Tamalelagi: Child of Heaven

TAMALELAGI:TAMA MAI LE LAGT
‘0 e a outou manatua ‘o Tamaalelagi, ‘o le alo o Selaginatō ma Vaea- tamasoa, le afafine o Sanalala. ‘Ua tātou iloa fo’i le suafa maualuga o Ā’ana na tu uina atu i a te la ‘a ‘o itiiti lava; ‘e ui’ina ‘o ia lava fo’i aso.’o lo o tau’ave lea lava suafa e Sagaate. I le taua lā na le’i pine ‘a e lāga’i, na mānumalo ai loa Tamaalelagi, peita’i, sā ‘avea “lona suafa e Nāfanua.Ona o lona talavou i ia lava aso, sā le’i āmana’ia ai e Tamaalelagi le ‘ave’esea o ao^taluai sā lagona pea e ia le sa’olotoga e malaga solo atu ai ‘i nu’u ta’itasi ma feiloa’i ma talatalanoa ma ali’i o lona itūmālō, ma fa’amālosia ai ātili lo lātou vafealoa’i lelei. ‘E le gata ina sā a’oa’oina lelei ‘o ia, ‘a ‘o lona tino talavou fo’i sā mālosi ma ‘aulelei, ma. ‘o ana āmioga sā tausa’afia tele e tama’ita’i, na_o’o ai ’i le tūlaga fa’apea, na gau le tama’i-
ta’i i lona titi. ‘Ona o lona mālamalama ‘i talatu’u fa’apea ma le gagana, fa’aopoopo ‘i ai ma lona fa’autautaga lelei na ola ai ma ia, sā ia maua ai ni fa’aaloaloga e le gata ‘i ali’i maualuluga, ‘a e fa’apea fo’i ma tagata lāutele ‘E le tioa lā, sā tuputupu a’e pea lona mamalu ma le taualoa e ona tagata, ‘e ui lava ‘ina sā ‘avea lona suafa, sā tulimata’i pea ia e ona tagata e pei lava ‘o so lātou ta’itā’i, so lātou ali’i ma so lātou tupu.’0 Ā’ana sā vaeluaina, ‘o le Itū Ālofi i le itū ‘i.mātū, ma le Itū Tuā- fanua i le itū ‘1 toga (saute). ‘0 le itū ‘i mātū (Itū Alofi),’e to’atele tagata e nonofo ai. ‘0 le tele o nu’u sā fa’atūlaga i ni vāega taumālō, ma ni soā-itūmālō. ‘0 nu’u aupito aloa’ia, ‘o Faleāsi’u, Fasito’outa, Nofoāli’i, Leulumoega, Fāsito’otai, Faleātiu, ma isi. ‘0 nu’u ‘uma ia sā ta’uta’ua, talu- ai sā ‘auai 1 ni taualumaga i tala’aga i aso ‘ua mavae, peita’i/ua leai se tasi ‘o soifua pea e maua ai se fa’amatalaga tonu ’i ni mea sā latou faia i aso ‘ua mavae: āmioga o le fTlemū po ‘o ni taua, fiafia po ‘o le fa’anoanoa, fealofani po ‘o le feitaga’i.’0 aso lava ia na tuputupu mālie a’e ma le tino_mālosi ma le_’aulelei le tama ‘o Tamaalelagi; ‘o lea sā mānatunatu ai fo’i tulafale mo le sa’iliga o
se faletua tatau mo Tamaalelagi. Taluai ‘o se fa’aipoipoga a se ali’i maua- luga, ‘o se matā’upu e matuā tāua, sā femaua’ina ai pea tulafale mo m vaiaso 1 le fillflliga o se tamafltaM mamalu ni ona ‘aiga ‘ina ‘ia fa’aopoopo I- til1 ai le mamalu ma le mālosi o ‘ilātou.u1. Folasa7tū, lātou filifiliga ‘i ā Namo’aitele,le afafine o ‘E lla’ni sini o le’ā maua e Ā’ana mai lenei feusua’iga: ‘o le t lua m sin « Mālietoa: ma le so’otaga ma Ātua fo’i, U IS “i”?e gafa tautoto o ie Tui Atua Fotuitāma’i.iina ° ? taupou a Faleata, ‘0 1e mea lea.’e tatau ona tā- tou lloa ai sa tatau ona lava lopa poto ma le māsani i le fa’atautaiga o lona tu aga o le taupou fa anofonofo a 1e nu’u ma le itūmālō. Sā fautuaina fo’i e le_aualuma, i a Tamaalelagi, ‘i lo lātou mautinoa o le āmio-lelei ma le nof -mama (taupou) pea o le tama’ i ta ‘ iy ma e pagātia lava ‘ilātou (le aualuma) pe a fai e o o i le aso o le fa’aipoipoga ‘a e pepelo la 15tou molimau.’Ina ‘ua logo tagata_Leulumoega o le’ā fa’aipoipo lo lātou ali’i, sā latou fauina loa se fale matagofie i le itū ‘i le sami o le ‘auala sā ui
atu i le nu u* Sa latou fa’atūina lea fale i luga o se maupu’,epu’e ma sā ta’ua, ‘o Lagi. I tua tonu lava o le fale fou i le matāfaga, sa puna a’e ai se_vai manino. Sa si’osi’o lelei e le ‘aumaga lenei vai i ni ma’a-‘alā ma, sā maua ai se loto tā’ele mānaia. ‘0 lenei loto-vai tā’ele. sā ta’ua
‘o Mataiva, ma sa fa’asaina mo Tui A’ana.’0 lenei fa’atasiga a le ulugāali’i talavou, sa saunia ma fa’amamaluina e tusa ai ma fealoa’iga maualuluga, pei ‘o le tūlaga o Tamaalelagi ma Fola- saitū. ‘Ina ‘ua o’o ‘i aso e tatau ai, sā fānaua e Namo’aitele se alo-tama,
ma na 13 fa’aigoa ‘i 3 te ia ‘o Tuala. ‘0 Tuala lenei na mulimuli ane ona ta’uta’ua, ‘o se tupu’aga o le ‘āiga tele o Satualā i Savai’i ma ‘Upolu (Fale- āsi ‘u).
I le tasi aso ‘a ‘o ‘au’au (tā’ele) Tamaalelagi, sā iloa atu e ona pale-‘aulama se uga ‘o ‘atia mai pulu sā fa’amamā ai le ali’i. ‘0 le ala lea s5 lauiloa ai fo’i ona alo i le tasi fo’i igoa, ‘o “Fānau a le uga”.

‘lna ‘ia teuteuina ātili lona Tūmua, sā folasia atu e Tamaalelagi lona finagalo ‘ina ‘ia fausia ni fale i se tplaga e fa’ateleina ai le mātagōfie o Leulumoega. ‘0 le mea lea sā fausia loa ni fale e tele ma si’itia atu ai Leulumoega ‘i se tūlaga aupito matagofie i ‘Upolu.

‘0 le fale tele o Tamaalelagi,sa aupito sili lava ona lapo’a ma manaia lona fausaga. ‘0 ‘inā sā talia ma fa’afiafiaina ai ni mālo, ma sa avea fo i ma maota fono mo fonotaga a le nu’u. ‘0 lenei maota matagofie, le m tamitaga o Leulumoega, sā fa’atūina i luga o le lau’ele’ele mamalu o le Tui A ana
sā fa’aigoaina ‘o Nu’uausala.

Tamalelagi: Child of Heaven

Recall that Tamalelagi was the son of Selaginato and Vaeotamasoa, the daughter of Sanalala. We have also seen that the high title of Tuia’ana had been conferred upon him while he was only a youth, though at that time the Tuia’ana title was already held by Sagaate. In the war that soon after ensued, Tamalelagi had been victorious, but he had lost his title to the Warrior Goddess Nafanua.

Young as he was, he did not regret it, for without his title he felt free to go from village to village, interviewing the chiefs of his large district thereby strengthening their friendly relations. Tamalelagi had not only been well educated, but was also strong and healthy, and his manners were so graceful that the girls were gnawing his skirt (lava lava)“na gau teine i lona titi.” Due to his knowledge of history and language, combined with a natural tact, he won the esteem of all persons of rank high and low. No wonder then, that his influence became greater and greater and that his people, though his title was gone, looked up to him with respect as their leader, chief and king.

A’ana is divided into Itu-Alofi, the northern side, and the Itu-Tuafanua, the southern side. The north side is densely populated. The great number of villages are grouped into political units, subdistricts. The best known among these are Faleasi’u, Fasito’outa, Nofoali’i, Leulumoega, Fasito’otai, Faleatiu, etc. All of them are famous for the part they have played in history.

Meanwhile, Tamalelagi had grown up into a handsome, accomplished young man. Soon enough, his orators put their heads together to find him a suitable wife. As the marriage of a high chief was always of paramount political importance, the orators were always busy to select a maiden who, through her family connections, would bring them additional influence and power.

Finally, their choice of bride fell upon Namuaitele (also spelled Noaitele or alternatively Namulauola), the daughter of Folasaitu of Faleata. By this marriage a double win would be obtained, since an alliance with Faleata, the stronghold of Malietoa, and another with Atua would be formed, merely because the mother of the bride was a direct descendant of the Tuiatua Fotuitama’i.

Namuaitele was the Taupou of Faleata, so we may take for granted that she was pretty and well informed in all things pertaining to her office of ceremonial village virgin. The guardians of the Taupou (aualuma) assured Tamalelagi of her innocence and purity, and woe betide them all, if on the day of her marriage the bride had belied their testimony.

The people of Leulumoega, hearing that their beloved chief would soon get married, built him a beautiful house seawards of the road that passes through the village. The house was erected on a hillock and called Lagi. Right behind the new house and on the beach, there was a spring of pure water gushing out of the rocky coast. This spring, that the young men surrounded by a wall, formed a beautiful bathing pool. The pool was then called Matai’va and reserved for the sole use of the Tuia’ana.

The marriage of the young couple was celebrated with all the pomp and feasting in accordance with the high social standing of Tamalelagi and Folasaitu. In due time, Namuaitele presented her husband with a son whom they named Tuala. This Tuala later became famous as the founder of the large clan of Satuala in Savai’i and Upolu (Faleasi’u).

One day, when Tamalelagi had taken a bath in his bathing pool, his attendants noticed that a crab (uga) was gnawing at the coconut fibers he had used for his ablutions. For this reason his children are also known by the name of “Fanau a le uga” – the children of the soldier crab.

To embellish his Tumua, Tamalelagi proposed that the houses be built in such a way as to give a better appearance to Leulumoega. Thereupon many houses were altered to the new standard and the town became the most beautiful place on Upolu.

Tamalelagi’s round home was by far the largest and most artistic. Here, all the guests were received and entertained, as well as hosting all of the official local meetings. This beautiful house, the pride of Leulumoega, stood on the crownland of the Tuia’ana and was known by the name of Nu’u’ausala.

Note: This story emphasizes the beautiful house that Tamalelagi built for his first wife, as do all versions. However, it cuts the important story short, namely that of Tamalelagi’s growth into an adulthood of leadership, integrity, and indeed love. The reader is referred to Fofo Sunia’s “Samoan Legends of Love and Courtship” at p. 175 where, in his legend, “Tuia’ana Tamalelagi: Ten usugas– only one for love!” he outlines the history of Tamalelagi’s ten marriages, all arranged by the manipulative and scheming tulafales Ape and Tutuila (orators and advisors to the chief) who obsessively sought titles for their chief through successive marriages. Alas, Tamalelagi would have to return a wife in order to unite with a new one, and was besieged with regrets and worry that he was making more and more enemies each time, enduring increasing “scorn and enmity.” In that story, as in this one, the first wife is Namulauola, daughter of Folasaaitu of Faleata. Sunia writes about Tamalelagi’s last and final marriage to Vaetoifaga of Tonga, the birth of their child Salamasina, and the arrival of the influential Sooa’e (Sooaemalelagi) to care for and adopt her, all with the approval and encouragement of Nafanua. Ape and Tutuila suggest to Tamalelagi that he discard Vaetoifaga and marry Sooa’e, a proposition he furiously rejects in no uncertain terms.

 

 

 

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