Image: The orator Moefaauo, at Lufilufi, Upolu, Samoa

The orator Moefaauo, at Lufilufi, Upolu, Samoa

Moefaauo, a tulafale (orator) from Salelesi, photographed at Lufilufi, Upolu, Samoa, in 1900. AMS318/V6014.  A tulafale speaks for his family or village group on special occasions and records family histories and genealogies. Over his cotton suit Moefaauo wears an 'ie-toga (fine mat), a waistband of red parrot feathers, and a pandanus seed necklace 'ulafala. These items of customary dress and the fue (fly whisk) and to'oto'o (staff) signify the special role and status of the tulafale. Facing his audience, he would stand and hold or lean on the to'oto'o and wave the fue to accentuate points in his speech.

Photographer:
Reverend George Brown.
Rights:
© Courtesy of the Australian Museum

Notes

This image is from a large collection of photographs taken by Reverend George Brown during his work with the Methodist Mission in the Pacific Islands from 1876 to 1908.

 

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3 comments

dmarqt - 10.04 AM, 18 April 2012
The picture in your discription is a picture of a Talking Chief. This is a person who speaks to the masses for the King or High Chief. The Title Name Moefaauo is the title of a High Chief who sits to the right of the King and advizes the King. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the person in your photograpy is the Moefaauo. This Title Name has been in my family for generations. My grandfather held this title as well as his father and his father before him.
Vanessa Finney - 10.02 AM, 14 February 2011

Thank you for your comment and the interesting information about your family.  Regarding the title name Moefaaou, was it a name given to orators specifically in your family and has it been used correctly in our caption?

 

gracechurch4508 - 1.01 AM, 28 January 2011
I believe this is an uncle of my grandfather who also had the Chief title Name of Moefaauo, he was the orator for the King of the Atua district and was later exiled by the Germans during the Mau movement.

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