Book tells Samoan tales

By Deidre Tautua – Fanene ,

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Rev. Vaiao Eteuati, Afamasaga Dr. Karoline Fuatai and Loau Keneti Sio.

Rev. Vaiao Eteuati, Afamasaga Dr. Karoline Fuatai and Loau Keneti Sio.

The volume eight of Samoa Ne’i Galo was launched on Friday.

Held at the Fale Samoa of the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.), the book was compiled by the Ministry’s Culture division over many years.

Minister of Education Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio said the book is not only important for the kids, but for everyone.

“On behalf of the Government, we want to acknowledge the hard work of those who had put this book together,” he said.

“I know it’s not an easy work and also the gathering of the information is not easy, but this is a useful resource to the students.

“This project provides a documented record of our rich heritage and makes possible a rekindling and nurturing of the awareness of and pride in our rich past and culture.

“I also want to urge the Ministry to not touch or change any of the myths and legends that have been told by the matais of the villages who are involved.

“But I believe that later on, the Ministry will hand out the book so the villages that were involved will be able to look at it.

“I have also been told that this is the eighth volume of this book, but up until now I still haven’t seen the first, second and third volume, so hopefully the Ministry still has copies so that we can advertise.

“And hopefully the Ministry will give out copies to all the school and not let these books sit on their shelves.

“So thank you to all who have worked and compiled this project so that our children can understand the myths and legends of our country as well as its meaning and how it is useful to them.”

Volume eight documents 20 legends researched from 10 villages in Savaii, Upolu and Manu’a. 

According to the statement from M.E.S.C., the challenges of this programme and safeguarding our oral history through documentation, involve issues of ownership as well as the reluctance of our people to tell the stories and legends pertaining to their villages and families to outsiders. 

This work continues with research and documentation of volumes nine and 10 already underway. 

This project is an initiative of the Government of Samoa who funds it with assistance from U.N.E.S.C.O. This research programme has documented 160 legends so far.

The Samoa Ne’i Galo Series is a teaching resource and is available to the public through M.E.S.C. and our local bookshops. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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