Salamasina’s Installation

Salamasina’s Installation

The preparations for the ceremony of installation were completed without delay. On the appointed day, Salamasina, beautifully arrayed, took her place on a throne of fine mats erected in the round end of the official meeting house Nuuausala. She had been well coached by Sooa’e and showed no sign of fear.

At the sound of the conch shells, twelve high chiefs and orators entered the house and took their appointed places. Then came four high orators headed by Alipia. They sat down on three-legged stools placed in front of Salamasina. Two more tulafale-ali’i came forward. One of them, Umaga, took up his position at the right side of the child and the other, Pasese, at her left.

When everyone had taken his place, these two orators started to sing out the long drawn and resounding U U call, repeating it twelve times. Then they waved coconut leaves over Salamasina’s head and, throwing them at her feet, they cried, “O le Tuia’ana lea, e paia, e tupu”. (This is the Tuia’ana, our sacred sovereign).

Then the two orators sat down, one on each side of the new Tuia’ana, whose protectors and attendants (tu’itu’i) they were.

Salamasina sat quietly on her throne, every inch a queen. Not even the thrilling U U cries had been able to disturb her composure. Now, Alipia made one of his well worded speeches. After him spoke Lemana, and finally Tupai, begging Nafanua to take this Tuia’ana under her special protection, to grant her health, strength, wisdom, and grace.

Sooa’e then thanked the chiefs and orators on behalf of her daughter.

One of the orators now called for kava. Immediately, Toala, the eldest son of Tamalalegi, brought three pieces of ‘ava and everyone gave thanks.

Alipia, taking up the roots said, “These three pieces of ‘ava symbolize Lufilufi, Leulumoega, and Pule, they forever be united.”

The beverage was then prepared by one of the chiefs. When it was ready, Toala crouched down between Salamasina and the bowl, holding in his hand a small, fresh coconut shell. Another manaia filled this with the ava strainer. Toala, bending very low, then presented the cup to Salamasina. She took it with both her small hands, and, to the surprise of all, emptied it in one draught. She then threw the cup on the ground, for it was now taboo to everyone except Sooa’e.

Only now Lemana cried out, “Ua usi le ava” – The ava is ready. All clapped their hands. The first two cups were called out together; they were for Umaga and Pasese, the official attendants of the Tuia’ana. Then came the turn of Levalasi and her Salelesi. The latter, who enjoyed special privileges, took his ava lying down on the floor, and while he drank he called on the young queen all sorts of ludicrous (sic) benedictions. After him, Alipia and the others had their ava, whereupon all left the house which had now assumed a sacred character.

In a similar manner, the other three titles were conferred upon Salamasina; first that of Atua, then the title of Afega, and finally that of Safata. Salamasina went through these ceremonies with the greatest calm, so that all marveled at her wisdom and bravery.

As it happened, as in the case of Salamasina, that the four titles were bestowed upon the same person, then such a person comes Tupu, i.e. Supreme Ruler over Samoa. Then, the term “Samoa” did not, however, include Manu’a which always had its own political organization headed by the Tuimanu’a.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *