Helene Martinsson-Wallin Gotland University, Visby, Sweden
That's the ceremony I was trying to describe, except I was distorting it a bit by saying it was more of a liutofaga....which is what we do when we're re digging up a grave and we have to a do a blessing because we are disturbing the resting/sleeping place of a loved one.
This academic tells it having interviewed key people who were there. So her take makes for an interesting read.
On a lighter note, I am laughing at the description of the land issues ...my goodness it's a lot neater in academic writing than in reality...oi Aue.
But now, on a very serious note, this writer exposes a truly sad fact about our disregard for our cultural heritage. Again, that is my interpretation but truly,...look at the many historical (both pre and post colonial ) places of significance that have been bulldozed to the ground?
The most recent being the Jubilee Church in Malua. Gone...to be replaced by possibly a large, aluminium "I'm bigger and shinier than the Methodist and Catholic" churches.
The Original Fale fono? Gone.
The rock that was throw by Vaatausili at the Tolotolo? ...yeah ..that's where the road runs today. Not important.
Part of the foundation that is the star mounds in Palauli? ....widely used to build pa maa (rock walls) to keep the pigs in.
I know the academic here points to intelligent reasons for this oversight, like our divisive land issues and ownership but even more so, ...let's be realistic, ...where there is no money, ...there is no value placed.