Understanding Samoan oratory

Sadat Muaiava


  • Description
  • Author
  • Info
  • Reviews


Lauga or Samoan oratory is a premier cultural practice in the fa'asamoa (Samoan culture), a sacred ritual that embodies all that fa'asamoa represents, such as identity, inheritance, respect, service, gifting, reciprocity and knowledge. Delivered as either lauga fa'amatai (chiefly speeches) or lauga fa'alelotu (sermons), lauga is captivating and endowed with knowledge, praxis and skill. Lauga is enjoyed by many, but today many Samoan people, especially in the Samoan diaspora, also remain disconnected from it and lack proficiency in its rhetorical inventory. It is critical that the knowledge and skills that underpin lauga are retained. This accessible book explains the intricacies of lauga and its key stages and is an ideal companion for those who may be called upon to speak at significant occasions, those wanting to improve their knowledge and skills, and all those interested in fa'asamoa. The insights of its expert author and 20 guest writers, many of whom are well-known and respected orators, combine to share knowledge and uphold a vital practice.


Sadat Muaiava:
Dr Sadat Muaiava lectures in the School of Languages and Cultures at Victoria University of Wellington. He was born in Samoa and holds the matai titles Le‘ausalilo (Falease‘ela), Lupematasila (Falelatai), Fata (Afega), and ‘Au‘afa (Lotofaga, Aleipata). His research focus is the interdisciplinary domains of the Samoan (and Pacific) language and culture in the homeland, the Pacific, and in diasporic contexts. He has contributed widely and publicly in forums that discuss Samoan language, oratory, tattooing and history.