Story: Pacific Islands and New Zealand

'Samoan parliament' representatives, around 1925

A 1925 photograph shows representatives of the 'Samoan parliament'. This is probably the Fono of Faipule, set up in 1905 (Samoa's legislative assembly first met in 1948). Each faipule (member of the fono, or council) was a bridge between a district and the government. They were expected to represent the government to their district, and take the district's concerns back to the government. In 1925 discontent with New Zealand rule was close to boiling point. Standing in the centre, without a tuiga (ceremonial headdress) and with his hand on the chair in front of him, is Mata'afa Faumuina Mulinu'u I. He later became leader of the Samoan independence movement, the Mau, after Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III was shot and killed by New Zealand military police during a peaceful protest in 1929 – a day that became known as 'Black Saturday'.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PA1-o-446-45
Photograph by Alfred James Tattersall

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jon Fraenkel, 'Pacific Islands and New Zealand - Samoa', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 January 2020)

Story by Jon Fraenkel, published 20 Jun 2012