Mau honored at Samoa Solidarity March

Photo Credit: 
Tina Mata'afa-Tufele
Unasa Iuni Sapolu speaking to participants of the Samoa Solidarity March, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Mulinu'u, Samoa.

(APIA) — Leaders of the Mau, namely Lauaki Namulauulu, were honored when approximately 150 to 200 Samoans of all ages gathered at Mulinu'u for closing activities of the Samoa Solidarity March Dec. 16.

Here is the statement delivered by a female speaker, printed in its entirety:

"Lauaki was a man who was passionately proud of the Samoan system of government. He always maintained Tumua ma Pule were the only governing power that Samoa was subject to.

He had no respect for the white man's form of government and saw the greed that was built into their system which were in his eyes were so obviously trying to install their government style of top down rule and force it down Samoa's throat.

This was counter to Samoan politics which is decentralized power. The power resides in the constituents of Tumua and Pule, not in the Tama Aiga. Tama Aiga are who we offer our mamalu to. They do not force themselves upon us. Tumua ma Pule establish the mamalu for Tama Aiga not the other way around. Without Tumua ma Pule Tama Aiga and Sa Malietoa would be nothing.

That's how the Samoan system works from the bottom up. It's by consent, not by intimidation. Samoa is based on the concept: 'e leai se gaumata'u na o le gaualofa.' We bow due to love not due to fear. We honor our Ali'i due to love not due to fear and this is the Samoan culture.

Lauaki would not allow white men's philisophy to replace our own which he considered our cultural traditions superior to the white man's philosophy. But he also realized that the white men were cunning bastards. They knew how to manipulate power and their main tool for removing sovereignty or power from a native people was remove them from ownership of their land.

That is why he was so adamant that no Samoan lands be allowed to be sold because he recognized this was how they were able to defeat and enslave native peoples. By removing them from ownership of land. It was done all over the world and Lauaki for some reason identified that strategy of the white men. He was very perceptive. That is why LTR 2008 [the Lands and Titles Registration Act 2008] is so dangerous and it is contrary to what our Mau leaders were fighting for.

He never used alagaupu to lauga. That is how amateur orators lauga. An orator of that stature is someone with a vast knowledge of the fai a or connections between one village and another. He can take the history of a village and make the connection he needs for the village to accept his request.

It's all about connections, relationships. This is the basis of all Samoan interactions, how we are connected whether by genealogy, or war or sacrifice. These are the deepest most valuable tools of an orator. If he knows these connections he can get the other side to do anything and that was his genius.

When he spoke he knew exactly how to influence an audience based on their relationship to him or the cause he was promoting. Lauaki stood for Samoa sovereignty. Samoa mo Samoa. That is what he believed and he died for that vision."

Marches were held in New Zealand, Australia and the United States Dec. 16 (Samoa Time), to coincide with the Vaisigano-Mulinu'u march.

Representative for SSI, in the Independent State of Samoa, is attorney and activist Unasa Iuni Sapolu.

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