Titles bestowed at Ti’avea village
The village of Ti’avea was the scene of colourful celebrations yesterday morning.
The occasion was the bestowal of five different matai titles, namely Letoaga, Asaga, Malae, Leuso and Leota.
Eight new titleholders were present during the ceremony.
They were Leota Matalaoa Taioalo, Leota Maunu Sinaumea Taufao, Leota Faaui Mika Samuelu, Leota Mose Taufao, Leota Alofa Aleta, Leota Aliimau Livingstone, Leota Josire Aleta and Malae Finau.
The rest had someone else sit in to accept their ava during the ceremony.
Tautua Leau Leota Elisaia, a family Elder, said yesterday’s ceremony had been in a pipeline for a while.
“The purpose for this saofa’i is for all family members to inherit what is naturally theirs, be part of who they are and to develop our family wherever they are residing,” he said.
He explained that at Tiavea, the Leota title is an oratory title, which is a rarity in Samoa, he said.
One of the new titleholders, Leota Alofa Aleta, is honoured to have been chosen.
“It’s been a long time since our extended family had bestowments so I’m proud to have this title for my Mom who wanted me to, for my family so I can serve them with all I have,” Leota Alofa said.
He is a lawyer from Australia, holding Masters in Fisheries Policy and Masters in Law and International Law from the Australian National University in Canberra. He is now a Legal Officer in the Tokelau Transport and Support Services Department, based in Savalalo.
He added that this is a good opportunity for him to be bestowed a title from his family since he is now working and staying in Samoa.
The ceremony started with a blessings service followed by traditional formalities involving the Village Council and guests.