|About Title Paramount King Fonoti
TUMUA MA PULE, ITU'AU MA ALATAUA, AIGA-I-LE-TAI, MA LE VA'A-O-FONOTI
The Succession Line of the Royal Family of Samoa: One of the early kings was Tuia’ana Tuiatua
Faumuina Le Tupufia. He had three children. The sons were named Fonoti and Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa,
and the daughter was named Samala’ulu. They are Known commonly in traditions of Samoa as ‘The Three
of Faumuina‘. Each child was by a different mother, but Tuia’ana Tuiatua Faumuina before he died, he
did not declare a decree for a successor to rule on the throne. And intimately, this is why his
three children, Fonoti, Samala’ulu and Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa entered into war to fight it.. the
dispute was also taken up by their maternal relations that became so intense that war was raged to
who will be King. And began the arise of famous family clans of Samoa such as Sa-Tuala, Sa-Levalasi,
Sa-Asomua, Sa-Tago, Sa-Amituana’i, Sa-Tunumafono and others. This is also why their father, or the
title Faumuina is greeted as ‘Le Tupufia‘. Tupufia, means or referred to of his children that they
all wanted to be King! in the 1600’s
Va'afusuaga Tole'afoa and sister Samala'ulu had joined up to opnose the claim of there older brother
Fonoti to the Kingship. When Fonoti found that his brother and sister had gained many followers he
went to Leulumoega where the dispute was being fought and sought the assistance of the High Chiefs
and leading orators of other districts. This was the war that Mano’o of Samatau said before the war:
if Fonoti runs into the sea, we will dry up the sea, if he runs into heaven, we will rip it open to
catch him. As a result he was pursued with great zeal; Chief Veletaloola of Faleata, Aiono defeated
Mano’o. Fonoti then waged war against his kin "The Paegauo War" for the Papas to proclaim the
Tafa'ifa Kingship, he was successful and was ultimately proclaimed King Fonoti Tupu Tafa'ifa of
Samoa. Bestowed on him and helder of the four high titles: Tuia’ana, Tuiatua, Vaetamasoalii, and
Gatoaitele. In our traditions this war is known as "the war between Samala'ulu and Fonoti" or "The
Paegauo War" some called it "The War of the Tupufia". King Fonoti conferred many honours upon those
chiefs and Districts that had fought for him and such honours and privileges are honoured by the
"Tumua and Pule" down to the present time.
The Distribution In The War was about as follows: With Fonoti: Fagaloa, Faleapuna, Falefa,
Saluafata, Solosolo, Vaimauga, Faleata, Safata, Falealili, Fasitoouta, Falelatai, Manono, half of
Lufilufi and of Leulumoega. On The Side of Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa and Samalaulu were: Aleipata,
Luatuanuu, Lepa, Lotofaga, Siumu, Faleula, Sagana, Sale’imoa, Faleasi’u and Samatau, also all of
Savai'i island through Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa’s influence.
Itu Malo o le Vaa-o-fonoti with a district of its own right was one of the rewards conferred upon
Faleapuna, Safanua and Fagaloa, for the part they had played in the dispute and for contending with
Manono, Sapapali'i and Saleaumua in the fighting that took part on the sea. Fonoti also conferred
honours on Tofaeono, Aiono, Misa and the privilege of receiving food on Faleata. Aiga-i-le-Tai
district comprises the villages on the small island of Manono and Apolima, and their associated
villages along the north western tip of A’ana district, they sided with Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa and
Samala’ulu against their brother Fonoti in the war. Probably in an effort to reconcile old
differences, King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa designated these villages an independent political district
in its own right-thus the political district Aiga-i-le-Tai, literally family on the seaward side.
King Fonoti also granted Ulualofaiga complete power over Fagaloa District and in addition he gave
Ulualofaiga the village of Amanave in Tutuila. This village is controlled in this manner right down
to the present day and the authority as recognised by the American Government. The title
Vaa-o-fonoti was also given to Ulualofaiga by Fonoti as a name for his war canoe and this title
distinguishes the District down to the present day. It was him also Fonoti sought assistance when he
defeated Samala'ulu for Kingship of Samoa. There are also many other rewards conferred too numerous
to mention. King Fonoti Tupu Tafa'ifa of Samoa was the only and the last Tafa'ifa King since Queen
Salamasina Tupu Tafa'ifa in 1570. And there was no other war ever since or even recorded in history
that anyone had raised against King Fonoti Tupu Tafa'ifa to claim the four Papa titles, nor through
his Kingly lineage the 'Sa-Fonoti' right to this present time. The following is King Fonoti Tupu
Tafa'ifa's words in his wish: “The Four High Titles Be For Me And My Children”.
The VA’A O FONOTI district comprises the village of Faleapuna and the sub district of Fagaloa in the
region of Atua. People in these places not only sided with King Fonoti Tupu Tafa'ifa but their
fleets also contributed greatly to King Fonoti's victory. In reward King Fonoti Tupu Tafa'ifa
designated them an independent political district in its own right. AIGA ILE TAI district comprises
the villages on the small island of Manono and Apolima, and their associated villages along the
north western tip of A'ana district, they sided with Va'afusuaga Tole'afoa and Samala'ulu against
their brother Fonoti in the war. Probably in an effort to reconcile old differences, King Fonoti
Tupu Tafa'ifa designated these villages an independent political district in its own right-thus the
political district Aiga I le Tai, literally family on the seaward side. It is the mark of
distinction of a real Kingdom that King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa was able to issue such decrees and
appointments (tofigas) which were looked upon as dogmas.
The Following All Samoa Fa’alupega from Two Occasions: (1.) TUMUA MA PULE; from the four wars by
warrior Goddess Nafanua for the titles, and Tupa’i Vaililigi bestowed the four titles to Salamasina.
(2.) AIGA I LE TAI, VA’A O FONOTI, and ITU’AU MA ALATAUA; from the war for the four titles of
Tui-A’ana Faumuina’s Tupufia his three children; Fonoti, Samala’ulu and Va’afusuaga Tole’afoa. All
of Samoa involved in this war, Fonoti won and was bestowed the four titles; by Samoan Customs. (the
four titles: Tui-Atua, Tui-A’ana, Gatoaitele, and Vaetamasoali’i; as Tupu Tafa’ifa of Samoa).
APPOINTING OF KING FONOTI TUPU TAFA’IFA O SAMOA’S GOVERNMENT:
1. THE ALL SAMOA NATIONAL GREETING OR FA'ALUPEGA:
‘TUMUA MA PULE, ITU’AU MA ALATAUA, AIGA ILE TAI, MA LE VA’A O FONOTI.
2. TE’O; ‘O oe o le Anava o Taua, ‘Ma lou Manu Samoa.
3. FIA’AITAGATA; ‘O au Suafa ia o Fatialofa, ma Auelua. ‘O le a fai i la’ua ma Tulauniu o Atua,
‘Punefu o Atua, ‘To’oto’o o le Tuiatua.
4. MATA’UTIA; ‘O le Va’a o Fonoti, ‘O le Malu o Ma’auga – Leulumoega, ma Lalogafu’afu’a, Lufilufi.
‘Fea, o le Va’a o Fonoti, ‘O fea fo’i e Fa’aopea ia Atua le Fauono.
5. MOLIO’O; ‘O oe o le Va’a o Fonoti, ‘O oe o le To’o o le Fua.
6. LEUTELE; (Falefa), ‘O oe o le A’ai o le Tupu o Fonoti. ‘Falefa (District); Sanone, Gagaemalae,
Saleapaga, Sagapolu, Falevao, Sauago, Saletele, Uafato.
7. TOFAEONO; ‘E Ono Pou o Lufilufi, Fitu ia te oe. ‘E Iva Pou o Leulumoega, Sefulu ia te oe. ‘E Fitu
Pou o le Malietoa, Valu ia te oe. ‘E Tolu Pou o Satunumafono, Fa ia te oe.
8. O LE VA’A O FONOTI; Samamea, Maasina, Lona, Taelefaga, Salimu, Maauga, Musumusu, Falefa, Sanone,
Gagaemalae, Saleapaga, Sagapolu, Falevao, Sauago, Saletele, Uafato, Lalomauga, Manunu, Faleapuna,
Lufilufi, Saluafata, Fusi, Salelesi, Safanua, Fagaloa, Solosolo, Luatuanu’u.
9. TUMUA O ASIATA; Ole a Falefa Tumua ia te oe. (Asiata looking for Govt from King Fonoti)
Thus the traditional saying“O SAMOA UA UMA ONA TOFI”.
KING FONOTI TUPU TAFA'IFA OF SAMOA HIS WISH WITH HIS BROTHER VA'AFUSUAGA TOLE'AFOA AT PALACE OF
MULINU'U AND SEPOLATA'EMO IN LUFILUFI ATUA:
Then Toleafoa went and arrived in Lufilufi. He sat down beneath the breadfruit trees and did not
enter the house. So the king spoke: Be welcomed in the house so that we can confer well with each
other. So Toleafoa said: Your pigeon flight and gentle winds descend upon me. I shall not enter your
house except for the Tumua. So Fonoti and the tumua said: Welcome here in the house, let us confer
with the king. So Tole'afoa came and sat down by the in-between posts at the rear.
Again the king spoke: Come, that I may determine our affairs so that your children and mine will
fare well. THE FOLLOWING WERE THE WORDS OF FONOTI: THE FOUR HIGH TITLES BE FOR ME AND MY CHILDREN,
WHILE THE TITLE TONUMAIPE'A BE FOR YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN, so that you will lead the ‘aumaga.
Therefore the’ aumaga shall be known to be sanctified. And because you have the title Tonumaipe’a,
you shall sit on a mat, and only you alone shall sit outside on a mat, and the others of the ‘aumaga
shall be forbidden to sit down on a mat. When the kava chewing is over, all shall stand up with
their kava bits and put them in the kava bowl; but for your kava bit someone else shall rise and
take it there. Then let the kava bowl be brought and placed before you. If no king is announced by
the tumua, you are to be Tuiaana ave’au malaga and the words of the aualuma are to point to you.
Your aualuma is to be cared for by Leulumoega, and Fasito’otai and Fasito’outa are to protect them.
HOWEVER, if you ever again reach for my things, you and your children shall be the prey of the
creepers (in the grave) and water shall flow below you; if on the other hand I should reach for your
things then I and my children shall be seized by the creepers and water shall flow under me.
NOTE: King Fonoti held all four of the ancient paramount titles of Samoa; Tui-A'ana, Tui-Atua,
Vaetamasoali'i and Gatoaitele as the Tupu Tafa'ifa of Samoa since the 1600's.
O Tupu Tafa'ifa e lua o Samoa o Fonoti ma Salamasina o lo'o lagomau i le Aiga Pa'ia o Sa-Levalasi i
Mulifusi ma Tanumaleu, po'o le Malae o Papa i Lotofaga i Atua. (The Tupu Tafa’ifa status of Samoa
was only held by Salamasina and Fonoti.)
THE PETITION FOR SELF-GOVERNMENT IN SAMOA BY LEADER FONO FAIPULE HON FONOTI IN 1944,AND THE UNITED
NATIONS APPROVAL ON THE 13th DECEMBER 1946. THE NEWLY SAMOAN FLAG WAS RAISED ON 1st JUNE 1948:
SAMOA’S FREEDOM CONFIRMED!
The Petition for Self-Government in 1944 by the Fono of Faipule leader Hon Fonoti that was presented
directly to New Zealand Governor-General Sir Cyral Newall in June, and much more directly to the
Prime Minister Rt. Hon Peter Fraser on the 20-26th of December the same year.
HE WAS FONOTI MATA’UTIA IOANE BROWN of Lalovaea and Lotofaga Atua. Born 17 Feb 1901 and died 9 Oct
1974. While engaged to all his successful Business Activities, Hon J.B.Fonoti was also a Successful
Politician. He was the leader of ‘The Fono a Faipule’ of Samoa from 1939 to 1947. And was also a
‘Member of the Legislative Assembly’ from 1948 to 1952 and 1955 to 1957. And from 1954 he was also a
member of the ‘Working Committee of the Constitutional Convention of the Government of Samoa. And
was the leader of the MAU for Atua also from 1935 to Vaimoso in 1942. The founder and leader of the
Samoa Democratic Party in 1953.
THERE WAS, THEN, in Western Samoa from 1942 onwards a growing and audible demand for
self-government, a demand by no means silenced by New Zealand paternalism. In 1944 that which had
long been familiar to experts was made explicit. In June of that year the Governor-General, Sir
Cyril Newall, paid his third visit to the territory, and Samoan spokesman and leader Hon Fonoti,
while welcoming him on behalf of the Fono of Faipule, expressed solid criticism of New Zealand policy.
In the month that followed, political activity continued, and the Faipule leader Hon Fonoti formed a
standing committee to keep in touch with the workings of the administration: move with sinister
precedents. In the view of an experienced observer; it was not far removed from the FORMATION OF
ANOTHER MAU. By this time, however, it was known that the Prime Minister himself was about to visit
the mandated territory. He was known to have a keen personal interest in its administration, of
which since 1940 he had been the ministerial head; but the tremendous pressure of war issues during
the ensuing years had kept his main attention elsewhere.
IN 1944, as the war situation eased and as politics in Western Samoa grew more tense, he carried out
a long-deferred intention to discuss the matter on the spot with those most concerned. This visit of
the Prime Minister Peter Fraser to Western Samoa and his discussions with a special Fono in December
“PROVED A CRUCIAL EVENT IN NEW ZEALAND’S RELATIONS WITH THE SAMOANS AND IN THE EVOLUTION OF NEW
ZEALAND’S CONCEPTION OF TRUSTEESHIP”. In the first place, the Samoans formulated their political
demands for themselves, as well as for the New Zealand Government, with unmistakable clarity. The
Faipule leader Hon Fonoti presented to the Prime Minister a list of remits, most of which were
detailed and aimed at progressive displacement of Europeans by Samoans in
administration, but which was HEADED BY A FIRM REQUEST FOR SELF-GOVERNMENT AFTER THE WAR.
DEMANDS WERE MADE in direct by leader Hon J.B. Fonoti with a firm request for Self-Government in
Samoa, REMIT NO.1: Samoans to be in control of their Government. Petition the NZ PM Hon Mr. P
Fraser, that the Government of Samoa be handed over to the Samoans after the war. included: 1. The
association with the administration of Samoa representatives to deliberate with Fonoti on ‘All
Government Matters, 2. The appointment of Samoans as head of the Native Affairs Department, 3. For a
Department of Agriculture to be established, 4. Promotions of Samoans through out the Public Service
to more senior posts, 5. For the training overseas of the Ablest Samoan Youths for further
Education, 6. For Limiting the Term of Expatriates to Three Years and No more than Six years etc.
SEVERAL IMPORTANTS, though uncomplicated, decisions were made by New Zealand straight away in
particular: 1. A Scholarship Scheme to inaugurated to enable some of the Ablest Samoa Children to go
to New Zealand for further Education, 2. A new appointment was made to the Office Of Administration.
“This was not an easy position for the New Zealand Government to fill”.
NOTE: The Trusteeship Agreement for Western Samoa was submitted and APPROVED by the General Assembly
of the United Nations Organisation on the 13 December 1946!” Its details belong to the history of
self-government in Samoa. “SAMOA’S FREEDOM FROM THE BRITISH EMPEROR & NZ GOVERNMENT APPROVED AND
At the beginning of June TWO MAJOR EVENTS gave further evidence of the growing reality of the new
political era. ON 1ST OF JUNE 1948 THE NEWLY AUTHORIZED FLAGS OF SAMOA -THE SAMOAN FLAG (which had
just been adopted) and the New Zealand flag, flown conjointly, were raised ceremonially for the
first time. An official anthem, ‘The Banner of Freedom’, had been composed for the occasion. In the
wave of sympathetic emotion which the occasion generated the country gained a national flag, a
national anthem and a national day. THE NEXT DAY 2ND JUNE THE HIGH COMMISSIONER opened the first
session of the Legislative Assembly.
IMMEDIATELY after the general election of 1951, Hon Fonoti had taken the novel step of calling a
public meeting of Samoans to consider the formation of a political party. Out of this action THE
SAMOAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY EMERGED. Men as varied in their outlook as Hon Fonoti himself, the practical
businessman, in Hon Fonoti’s case, to retain Political Office. During its first year the party
claimed a membership of about three hundred and the support of a substantial proportion of the
untitled people; after that it gradually declined. But the election of Hon Fonoti to the Fono of
Faipule late in 1951 and his return to the Legislative Assembly in 1954 GAVE IT A PLACE IN THE
FORMAL POLITICAL LIFE OF THE COUNTRY; and others who were associated with it have since served in
Public Office. Though it was never able to function effectively as a pressure group, it’s more
important policy proposals were brought clearly before the public; even thou the Party died, ITS
IDEALS HAVE LIVED ON in the ‘Form of demand for Universal Surfrage with Matai Candidacy, ‘The
replacement of The Fono a Faipule and The Legislative Assembly by One Body, ‘And personal tax services.
HON FONOTI MATA’UTIA JOHN BROWN GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENTS OF HIS WISH FOR THE OFFICIAL CONSTITUTIONAL
GOVERNMENT OF SAMOA IN 1954-57:
HON FONOTI: Hon Acting Chairmen and the dignity of the Convention.
Samoa, I would say that even though this Convention has been somewhat long, it is now seven weeks
since it started, but it is not a thing that we should be downhearted about, and from what I have
heard of the expression of options I am convinced that the majority of us here are very keen indeed
to secure Self Government – SAMOA INDEPENDENCE!
I AGREE that this Constitutional Convention is something like religious conference because we have
very often mentioned the Name of God, whereas this Convention is the Constitutional Convention of
the Government of Samoa. I feel that the reason why perhaps we are mentioning the name of God so
very often is because we are anxious that a Government of Samoa be founded in God, and I WISH TO SAY
THEREFORE TO YOU SAMOA WELL DONE INDEED.
Now I will express my opinion on this question of HEAD OF STATE. Before I actually state what I have
in mind I should first like to remind this Convention that I am one of the members of the Working
Committee, and our recommendation of course is before you now; but since listening to the
expressions which have been made in this Convention since the time we started I have come to some
conclusions and formed my own opinion which I now wish to express before you.
FIRST, I would say that the present Council of State be retained and that its name be changed to
Fono of Ta’imua – Council of Leaders.
SECOND, that the four royal sons of Samoa be in that Council.
THIRD, that the Hon Tupua Tamasese and Hon Malietoa, as they are at present, the Head of State, but
for the future that there be ONLY ONE Head of State and that the Head of the State be selected from
within that fono of Ta’imua, and that THE FOUR nominates the Head of the State. If they are unable
to do that then the matter should be referred to the Legislature for final action.
THOSE ARE MY WISHES TO THIS QUESTION OF HEAD OF THE STATE and I would say if we should do that and
carry hope, faith and charity in our hearts, and trust in our Lord, and trust in our own people, I
am sure we will succeed and be bound together in Unity and Friendship. And I would say not only for
the present, but also for the future, so that the very words written in our flag which is flying
above us now “GOD IS THE FOUNDATION OF SAMOA” may be always in our hearts. I have many other points
which I would have liked to speak about but time is short.
Sir, I move that THE STEERING COMMITTEE comprising 5 Samoans and 2 Europeans namely: Hon Leutele
Te’o, Hon Tualaulelei, Hon Gatoloai Peseta, Hon To’omata and Hon Va’ai Kolone, Hon H.W. Moors and
Hon A.M. Gurau, BE CONFIRMED.
Hon Fiame Mata’afa Faumuina Mulinuu (ii) as per the first Prime Minister of the Government of Samoa
- (Hon Fonoti called a meeting and confirmed this offer with his district and family of Sa-Levalasi
at Lotofaga Atua).
Fonoti Mata'utia Ioane Brown of Lotofaga Atua is a descendant of King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa of Samoa.
Sa-Fonoti ma le Aiga Pa'ia o Sa-Levalasi Lotofaga Atua.
HON FONOTI (J.B. FONOTI) MAJOR GLOBAL RECOGNITION FOR WORLD PEACE AND FREEDOM 1945, BY REGENTS
PROFESSOR PAUL GORDON LAUREN:
Paul Gordon Lauren, Ph.D. Biography: Paul Gordon Lauren is the first person to be named as a Regents
Professor at The University of Montana. He is an internationally-recognized teacher and scholar on
diplomacy, international relations, and human rights.
Leader Hon Fonoti of Western Samoa rated at the same level as Gandhi of India and three others for
World Peace and Freedom:
FROM BOOK: The Evolution of International Human Rights; visions seen; by Paul Gordon Lauren. Edition
2. (Page 176: Chapter 6)
Peace and a Charter with Human Rights: on Page 176
Peace, in their mind, thus required that “all human beings, irrespective of race, creed, or sex,
have the right to persue both their material well-being and their spiritual development in
conditions of freedom and dignity, of economic security, and equal opportunity.
Thus, the Atlantic Charter, the Declaration of the United Nations, the many speeches by Allied
leaders, and even the Declaration on Liberated Europe emerging as late as February 1945 from the
Yalta Conference between the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union all fostered this belief.
But there was something more as well. The war produced millions of new European victims of
aggression at the hands of the Axis powers. As a result, their own first-hand experience made them
much more sympathetic than ever to the sufferings of others forced to live under conquest and
subjugation, including those indigenous people within their colonial empires, who vowed that there
could never be lasting peace as long as they were denied their freedom. THUS, many victims in the
west began to join with many others like GANDHI IN INDIA, Ho Chi Minh of Indochina, Nkrumah and
Kenyatta of Africa, Carlos Romulo of the Philippines, and FONOTI OF WESTERN SAMOA in regarding the
right of self-determination as absolutely necessary FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE.
KING FONOTI TUPU TAFA’IFA OF SAMOA Genealogy line after his death revived from the Palace of
Mulinu’u Lalogafu’afu’a and Sepolata’emo in Lufilufi the Tumua – One of the two the principal place,
the land of the Tui-Atua, to its final place and settled to date at the Sacred family or Le Aiga
Pa’ia of Sa-Levalasi at Lotofaga Atua, also known as the Malae o Papa in Lotofaga. THE SA-FONOTI OF
A SPECIAL NOTE: A’e malamalama i lou gafa ma tagata na e tupuna mai ai, o le a fa’apena fo’i ona ofi
atu ia te oe lagona o ia tagata. O TOA O SAMOA. Knowing your genealogy, po’o lou malamalama i le
gafa a oe ma lou aiga, e atili fafaga ai le agaga ia te oe o le loto nu’u, ma lou loto aiga.
The Sa-Fonoti family of Lalovaea and Lotofaga Atua. The Webmaster: Christian Teoteo Fonoti Brown.
The Advisors are the family chiefs: Tagaloamamana Inu Tulo Fonoti Brown, and Fonoti Iaseko T.S.