Malie Toa

Malie Toa! Malie Tau! (Good Fight! Brave Warriors!)

Ahoeitu, the half god Tongan king who climbed up into the sky conquered Samoa in about 950. After 300 years of Tongan rule, the Samoans drove the Tongans out. This is the story of how they did it.

It was the birthday of the Tongan governor in Samoa and the Tongans and Samoans gathered to have a great feast for his birthday. The Samoans brought lots of food. The Tongans feasted and danced. The Samoans danced too.

Meanwhile, Samoan warriors were hiding around the area of the feast. When the signal was given the Samoan warriors came out and attacked the Tongans who were tired from feasting and dancing. The Samoans won this first battle. It was the start of a war and gradually all the Tongan forts were defeated.

When the last fort was overthrown the last Tongan chief left in his canoe. There were two Samoan chiefs who were brothers and who had led the war against the Tongans and they were watching this Tongan chief depart. As the Tongan chief was leaving in his canoe, he stopped it for a moment and the Samoan chiefs approached him to see why he was stopping. He turned to them and said, “Malie tau! Malie toa!” (Good fight! Brave warriors!) From this saying there is a family in Samoa that has taken this title and are called, ‘Malietoa’.

After the Tongan chief said these words he said, “If the Tongans ever return to Samoa, it will be for a friendly visit.”


(This story is from Peter S. Buck [Te Rangi Hiroa], in a book called ‘Vikings of the Pacific.’)

Revised: March 1, 1996

Copyright © 1996 Daniel (Taniera) Longstaff