origin of the name samoa

Posted in the Samoa Forum

First Prev
of 3
Next Last
Gagana

Sacramento, CA

#1 Apr 13, 2009
I know their are different versions of the story but this is the Manu'a version of the origin of the name SA-MOA......

The country of SAMOA today got its name from the Tui Manu’a family title of MOA and the famous bird of Tagaloa.‘SAMOA’ simply means – the people of ‘MOA’. Ancient Manu’a believed that all Polynesia was known as ‘SAMOA’ or ‘LE ATU O MOA’. I have no problem believing this because every region or people group in the world has a name and ‘Polynesia’ is a European name. The term “Polynesia”, meaning many islands, was first used by Charles de Brosses in 1756, and originally applied to all the islands of the Pacific. Jules Dumont d’Urville in an 1831 lecture to the Geographical Society of Paris proposed a restriction on its use, as we have it today.

Another piece of supporting evidence for this is the Polynesian name for the Pacific Ocean. Throughout Polynesia the one common word for the Pacific Ocean is MOANA (MOA-NA), which can mean –“Belonging to the Moa; Offerings to the Moa or Behold the Moa”.

We know what MOA stands for, but the word – NA is the pronoun – this, that, these and those. It always brings the accent of the preceding word on to the ultima, and causes a lengthening of the vowel. So in ‘ Moa – Na’ you drag the last ‘a’ of Moa. That is how all Polynesia pronounced MOANA even to this day! It is similar to the Tahitian greetings of Ia Ora Na and the Cook Is – Kia Ora Na, or the Maori-Te Na, Te Na, Te Na Koutou Katoa. It is the same for the Samoan –“O le Na” and the Tokelau word for father - Tamana (Tama-Na).

So Samoa, Polynesia and their Pacific Ocean were all named after the Samoan ‘MOA’ family, title and bird. The Moa bird was definitely NOT a chicken but a spiritual bird and personal transportation of Tagaloa. Think of the US President and the ‘Air Force One’, and you will understand Tagaloa’s relation with his favourite bird.
The word ‘Moa’ also means the ‘Centre’ or ‘Heart’, which was another reference to the central role of Manu’a in the early Polynesian culture. Manu’a was also the centre of the first Polynesian maritime Empire ever in the Pacific Ocean.

The first ever painting of a Polynesian sailing double canoe was done by an artist in the crew of the Dutch Captain Jacob LeMaire, who encountered a Polynesian canoe between Samoa and Tonga on the 8 May 1616. On the sail was a big picture of a MOA.

“JaSan your HOTTO!”

Since: Mar 09

Hakata Fukuoka City. JAPAN.

#2 Apr 13, 2009
Im a huge lover of KFC myself.
Sone

Edithvale, Australia

#3 Apr 13, 2009
Yo Gagana, where did you get your info from?

“"Aua le Dutch..Sorry bout it"”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Apr 14, 2009
Gagana wrote:
I know their are different versions of the story but this is the Manu'a version of the origin of the name SA-MOA......
The country of SAMOA today got its name from the Tui Manu’a family title of MOA and the famous bird of Tagaloa.‘SAMOA’ simply means – the people of ‘MOA’. Ancient Manu’a believed that all Polynesia was known as ‘SAMOA’ or ‘LE ATU O MOA’. I have no problem believing this because every region or people group in the world has a name and ‘Polynesia’ is a European name. The term “Polynesia”, meaning many islands, was first used by Charles de Brosses in 1756, and originally applied to all the islands of the Pacific. Jules Dumont d’Urville in an 1831 lecture to the Geographical Society of Paris proposed a restriction on its use, as we have it today.
Another piece of supporting evidence for this is the Polynesian name for the Pacific Ocean. Throughout Polynesia the one common word for the Pacific Ocean is MOANA (MOA-NA), which can mean –“Belonging to the Moa; Offerings to the Moa or Behold the Moa”.
We know what MOA stands for, but the word – NA is the pronoun – this, that, these and those. It always brings the accent of the preceding word on to the ultima, and causes a lengthening of the vowel. So in ‘ Moa – Na’ you drag the last ‘a’ of Moa. That is how all Polynesia pronounced MOANA even to this day! It is similar to the Tahitian greetings of Ia Ora Na and the Cook Is – Kia Ora Na, or the Maori-Te Na, Te Na, Te Na Koutou Katoa. It is the same for the Samoan –“O le Na” and the Tokelau word for father - Tamana (Tama-Na).
So Samoa, Polynesia and their Pacific Ocean were all named after the Samoan ‘MOA’ family, title and bird. The Moa bird was definitely NOT a chicken but a spiritual bird and personal transportation of Tagaloa. Think of the US President and the ‘Air Force One’, and you will understand Tagaloa’s relation with his favourite bird.
The word ‘Moa’ also means the ‘Centre’ or ‘Heart’, which was another reference to the central role of Manu’a in the early Polynesian culture. Manu’a was also the centre of the first Polynesian maritime Empire ever in the Pacific Ocean.
The first ever painting of a Polynesian sailing double canoe was done by an artist in the crew of the Dutch Captain Jacob LeMaire, who encountered a Polynesian canoe between Samoa and Tonga on the 8 May 1616. On the sail was a big picture of a MOA.
Isn't this the same info that "Toaga" provided on another thread "Who is the cradle of Polynesia??"..
Toaga-Gagana

Sacramento, CA

#5 Apr 14, 2009
Proud Hamo wrote:
<quoted text>
Isn't this the same info that "Toaga" provided on another thread "Who is the cradle of Polynesia??"..
LOL I am Toaga I provided this info on the other thread but as a different name though........
Zeke2010

Waltham, MA

#6 May 17, 2010
I have read the comments in this site, and wonder if anyone can answer a few questions for me. First, what is the etymology and meaning of the polynesian surnames Amoa and Aumua? Are they related? The second of these is the original surname of NFL player Troy Polamalu. In the comments by Gagana, is Moa the surname of a family? Also, in the same entry are mentioned the terms Manu'a, Tui Manu'a and Tagaloa. What do these terms refer to, and what are the etymologies for them? Also, if Samoa means "the people of Moa", then the word "Sa" must mean people? Thanks to anyone who can answer my questions. God bless.
Zeke2010

Waltham, MA

#7 May 17, 2010
I have one more question. If the word Moa can refer to "Center", "Heart", or a bird, then what differentiates them in actual speech. Are polynesian languages tonal languages like many west african languages, in which the tones imparted to a word can determine the meaning of the word, or is the meaning simply determined by context? Thank you.
ToaSamoa

San Francisco, CA

#8 Jul 21, 2010
wow many story,, I think Sa' means not to? maybe not to eat the chicken,, now we dont have no more Moa's??
curious

Auckland, New Zealand

#9 Aug 9, 2010
Lol.'Sa' also means sacred or taboo. So it can mean sacred chicken??
Proud

Lower Hutt, New Zealand

#10 Aug 10, 2010
Moa means centre.
tee

Milpitas, CA

#11 Jun 27, 2011
I read somewhere that Sa is sacred n moa is center or heart.
tee

Milpitas, CA

#12 Jun 27, 2011
sacred heart
now-u-know

Memphis, TN

#13 Sep 29, 2011
Samoa started in Savaii-Upolu. Manu'a was the first island kingdom in Polynesia but the Samoan way of life(the culture, chief system, & ranks) was already in motion before the Tui Manu'a came about.

TOA

“"TUI MANU'A LO'U ALI'I E"”

Since: Jun 09

Compton, CA

#14 Sep 29, 2011
now-u-know wrote:
Samoa started in Savaii-Upolu. Manu'a was the first island kingdom in Polynesia but the Samoan way of life(the culture, chief system, & ranks) was already in motion before the Tui Manu'a came about.
Now you know

No disrespect for Manu'a, Upolu, Savaii, Tutuila are all apart of Samoa Atoa but I think you should read into the Samoan creation story.
now-u-know

Lawton, OK

#15 Sep 29, 2011
Yes I understand but they are only stories. I say that because the Samoan "god" tagaloa who ancient Samoans believed and created not just Samoa but the whole entire universe is nothing more but a myth. I don't believe that the origins of our homeland is based on folklore and fairytales or some other made up stories. Especially when the people of Manu'a believe that the "Tui Manu'a" is a direct descended of the Samoan "god" tagaloa.
lole

Pago Pago, American Samoa

#17 Oct 7, 2012
ToaSamoa wrote:
wow many story,, I think Sa' means not to? maybe not to eat the chicken,, now we dont have no more Moa's??
"SA" anciently means a group of people belonging to a certain clan or family.For eg. Sa Malietoa (dragging the "a" ), Sa Papali'i , people belonging to those family or titles. "Tapu" is the right word for forbidden in olden days.Out of respect to the first progenitor of these islands "Moa" ,Manu'a dont call chicken moa. Like any culture, SaMoa culture evolves over 3000 yrs and so as its language. "Moa" as a person and its people makes more sense to me then "Moa" as Tagaloa's transporter .

Since: Apr 12

Location hidden

#18 Oct 7, 2012
Fijian translation:

Sa=its
Moa=matured/ripe/ready

Land of plenty?
Land is ready?

Probly when Fijians arrived, some islands were still smoking volcanoes! After many years, they formed into Islands... Maybe Samoa was named in this manner!

Moana in Fijian means coast...

Since: Aug 12

Location hidden

#19 Oct 8, 2012
What is it with Samoans and chicken (MOA)???

No wonder they love KFC hahahaha
tompingpong

Stoke-on-trent, UK

#20 Oct 8, 2012
Poly KING wrote:
What is it with Samoans and chicken (MOA)???
No wonder they love KFC hahahaha
But the TOA in fijian is chicken but chicken cant fly.
Sasa

Melbourne, Australia

#21 Oct 8, 2012
Poly KING wrote:
What is it with Samoans and chicken (MOA)???
No wonder they love KFC hahahaha
yes but don't choke on it like u fat greedy all u can eat toga's lol,

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker
First Prev
of 3
Next Last

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Samoa Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
tongan Shane Tilyard knocked out by Kimbo Slice (Jan '13) 1 hr sikosiko 60
Maori came from FIJI and Tonga and are Tonga/f... (Oct '12) 4 hr tongangodz 588
Are Samoan guys more in to us Brown girls? Or o... (May '08) Sat tongangodz 691
Tongans are Samoans (Jun '13) Dec 20 Lol 145
What is your favorite Samoan song?? (Feb '09) Dec 20 Proud 1,844
Samoans are the best boxers, kickboxers, mma fi... (Jan '14) Dec 16 SuperSamoan 3
How many Samoans are their in NZ? (Feb '12) Dec 13 rangi 54
More from around the web