Toakuomotu: The Chief Who Said No.

One of Tongapoteki’s ancestors was Toakuomotu. He was a toa (warrior) for Ulukalala. This was a bad thing because Ulukalala did not care about right and wrong. Ulukalala cared about power. There were some chiefs in Vavau who opposed Ulukalala. So Ulukalala told Toakuomotu to kill them. Although Toakuomotu must have feared Ulukalala, he would not kill those chiefs. Ulukalala commanded some of his other toas to kill those chiefs. So those chiefs were taken, bound with cords, placed in canoes in Makave lagoon and holes were made in the canoes so that they sank and those chiefs drowned.

Some say Toakuomotu was banished to Koloa. Some say that Ulukalala feared Toakuomotu so Ulukalala sent him to work in Koloa to prevent Toakuomotu from undermining his power. The reason that Toakuomotu did not kill those chiefs is unclear. He may have not killed them because he feared them or because he loved them. In my heart I want to hear that Toakuomotu did not kill those chiefs because it was wrong to do it. Then I can tell the rising generation that the Tongan warrior tradition is to do what is right, even when it means that you may be fired or even lose your life. I guess that whoever dies first should go ask Toakuomotu to come tell us why he did not do it.

witheld Revised: February 29, 1996 Copyright © 1996 Daniel (Taniera) Longstaff