Family lines online

Digital Fa‘alupega connects Samoan people to land and origins
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One very special book consistently appears in the top-five most accessed collection items across the whole of Trove, and you might be surprised to learn what it is.

O le tusi fa‘alupega o Samoa, published in 1930, was adapted from the work of Misi Kirifi Le Mamea, Te’o Tuvale, T. E. Faletoese, F. F. A. and Kirisome, F. L. with the first edition published in 1915.

Fa‘alupega, or the naming of chiefly titles is a fundamental part of Sāmoan culture and custom, as it connects individuals and families to land and origins of their past.

Orator chiefs had all the Sāmoan Islands and their village chiefly structures memorised, and this knowledge is recalled and acknowledged in speeches during special ceremonies and events. Since being recorded on paper, there have been different editions of tusi fa’alupega collated and released over the years.

Find out more about the significance of digital access to these books for the global Sāmoan community by reading Dr Safua Akeli Amaama’s blog post on the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongawera’s edition of O le tusi fa‘alupega o Samoa. Learn more about the fa’alupega from Leone Samu Tui’s blog post on an unpublished tusi fa’alupega held in the Auckland Museum collection.

All three items are available online and the editions of O le tusi fa‘alupega o Samoa held at the Te Papa Museum and National Library of Australia can also be found in If you have Sāmoan ancestry and have found family, connections to land, or your cultural history in the O le tusi fa‘alupega o Samoa, make sure you share your story in

With thanks to Leone Samu Tui, Auckland Museum, Dr Safua Akeli Amaama, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongawera and Libby Cass, National Library of Australia.