HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Sir Terepai Maoate’s Samoan connections
Those attending the State funeral for former Prime Minister Sir Terepai Maoate at the National Auditorium on Friday 13 July 2012 may have wondered at the presence of Janet Brown seated on the left of Sir Terepai’s casket.
Janet Brown advised the Herald on Wednesday that at the funeral, there was no time to present Sir Terepai’s Samoan genealogy. In recognition of Sir Terepai’s status, the family wanted to show part of the Samoan culture.
Janet said it was Gina Williams who suggested she sit by the casket with her Samoan knife and whisk on her right shoulder. In Samoan culture, the protocol is to talk to a chief over the left shoulder. This is why she sat by the casket in line with Sir Terepai’s left shoulder.
Janet sat with a fine mat, regarded as tapu, laid on the floor in front of her. It was to show humility at the passing of a Mataiapo. Normally a Samoan Matai would stand but with the family behind her, Janet sat.
Janet herself holds the Samoan chiefly title of Matai which is equivalent to Sir Terepai’s Mataiapo title. Janet said she was invested with the title in Samoa in December 1992 and that it was Pa Ariki who guided her towards this.
She was invested by the late Mataafa Patu who was one of the five chiefs on the Deputy Council of Chiefs. This is the pool of chiefs from which the Heads of State of Samoa are chosen from.
Janet said her title comes down to her through her family line. She holds the title of “Mataafa Faasuamaleaui.” This line is descended from King Mataafa Iosefu.
His only daughter Mataafa Lafala Samuelu started the line in the Cook Islands. She was brought by missionaries to Rarotonga for safeguarding and married Porakau Maoate who at the time, was Pa’s Maoate Mataiapo.
Janet said that last year Sir Terepai had two dreams. One was about the completion of Pa’s Palace and this has been achieved in his lifetime.
The other dream was of a family reunion in Samoa which did not take place before his passing. However, there may be a reunion organized for either 2013 or 2014. -Charels Pitt

Herald Issue 608 21 March
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- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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