Kava Tonga

IMG_0544aIn Tonga, kava is drunk nightly at “kalapu” (Tongan for “club”), which is also called a “faikava” (“to do kava”). Only men are allowed to drink the kava, although women who serve it may be present. The female server is usually an unmarried, young woman called the “touʻa.” In the past, this was a position reserved for women being courted by an unmarried male, and much respect was shown. These days, it is imperative that the touʻa not be related to anyone in the kalapu, and if someone is found to be a relative of the touʻa, he (not the touʻa) will leave the club for that night; otherwise the brother-sister taboo would make it impossible to talk openly especially courtship. Foreign girls, especially volunteer workers from overseas are often invited to be a touʻa for a night but to do so they must not take offense too easily, as these days touʻas can be treated quite in a sexist manner. If no female touʻa can be found, or it is such a small, very informal gathering, one of the men will do the job of serving the kava root. This is humorously called fakatangata (all-man) or more humorously, a kaikuli (eating dog.)

The kava is served in rounds. Typically the touʻa will first stir the kava in the kumete, then pour some in the ipu (coconut cups) which are then passed from hand to hand to those sitting farthest away. They drink, and the empty cups are returned again from hand to hand. Everybody remains seated, cross-legged, although one is allowed to stretch the legs from time to time. Meanwhile the touʻa has filled other cups for those next from the farthest away, and so the drinking goes forth until those nearest to the kumete have had their drink too. Then the men talk again (about politics, sports, tradition & culture, jokes, or anything else) or they will sing a traditional love song, often accompanied by guitar. Some now-famous string bands have had their origin at a faikava. Finally the next drinking round starts.

In some of the outer islands of Tonga, kava is drunk almost every night, but on the main island, Tongatapu, it is usually drunk only on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Kava drinking frequently lasts as long as eight or nine hours. With the introduction of television, rugby is usually watched by the kava drinkers, and the songs are sung in the commercial breaks. On Saturday nights, a short pause for prayer is made at midnight (as the day moves to Sunday), and then hymns replace the love songs. These hymns are mostly traditional English melodies with new words in Tongan.

All important occasions are also marked by drinking kava, including weddings, funerals, and all church-related functions. For example, when a new king takes his throne or a new chief is established in his title, he must participate in the pongipongi, ancient kava ceremonies to make his rule official. These formal kava parties follow completely different rules. A male chief is now the touʻa, and the kava is very solemnly prepared by pounding the roots to powder (instead of buying of bag of already pounded kava powder). Once the kava is the right strength (as deduced from the colour), the ceremony master will call out the nickname of the first recipient using an old archaic formula (“kava kuo heka”). The touʻa will fill the cup and the cup is then brought, often by a young lady, to the intended chief, and brought back afterwards. Then the next name is called, and so forth.

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Joe and Sifa Showing Some tourists Around ‘Eua Island

Check out this video. My mates are now world famous. Lol

Bye for now and have a nice day,

The New Island Of Tonga

Well I know you have heard about it over there. I’ve been rung and emailed by alot of people to check if I’m alright. I am of course. Volcanoes and earthquakes hurricanes are just common place over here, but I’d thought I’d give you a closer look and I mean really close.[rockyou id=135416476&w=426&h=320]

HOW KING TAUFA’AHAU DEFEATED LAUFILITONGA, THE TU’I TONGA AND BECAME THE REIGNING KING OF TONGA

How King Taufa’ahau Defeated Laufilitonga, The Tu’i Tonga And Became The Reigning King Of Tonga.
HAU PEA KUI (Blinded by Victory)
This is a true story. This story is from my new site about ‘Eua island called eua-island-tonga.com,


This story is set back in the days, when Tonga was made up of three dynasties: the Tu’i Tonga, Tu’i Kanokupolu and Tu’i Ha’a Takalaua. They were all fighting each other (civil war) for supremacy, to determine who was the most powerful of them all and consequently become the only king of Tonga.

This civil war went on for years, until there was only two kings left: the reigning Tu’i Tonga (Laufilitonga) from Tongatapu and the Taufa’ahau, the Tu’i Kanokupolu from Ha’apai.

Tonga is made up of five main islands, namely Tongatapu, Ha’apai, Vava’u, Niua and ‘Eua.

The Tu’i Tonga of Tongatapu whose name was Laufilitonga sailed to Ha’apai with his warriors in their wooden war canoes primed for battle to fight the Tu’i Kanokupolu of Ha’apai whose name was Taufa’ahau.

In those days, the best and bravest warriors were from ‘Eua and notably amongst the best from ‘Eua were the fierce ‘Eua warriors who were two brothers, Kaufana and Puakatau. Taufa’ahau knew of them so he went to ‘Eua to ask for their assistance in his war against Laufilitonga. Taufa’ahau went straight to Ha’aluma beach where Kaufana and his brother Puakatau lived. As when two great warriors meet, they started off by “getting to know each other”, engaging in a wrestling match on the beach of Ha’aluma, where they soon realised that they were both no ordinary Tongans due to their strength and fighting abilities. Kaufana now realising that the man he had confronted was Taufa’ahau the Tu’i Kanokupolu, paid his respects, and getting that out of the way, they rested and introduced themselves properly and Taufa’ahau discussed with Kaufana why he came to ‘Eua. Taufa’ahau wanted Kaufana and his brother Puakatau, to come to his aid in his battle with Laufilitonga the Tu’i Tonga. Kaufana accommodated the Taufa’ahau informing him that there was no need for both himself and his brother to go to battle as he believed Puakatau would be more than enough to defeat Laufilitonga and his warriors. Kaufana also owned some guns and firearms, so along with his brother Puakatau, he gave them as well to Taufa’ahau, but under one condition. He made Taufa’ahau promise him that whatever happens to Puakatau in the war, Taufa’ahau was to bring him back to ‘Eua, even if he died, Kaufana would like to see his brother’s body as he wanted to bury him in their homeland, ‘Eua with their ancestors.

Taufa’ahau sailed off to Ha’apai with Puakatau and his warriors from Tongatapu and the firearms Kaufana gave him.

When they arrived in Ha’apai the battle was well under way. This war was called the “Tau ‘o Velata” or “The War of Velata”.

As the war progressed, it was obvious Taufa’ahau and his warriors from Tongatapu were winning over Ha’apai and Puakatau the ‘Eua warrior was easily leading the battle. As time went on and the battle was drawing to an end, Puakatau was so fierce and unstoppable. He was so powerful and impressive with his leadership in the battle that the people and the warriors were looking at Puakatau as a potential king of Tonga. This of course caused a disturbance in the ranks and jealousy in the king.

Now when Taufa’ahau was gathering up men to fight on his side, he approached the noble of the island of ‘Uiha in Ha’apai, whose name was Malupo, as they are kinsmen, both coming from the same island of Ha’apai. Malupo had two sons, named Saulala and Haveapava. Malupo’s wife Fatafehi, was Laufilitonga the Tu’i Tonga’s sister, so that Malupo’s sons were nephews of Laufilitonga. Because of their connection, Malupo had no choice but to give his sons to fight for Taufa’ahau against their own uncle, Laufilitonga! Before they left, it was said that their mother cried to her sons, pleading with them to remember who they will be fighting against, their own uncle, and if anything happened, please save him (who is of course her brother).

Now they have come to the last part of the battle, which was to enter the Velata fortress and the final surrenderance of power from the Tu’i Tonga to Taufa’ahau the Tu’i Kanokupolu. But as Puakatau and Taufa’ahau’s warriors entered the fortress which means he will assassinate the Tu’i Tonga, Malupo’s sons remembered what their mother asked of them, to spare her brother the Tu’i Tonga and who was of course their own uncle. They turned around and stabbed Puakatau in the back with three spears killing him instantly!

With the fortress in Ha’apai taken over and the battle won, Taufa’ahau the Tu’i Kanokupolu is now proclaimed the King of Tonga. Taufa’ahau returned to Tongatapu victorious and as the kingdom of Tonga’s new King. He was later crowned KingTaufa’ahau Tupou I, the first king to come from the Tu’i Kanokupolu lineage or dynasty. King George V is the fifth Tu’i Kanokupolu.

Back in ‘Eua, Kaufana heard about the victory at Ha’apai and how his brother had been killed by Taufa’ahau’s own warriors. Kaufana was very upset and sailed to Tongatapu to confront the new king. He reminded the king his promise about his dead brother Puakatau, who led and fought the battle so courageously, giving Taufa’ahau the victory over the Tu’i Tonga. Taufa’ahau of course did not live up to his end of the bargain which was to take Puakatau’s body to ‘Eua to his brother Kaufana. Instead, he ordered that Puakatau be buried at the royal tombs in ‘Uiha, Malupo’s island, where only kings are buried. The king of course didn’t know what to say but as Kaufana was escorted out, Kaufana retorted to Taufa’ahau: “Kuo ke Hau pe, pea ke Kui”, meaning, You gave me your word but your victory has blinded you to the promise you made to me. In other words, You got what you want, and you forgot all about our deal! Kaufana sadly went back to ‘Eua, broken hearted because he will never see his brother Puakatau, the fearless warrior.

Taufa’ahau wanted to reward his most outstanding warriors by knighting them with the high rank of “noble” or lord. He posted his nobles throughout the country and even the outer islands, except ‘Eua. Up to this day ‘Eua has never had a noble from its own people. And even to this day, nobles from Tongatapu or from the other islands are appointed to be a stand-in noble for ‘Eua, even though they are not from ‘Eua. This may explain why ‘Eua is the least developed out of the main islands of Tonga. Indeed, this maybe because ‘Eua has not got its own noble representation in the government and Parliament, to stand up and speak and fight for what’s best for ‘Eua and the people of ‘Eua.

The old ways

There are ones here who would like to forget our roots, there are ones here that wish I would forget what was taught to me, what has been handed down in our family for generations. But I will not let my ancestors down. Chance I think not that this medium was giving to me, with this vessel I will tell the old ways of my people so that they will not be forgotten even if there wish is for it to be.  So let it be written, So let it be done. I have used wordpress to reach out to talk to others away from the Island, as a release for myself and will still do so, but now I realize why this was given to me the computer, the Internet being put on the Island my trip overseas, the list goes on and all points me to this point in time. The old ways will not be lost for ever or put in some closet closed up to the world I will write about them on this blog so they may live again as they should. I will let the old ones and the Island pour out of me as I am now on these pages. The world will know of things my people have forgotten and Bolotu shall awaken once more the new Island will mark his awakening we will pull it up from the sea both feet solid on ‘Eua. Hina hear my words you shall be awaken again to this land of two with Sinilau by your side.

Wow now that was weird right, for you and me both but that’s how it goes on the big  jobs. This is my calling, so I hope you still enjoy the blog.

Just for you nursy poo

A Post I started at nursemyra Blog that got to long so I moved it to Here

There are hundreds of them on the main Island of Tonga, Bloggers that is. Just check out Bebo, thats the Islanders blog of choice. I know of one other blogger on my Island she is called eyelandgrl’s. Shes on my blog roll list and is related to me but we pretend not to know each other online. One reason for us to be online is to meet knew people and have fun comparing cultures. The rest of the world gives me a measuring stick by which I can understand a bit more of who I am, as it were. I hope that makes sense. Picture this, your the one that lives on the Island know all you know is the Island. You don’t have t.v you do have a radio but that’s all about Tonga. Then your friend opens up a tourist outfit. So now you start to meet people from what might as well be another world. You learn to unlearn all you thought was real you grow while all around you the people stay the same, you try to tell them of the things you have learned but the don’t want to know. ” Its the palangi way” they say. Then you get the internet and bam instant knowledge of the outside world. I must tell you though once i had got the hang of it I spent a long time being very emotional about the things I read a saw. My friend Taki says it has to do with not having any defense to the “shit” you guys have to put up with ever day. sorry I’m off subject and have taken up to much space on YOUR blog. I’ll continue this post on my blog if you want me to.

To which the nurse repliled  “Please do…. it’s fascinating…. -)

Ok so where was I, oh yeah, I must point out at this stage that Taki is a Tongan who was brought up in Australia, He’s more Aussie than Tongan. So to him this “shit “, I was seeing was normal, but to me, well I had no idea  the stuff you guys had to put up with in your daily lives. Wars, murders, well you know what I’m talking about.  I remember looking at a fishing website and thinking do they really think they need to buy all that stuff,  just to go fishing. We don’t have advertising here, Well there is the odd bit at the fale koloa ( local shop) poster for coke and twisties, but thats it.

Since then of course I’ve traveled overseas, thats another story in it’s self. Maybe on another post i will tell it. If you would like?  Now I’m of to bed.