By fonoti


The Succession Line of the Royal Family of Samoa: One of the early kings was Tuia’ana Tuiatua Faumuina Le Tupufia. He had three children. The sons were named Fonoti and Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa, and the daughter was named Samala’ulu. They are Known commonly in traditions of Samoa as ‘The Three of Faumuina‘. Each child was by a different mother, but Tuia’ana Tuiatua Faumuina before he died, he did not declare a decree for a successor to rule on the throne. And intimately, this is why his three children, Fonoti, Samala’ulu and Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa entered into war to fight it.. the dispute was also taken up by their maternal relations that became so intense that war was raged to who will be King. And began the arise of famous family clans of Samoa such as Sa-Tuala, Sa-Levalasi, Sa-Asomua, Sa-Tago, Sa-Amituana’i, Sa-Tunumafono and others. This is also why their father, or the title Faumuina is greeted as ‘Le Tupufia‘. Tupufia, means or referred to of his children that they all wanted to be King! in the 1600’s

Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa and sister Samala’ulu had joined up to opnose the claim of there brother Fonoti to the Kingship. When Fonoti found that his brother and sister had gained many followers he went to Leulumoega where the dispute was being fought and sought the assistance of the High Chiefs and leading orators of other districts. This was the war that Mano’o of Samatau said before the war: if Fonoti runs into the sea, we will dry up the sea, if he runs into heaven, we will rip it open to catch him. As a result he was pursued with great zeal; Chief Veletaloola of Faleata, Aiono defeated Mano’o. Fonoti then waged war against his kin “The Paegauo War” for the Papas to proclaim Tafa’ifa Kingship, and was successful and was ultimately proclaimed King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa of Samoa. Bestowed on him and helder of the four high titles: Tuia’ana, Tuiatua, Vaetamasoalii, and Gatoaitele. In our traditions this war is known as “the war between Samala’ulu and Fonoti”. “The Paegauo War” or “The War of the Tupufia”. King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa conferred many honours upon those chiefs and Districts that had fought for him and such honours and privileges are honoured by the “Tumua and Pule” down to the present time.

The distribution in the war was about as follows: with Fonoti: Fagaloa, Faleapuna, Falefa, Saluafata, Solosolo, Vaimauga, Faleata, Safata, Falealili, Fasitoouta, Falelatai, Manono, half of Lufilufi and of Leulumoega; on the side of Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa and Samalaulu were: Aleipata, Luatuanuu, Lepa, Lotofaga, Siumu, Faleula, Sagana, Sale’imoa, Faleasi’u and Samatau, also all of Savai’i island through Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa’s influence.

Itu Malo o le Vaa-o-Fonoti, King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa designated an independent political district in its own right, was one of the rewards conferred upon Faleapuna, Safanua and Fagaloa, for the part they had played in the dispute and for contending with Manono, Sapapali’i and Saleaumua in the fighting that took part on the sea. Fonoti also conferred honours on Tofaeono, Aiono, Misa and the privilege of receiving food on Faleata. Aiga-i-le-Tai district comprises the villages on the small island of Manono and Apolima, and their associated villages along the north western tip of A’ana district, they sided with Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa and Samala’ulu against their brother Fonoti in the war. Probably in an effort to reconcile old differences, King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa designated these villages an independent political district in its own right-thus the political district Aiga-i-le-Tai, literally family on the seaward side.

Fonoti also granted Ulualofaiga complete power over Fagaloa District and in addition he gave Ulualofaiga the village of Amanave in Tutuila. This village is controlled in this manner right down to the present day and the authority as recognised by the American Government. The title Vaa-o-fonoti was also given to Ulualofaiga by Fonoti as a name for his war canoe and this title distinguishes the District down to the present day. It was him Fonoti sought assistance when he defeated Samala’ulu for Kingship of Samoa. There were also many other rewards conferred too numerous to mention. King Fonoti Tafa’ifa of Samoa was the only and the last Tafa’ifa King since Queen Salamasina Tafa’ifa in the late 1500’s. And there was no other war ever since or even recorded in history that by anyone raised against King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa to claim the four Papa titles, nor through Fonoti Kingly lineage “the Sa-Fonoti” right to this present time. The following is King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa of Samoa’s words in his wish: “THE FOUR HIGH TITLES BE FOR ME AND MY CHILDREN”.

Thus King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa conferred upon the chiefs and the village communities Faleapuna and Fagaloa the right to call themselves “VA’A O FONOTI” (Fonoti’s ship: as stated also in All Samoa Fa’alupega). It was the mark of distinction of a real Kingdom that King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa was able to issue such decrees and appointments (tofigas) which were looked upon as dogmas.

Va’a o Fonoti Territory: consist of places of Faleapuna, Fagaloa areas, became the naval war fleet in Fonoti’s war of succession. “The Vessel of Fonoti”. King Fonoti le Tupu Tafa’ifa (King of all Samoa) had rewarded the village districts of Faleapuna and Fagaloa in Atua for fighting bravely for him in his struggle for power by conferring as Va’a o Fonoti was the fleet of the Fonoti the King that was named the “Le laulualofaiga”. One of the two main well known fleets in the history of Samoa as : Fuatau a Tagaloa Funefe’ai: Ta i le Vai, ma Fonoti le Tupu, Va’a o Fonoti. (The battle fleets of Tagaloa Funefe’ai: Ta i le Vai, and the King Fonoti: Va’a o Fonoti).

Falefa District rewarded as King Fonoti’s city: Tulouna a oe faleatua (greeted you the house of Atua; the chiefs, Saluafata, Luatuanu’u. ‘Crown Council’), Tulouna a oe le a’ai o Fonoti (greeted King Fonoti’s city; symbol of honour for Falefa for bravery in Fonoti’s war; just as Faleapuna and Fagaloa are called King Fonoti’s ship). Other shortened version of the fa’alupega of Falefa involve the mention of the two titles: Iuli and Moe’ono, alternative ways of referring to the body of orators, who could be called: le a’ai o Fonoti le Tupu, or the people of Fonoti. …And may you never have to leave your fly whisk, or your precious stick oh Matua of our village.. and also may the leaves be always strong on your trees, people of (the King) Fonoti. The person of Fonoti refers to “Fulumu’a”, being part of his ceremonial greeting. This image refers to Gods power to end anyone’s life at any time and implies the recognition of God’s love to the assembly for fleeting to King Fonoti.

The Following All Samoa Fa’alupega from Two Occasions: (1.) TUMUA MA PULE; from the four wars by warrior Goddess Nafanua for the titles, and Tupa’i Vaililigi bestowed the four titles to Salamasina. (2.) AIGA I LE TAI, VA’A O FONOTI, and ITU’AU MA ALATAUA; from the war for the four titles of Tui-A’ana Faumuina’s Tupufia his three children; Fonoti, Samala’ulu and Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa. All of Samoa involved in this war, Fonoti won and was bestowed the four titles; by Samoan Customs. (the four titles: Tui-Atua, Tui-A’ana, Gatoaitele, and Vaetamasoali’i; as Tupu Tafa’ifa of Samoa).

NOTE: King Fonoti held all 4 Titles: Tuia’ana – Tuiatua – Tamasoali’i – Gatoaitele.


The end result of this war was that Samalaulu and Toleafoa were defeated while Fonoti was the victor. And so Toleafoa was taken to the island of Tutuila. The orator who was in exile with Toleafoa was Alipia Tausi mavaega. He lived on the island with the chief.

Then Alapapa the part demon man of Safata sang as follows:

Down the paths we went, upward we climbed, looking for the paths,
We sat down until dawn, till the song of the first birds,
till the morning when it gets light,
As the tumua gather around your (Fonoti) sickbed.
I am like the hen that is beaten in her nest,
Is It Mulinu ‘u or Nu’uausala
Where Tuiaana Iies sick?
I should like to recite to him my plea.

Greeted your sickness,
Greeted the royal house,
Greeted your becoming as one with your mat,
When you die, aigana will be homeless.

Why did you bring this news,
Why did you let this news reach me?
A bone got stuck in my throat,
It is rough when a fly gets into one’s mouth.
I get the gall because of that boy.
Leulumoega and the various places of Aana,
Great is my fright and my fear,
Cold am I like a man coming out of the bath,
Broken to bits is Manu’a’s roof, and free are the woods in Fagalele.

Alapapa, Alapapa,
or Fuga and Mau’ava,
Heed not the shouts from the road,
Nor the splitting of the toa and the kava,
For the sapatu will snap off the hook,
And that will mean our destruction.
I stood on the Togamau and was sad.
Greeted you wind, may you not blow,
Greeted you wave of the sea, may you not break,
Greeted you wild fishes, may you not attack.
Let Toleafoa, who is on the island,
Be brought here in safety, since you are sick.

And then the Satunumafono people came to get Toleafoa and Alipia in Tutuila. So the ship arrived in Aleipata; Fonoti, who sojourned in Mulinu’u in Lufilufi, heard that the Satunumafono people were bringing their son Toleafoa. Then the king wanted to see to it that his throne might not be overthrown again. So Fonoti said. to Atamaioali’i: Friend, come and climb across to Aleipata, tell Toleafoa to come quickly, otherwise we will perhaps not see each other again, for I am weak in my sickness..

Atamaioali’i went and said to Toleafoa: I came so that you might go to the king’s sickness, he is very weak. Then said Toleafoa: I cannot; go back quickly, I am not going. Then Atamaioali’i returned and said to the king: Toleafoa is not coming, he is angry. Meanwhile Toleafoa and Satunumafono went to Falealili. And Fonoti spoke once more to Atamaioali’i: Come, go again, tell Toleafoa to come, for I am very weak in my sickness. If he does not come, we will never see each other again.

And so Atamaioali’i went again and said to Toleafoa: I am here again by order of the king. Would you come to his sickbed, he is weak. If you do not come, you two will not see each other again. Then Talo in Falealili spoke as follows: Toleafoa, come, go to the sickbed of the king, so that you two will see each other once more. And so Toleafoa crossed the mountain range because Talo and Satunumafono wished that Toleafoa went so that he might see the king once more on his sickbed.

Then Toleafoa went and arrived at Lufilufi in Atua where the Palace of Mulinu’u Lalogafu’afu’a and Sepolata’emo the royal seat of Lufilufi the Tumua – the principal place. He sat down beneath the breadfruit trees and did not enter the house. So the king spoke: Be welcomed in the house so that we can confer well with each other. So Toleafoa said: Your pigeon flight and gentle winds descend upon me. I shall not enter your house except for the tumua. So Fonoti and the Tumua said: Welcome here in the house, let us confer with the king.

king Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa of Samoa his wish: Mavaega:
So Toleafoa came and sat down by the in-between posts at the rear. Again the king spoke: Come, that I may determine our affairs so that your children and mine will fare well. The following were the words of Fonoti: The four high titles be for me and my children, while the title Tonumaipe’a be for you and your children, so that you will lead the ‘aumaga. Therefore the’ aumaga shall be known to be sanctified. And because you have the title Tonumaipe’a, you shall sit on a mat, and only you alone shall sit outside on a mat, and the others of the ‘aumaga shall be forbidden to sit down on a mat. When the kava chewing is over, all shall stand up with their kava bits and put them in the kava bowl; but for your kava bit someone else shall rise and take it there. Then let the kava bowl be brought and placed before you. If no king is announced by the tumua, you are to be Tuiaana ave’au malaga and the words of the aualuma are to point to you. Your aualuma is to be cared for by Leulumoega, and Fasito’otai and Fasito’outa are to protect them.

However, if you ever again reach for my things, you and your children shall be the prey of the creepers (in the grave) and water shall flow below you; if on the other hand I should reach for your things then I and my children shall be seized by the creepers and water shall flow under me.


Samamea – Maasina – Lona – Taelefaga – Salimu Ma Maauga – Musumusu – Falefa – Sanone – Gagaemalae – Saleapaga – Sagapolu – Falevao – Sauago – Saletele – Uafato – Lalomauga – Manunu – Faleapuna – Lufilufi – Saluafata – Fusi – Salelesi – Safanua – Fagaloa – Solosolo – Luatuanu’u.

Matupalapala Na Fai E Fonoti Le Tupu: Honours Conferred By King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa:

Ina ua tofia Fonoti e fai ma tupu, ona soloa’i ane lea i ai o le ie fa’atupu lenei o le Pepeve’a, Ma fa’ae’e iai i le tofa mamao i lana afioga le Tupu Tafa’ifa o Samoa o Fonoti Papa e Fa! ia o le: Tuiatua, Tuia’ana, Gatoaitele ma le Vaetamasoali’i. Ona tupu lea o le taua i le va o Fonoti ma ona uso taufeagai o Tole’afoa Va’afusuaga ma le tuafafine o Samalae’ulu ona o lenei lava ietoga o le Pepeve’a ma Papa e Fa! Mo le Tupu Tafa’ifa o Samoa. O le taua fo’i lenei e i ai le upu fa’asamoa: “Ua tulituliloaina Mano’o”.

Ina ua malo Fonoti i le taua ma fa’amaonia lona tupu, Ua Tupu Tafa’ifa nei Fonoti. Ona to atu ai lea o Matupalapala nei o nu’u ma itumalo sa fesoasoani malosi i lana itu’au, ma isi tele o Matupalapala ua le mai taulia.

“Ua maua le fa’alupega fou o Falefa, O le a’ai a le tupu, po’o le a’ai a Fonoti.”

“Ua maua le fa’alupega fou o Fagaloa, O le Va’a o Fonoti.”

“Ua maua le fa’alupega o Molio’o ma Faleapuna, O le To’oolefua.”

“Ua maua le fa’alupega fou o Tofaeono. O le faleagafulu i ai o Leulumoega, ae falefitu i ai Lufilufi.”


TE’O, O oe o le anava o taua, ma lou manu Samoa.

FIA’AITAGATA, O au suafa ia o Fatialofa, ma Auelua. O le a fai i la’ua ma tulauniu o Atua, Punefu o Atua, To’oto’o o le Tuiatua.

MATA’UTIA, O le Va’a o Fonoti, O le malu o Ma’auga- Leulumoega, ma Lalogafu’afu’a, Lufilufi. Fea, o le Va’a o Fonoti, O fea fo’i e fa’aopea ia Atua le Fauono.

MOLIO’O, O oe o le Va’a o Fonoti, O oe o le to’o o le fua.

LEUTELE, (Falefa) O oe o le a’ai o le Tupu o Fonoti. Falefa (District), Sanone, Gagaemalae, Saleapaga, Sagapolu, Falevao, Sauago, Saletele, Uafato.

TOFAEONO, E ono pou o Lufilufi, fitu ia te oe. E iva pou o Leulumoega, sefulu ia te oe. E fitu pou o le Malietoa, valu ia te oe. E tolu pou o Satunumafono, fa ia te oe.

E fa’apena fo’i matupalapala na fai e Samalae’ulu i tagata sa i lana itu’au.

Ua maua le fa’alupega fou o Alipia. O le matua na togi.”

“Ua maua le fa’alupega fou o Tanuvasa. O le itulua i ai o A’ana.”

O le matupalapala la, e le avea i so’o se tagata tautua, po’o se totino o le aiga, a o le taui mo se tautua maoa’e a se tagata ese. E ui la ina tu’uina atu se matupalapala i se tagata ese, ae iai pea i lalo o le fa’amalumaluga a le tupu ma aiga e ona le matupalapala.


King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa – Fonoti Nofoatolu Laufeti’iti’i – Fonoti Oliovaigafa – Fonoti Nofoatolu Fata – Fonoti Teoteo Tuipu’avai – Fonoti Fa’aai – Fonoti Falefetafa’i – Fonoti Tuala Sola – Fonoti Lei’o Atanoa – Fonoti Pua’a – Fonoti Fatu – Fonoti Mata’utia Ioane Brown – Fonoti Inu Saufo’i Brown – Fonoti Tuala Le Sa’oali’i Kamilo Brown.

(”e ufiufi a le tama’imoa i le tanoa, ae ioio lava..”)


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