Meaning of Blog Title:

Malae o Letalu simply means "Letalu’s Square" or "Letalu's Court".

What is a malae?
A malae (in Samoan), marae (in Maori and Tahitian) mala’e (in Tongan) is basically the village square, or court. It is somewhat analogous to a Greek agora.

A malae is a large rectangular clearing in the center of a village, used for social, political and religious assemblies. Although a Samoan malae may be different in appearance from a Hawaiian one, or others, the concept is the same throughout Polynesia.  For the Hawaiians, a malae is mainly used for religious activities, hence the sacred character attributed to such places. Stone was also the main material used.  A Samoan malae, by contrast, is usually sandy or grassy.

One of the most notable parts of the protocols for the festivities and gatherings in a Samoan malae is the performing of traditional discussions, oratory and discourse. It is from this role and context of the malae that I borrow my blog title.  For those in the know, the title - more phonetic than syntactic- can also be a pun on “Malae o le Talu”, a familiar and important historic malae in American Samoa where, in 1900, Tutuila - the main island - was ceded to the United States.

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