The independent state of Samoa (Samoan. Malo Sa’oloto Tuto’atasi
o Samoa) is an island state in the South Pacific, occupying the
western part of the archipelago of the same name. Previous names are
German Samoa (1900-1914) and Western Samoa (1914-1997). The state
was admitted to the United Nations on December 15, 1976 since 1970 -
a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The capital of the
country - the city of Apia - is located on the island of Upolu,
which is one of the two largest islands in the state of Samoa.
The exact origin of the name of the country is unknown. There
are several versions regarding its origin.
According to one
of them, the word "Samoa" is an abbreviated form of the word
Sa-ia-Moa, which is translated from the Samoan language as "sacred
to Moa." One of the legends is associated with this version,
according to which the god of the universe of Tagaloa had a son
named Moa and a daughter named Lu. When she got married, Lou gave
birth to a son, whom she also named Lou. One night, while sleeping,
Tagaloa heard his grandson Lu hum the words “Moa-Lu, Moa-Lu.” After
some time, Lou changed their order and began to sing “Lu-Moa,
Lu-Moa”, that is, putting his name in front of the name of his uncle
Moa. Tagaloa, hearing this, became very angry, considering his
grandson too arrogant. He asked Lou to scratch his back. When Lou
began to do this, Tagaloa grabbed the boy and began to beat him. The
frightened Lou escaped and went to live on earth. Tagaloa also
warned his grandson to honor his uncle Moa. Lou remembered the
mandate already on earth and decided to name his new home
“Sa-ia-Moa”. Subsequently, this name was transformed into "Samoa".
Despite this, another version is the most popular among locals.
Samoans indicate that “Moa” means either “center” or “chicken”
(however, on the Manua Islands this word is not used in this
context; there the chicken is indicated by the word manu).
Therefore, the name of the state can be translated from the Samoan
language as “the sacred center of the universe” or as “place of moa”
(moa is a local poultry resembling a chicken).
“Moa” is the surname worn by the Tuimanua royal title holders.