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Tamafaigā: Shaman, King or Maniac? The Emergence of Manono

Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese
The Journal of Pacific History
Vol. 30, No. 1 (Jun., 1995), pp. 3-21
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25169247
Page Count: 19
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Abstract

Tamafaigā was the dominant political figure in 19th century Samoa. He and his régime represented change. The Manono/Tonumaipe'a Mālō was wrested from the Tumua centres. The paper attempts to identify the traditional and cultural reference points of Manono political motivation: firstly, by examining its inheritance; secondly by showing how Manono exploited this and its strategic position in the sea lanes between Upolu and Savai'i to forge a role that was important and sometimes conclusive in Samoan history. The Salamasina reign defines the parameters of politics and power in modern Samoa; therefore the analysis of Manono's power begins with the Salamasina reign. The Manono régime tried to retain the Tamafaigā legacy through regular reassertion of arms; the Malietoa party and the missionary lobby tried to wean away the Mālō on the grounds that they were more worthy inheritors of the Tamafaigā mantle; the ancien régime represented by Leulumoega and Lufilufi stubbornly claimed custody of the Salamasina inheritance. The paper attempts to analyse critically political propaganda and posturing while retaining a focus on the human dimension.

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