1. Oral Traditions and Legends

From 2000 to 2005 SAMPAC (Samoan & Pacific Studies Program) concentrated much of its research and documentation on collecting Tala o le Vavau (legends/historical origins) and Gafa (genealogy) related to significant people and places of Samoa’s ancient past. The research include traveling to the specific places to document the sites and to interview the knowledgeable people of these places who can explain these sites and their history. Sites and history that SAMPAC has mostly concentrated on include the stories of the famous navigator voyager Lata and his canoe paddle near the village of Taga, Savaii. The Samoan Pre-Christian concept of Pulotu (afterlife) and related sites of Fafa Sau Ali’i at the most Western point of Savaii in the village of Tufutafoe, the “river demigod” Taemanutava’e and his significance in the village of Sili, Savaii, the story of how the Tagaloa title was created in Savaii, the story of Sina and her eel from which the coconut originates and their fresh water pools in Mata o le Alelo in Safune, the Samoan giant Moso and related site in Falealupo (Moso’s footprint) and in Uafato (the Tanoa a Moso and other sites), Sale’aula village and the story of the Volcanic Eruption which covered the village in lava in the first decade of the 20th century, the Turtle and Shark story in the village of Vaitogi, Am. Samoa and Fagafau Savai’i, history and important sites in Aunu’u, American Samoa, and a number of legends of origins in the island of Ta’u, Manu’a. Whenever possible we also collected and recorded related songs in those places sung by the local people. Fieldwork interviews delve into the intricacies of history, culture, values and meanings that the local people derive from these legends. The majority of the fieldwork, particularly in Western Samoa, was conducted on weekends and holidays and students of Ancient Samoan history and Cultural Anthropology were invited to join and observe these fieldwork expeditions. Clips of this footage have been already edited. A more extensive and sc ripted program using this footage is currently in process. There is currently a twenty-minute video edited in 1999 based on SAMPAC’s American Samoa Oral History Project funded by a mini-grant from the American Samoa Humanities Council.

DV# 83-87, Savaii Research Trip #1
5 hrs ASCC © Sept. 2000.
Research Leader: SAMPAC Director, Pulefa’asisina Tuiasosopo, Ethno-Videographer – Micah Van Der Ryn. Other Participants: ASCC President - Salu Hunkin, ASCC President Secretary – Sialoau Taufua. Research in Tufutafoe – Fafa o Sauali’i, Falealupo – Moso’s footprint, Fagafau – Turtle and Shark, Taga – Legend of Lata, plus shots of research group. (Also see VHS #134 – 139 for copies and clips of this footage.)


DV# 88-92, Savaii Research Trip #2
5 hrs ASCC © Dec. 2000.
Research Leader: SAMPAC Director, Pulefa’asisina P. Tuiasosopo, Ethno-Videographers – Micah Van Der Ryn & Lavinia Sefuiva. Local liaison – Laloulu Su. Other research participants - Students of Ancient Samoan History. Scenes of historical and sacred sites of Savaii, and interviews. Places and Topics: Safune Village Mata o le Alelo, Saleaula Village lava flow, Virgin Grave, old church, life history of old woman, story of the “Mu”, Sili village Story of Taemanutava’e and Tagaloa, malaga stop in Safotu to get umu.

DV# 128-131, Savaii Research Trip #3
4 hrs ASCC © April 2001.
Research Leader: SAMPAC Director, Pulefa’asisina P. Tuiasosopo, Ethno-Videographer Micah Van Der Ryn, Other participants include Ancient Samoa History students, and SAMPAC temporary employee researcher Andrew Su’a, Sili Village Samoan lunch with H.C Fa’aofonu’u Poe, interview on origin and genealogy of Tagaloa, Tufutafoe origin of Paepae o Apaula, Sunset shots in Falealupo, interview TC Fuiono, - Tala o Va’atausili, Nafanua, Taema & Tilafaiga, tatau i Samoa, Safune Mata o le alelo, Sina ma lana tuna.

DV# 166-170, Savaii Research Trip #4
5 hrs ASCC © 2001.
(Semi-edited on VHS #156. Research Leader: SAMPAC Director - H.C. Pulefa’asisina P. Tuiasosopo, Videographer Lavinia Sefuiva. Liaison – Laloulu Su. Other participants include Ancient Samoan History class students). This trip focused on Taga village, getting the story of Lata, which included the class hike to the site of “Lata’s Paddle”.

DV# 278-281, Savaii Research Trip #5
4 hrs ASCC © Nov 2003.
Research Leader SAMPAC Director - H.C.Pulefa’asisina P. Tuiasosopo, Videographer Fepulea’i Micah Van Der Ryn, other research Participants: H.T.C. Pa’u Faleatua, and one Samoan History Student. Sili village interviews on afa with Fa’aofonu’u Poe and Fiu Asuelu. (Much of interview has no sound, only have Pule’s notes.) Shots of Lalomalava mangroves, Mauga Village lava and cricket, Saleaula, Pule analyzes lava flow, interview with Lotoolo auelua, life history.

DV# 205-209, Upolu Research Trip #1
Fagaloa - Lona & Uafato,
(also copied on VHS# 158,159)
5 hrs ASCC © Spring 2001.
Research Leader: SAMPAC Director - H.C. Pulefa’asisina P. Tuiasosopo, Videographer Lavinia Sefuiva. Other participants – Ancient Samoan History Class Students). Footage includes travel shots, ava ceremony in Lona, interviews on various Samoan proverbs, connection of Salamasina to Fagaloa, and shots and interviews at special sites such as “Laulau a Lu, Laulau a Moso, Nofoaga o Lu and others.

DV# 159-162, Oral History of Ta'u, Manu'a
4 hrs ASCC © 2001.
SAMPAC Staff join Archaeologist Erika Radewagon to gather oral history to complement the archaeological research in Ta’u. Includes high school visited, Interview with Valavalaoalii Fuimaono (Tau) Taaga (Fitiuta) , Tala o Pili, origin of Fitiuta and shot of grave of Tui Manu’a.

VHS# 109, Vaitogi - Laumei ma Malie (Turtle and Shark)
1 hr ASCC ©1998.
Ancient Samoan History Class led by Instructor H.C. Pulefa’asisina P. Tuiasosopo meet with chiefs of Vaitogi village in the guesthouse, and then proceeds to the ocean where they sing the Shark and Turtle song. The video captures the shot of the turtle coming up to the surface in answer to the song. 

Palm Trees

DV# 396-399, Follow up of some legends from Savaii
4hrs ASCC © 2006.
Interview with Silia La’ei, Falealupo, Savaii.

DV# 476, Chief Manuaotena Savane
46 mins ASCC © 2009.
Myths and Legend of Asili, American Samoa.

DV# 20 & VHS# 105, Aunuu Island history and sites
1 hr ASCC © 04/01/1999.
Eighty-three years old Vaiau Togiva, resident of Aunu’u takes Anthropology 160 students on a tour of the island, explaining many of the important legendary and historical sites of the island 1999.

DV# 473-475 (DV# 473 10/08/2008 & 474-475 7/12/2007), Chief Liua
3 hours ASCC © 2009.
Myths and legends of the village of Poloa.

DV#472, To'ilolo 'Elama
38 mins ASCC© 2009.
Myths and Legends of Fa’ilolo Village.

VHS# 171, Additional footage for Manu'a research
6mins ASCC ©2002.
Scene of the village of Ta’u Manua, people around the village, people, activities.

Unedited Video Footage
Edited Video Programs