiva had not failed to emphasize that Mata’utia was Sooa’e’s cousin, since his father and her mother had been children of the same parents. However, it was the belief of many that only children of two sisters were to be considered first cousins, while the children of a brother were only distantly related to those of his sister. As this was Sooa’e’s belief, she had not hesitated to consent to Mata’utia’s proposal.

Wherever So’oa’e visited she was welcomed like a princess. All approved and promised their help in securing the necessary and desired mats.

The following day she departed, sailing directly for Aleipata, where the marriage followed a few weeks later. It was attended by friends and relatives from all parts of Samoa, Tutuila and distant Manu’a, as well as many chiefs that came to pay their homage.

The Assassination of Mata’utia: So’oa’s marriage was very happy and she loved her husband. But, Leifi and Tautolo had not abandoned their plan to get the titles back from Nafanua. They did not dare to approach her, but went instead to her husband. Mata’utia understood this would mean war, and he had only wanted peace for his people.

One night, when both were supposed to be fast asleep, Sooa’e heard some stealthy steps crossing their house. She sat up but saw no one. At the same time, Mata’utia who was sleeping nearby, turned around and immediately cried out in great pain. On examination Sooa’e was horrified to see a foto (the barbed bone of a skate’s tail) protruding from his side. This meant murder, for was not the foto commonly used to assassinate chiefs? In the midst of her grief, Sooa’e received word that Vaetoifaga had presented her husband Tamalelagi with a pretty little girl. Tamalelagi was very happy, for according to his promise to Tuitoga, the first child of Vaetoe should succeed him as Tuia’ana. He invited Sooa’e to return to Leulumoega where it would be easier for her to overcome her grief and sorrow. Sooa’e thanked the messenger and promised to leave for Leulumoega as soon as possible. Before leaving, she gathered her family to share her plan. She announced that the brothers and sisters of her murdered husband would be known as Salevalasi, the first family in Atua, and their special commission would be to protect and defend against the intrigues of the Faleupolu (house of orators). She ended with the announcement that the last desire of Mata’utia was that his unborn child would be his successor, but with the troubles of these terrible days she had lost the child Tuimavae, therefore, intended to adopt the child of Vaetoe and Tamalelagi to take his place.

After a long silence, Sooa’e added sadly, “Where have you taken Tuimavae? Where is he?” Lesi answered, “I have taken care of him as well as I could. I have him lying under a big stone and the uga (crabs) will look after him.” “That is good,” she added with a threatening voice, “Grow, my child, and become strong; continue to live in the uga; find out the murderers of your good father and bring a terrible vengeance upon them!”

The listeners were convinced the household gods (the uga) would assure that her orders would be followed.

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