Tongan Lore - In Audio

The only extensive (known to these pages) work of diverse range of story-tellers, settings was made by Richard Moyle between 1973-5. Richard Moyle’s collection covered 62 villages on Tongatapu, Ha’apai, Vava’u, Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou.

The reader interested in hearing the stories accentuated by story-tellers, including the fakatangi (sung verses) should contact either the author or Radio Tonga.
Radio Tonga holds the widest collection of audio recordings available in the Kingdom and for a number of years had broadcast a number of Richard Moyle’s recordings.

I’m not sure how ‘safe’ those recordings have been, and we may all have to refer to the University of Auckland Library

There is a great indebtedness Tonga has to Hon. Prof. Moyle’s field work and archiving of Tonga’s aural history.

Of Richard Moyle, the Auckland University website said:

Richard Moyle, former Director of the Centre for Pacific Studies, is a graduate of The University of Auckland. He held teaching positions at Indiana University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and for eight years was a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in Canberra. He came to Pacific Studies after 22 years in the Department of Anthropology. For 17 years Richard was also Director of the Archive of Maori and Pacific Music.

Richard’s research career spans 50 years, including 10 years of fieldwork in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Niue, the Northern Cook Islands, Central Australia, and Takū. His many books include landmark volumes on the musics of Samoa, Tonga, Takū, the Pintupi, Alyawarra and Kukatja Aboriginal tribes, and also bilingual collections of oral tradition from Samoa, Tonga and Takū. He was the first ethnomusicologist to receive a Marsden Grant. He has judged more than 100 church choir competitions in Auckland and Wellington, and is the only palagi to be a Chief Judge for choirs at Teuila, Samoa’s national competition event. Richard’s 2011 bilingual ethnographic dictionary of Takū sold out within a year of publication, and his fourth monograph on the culture of this remote Polynesian atoll, a study of Takū ritual and belief in practice, was published in 2018.

Richard’s time is divided between New Zealand and Australian universities, where he lectures and mentors graduate research students. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Queensland Conseratorium of Music Research Centre.