Question raised: Who should mix the ava Samoa during ‘official’ Ava ceremonies
Having the daughter of the Secretary of Samoan Affairs, Satele Galu Satele, Salamasina Jeanna Viena Satele as the one to mix the ava Samoa for the welcoming ava ceremony for the Samoa Bowl last week Tuesday was an issue raised by many people who attended the ceremony.
Lealao Melila Purcell a member of the Samoa Bowl committee told Samoa News that this particular issue was out of their hands, because they had requested that the Samoan Affairs Office handle the Ava Ceremony and whomever they chose to perform the ava ceremony lay with them.
Samoa News understands this is not the first time this has occurred where a Secretary of Samoan Affairs has used his daughter to perform the ava ceremony. This also occurred back when Skyline Nua was Miss American Samoa 2011-2012, and former Deputy Secretary of Samoan Affairs Nanai Afuola had his granddaughter perform the ava ceremony, also for the Samoa Bowl.
Deputy Director of the Department of Youth and Women’s affairs Tapumanaia Galu Satele Jr stated he asked the same question — Why Miss American Samoa was not the one performing the ava ceremony? DYWA also has a seat on the Samoa Bowl Committee.
The DYWA Deputy Director told Samoa News this is among the responsibilities of any Miss American Samoa, to be the one mixing the ava Samoa for any ava ceremony performed officially.
(Samoa News should point out that Tapumanaia is the son of the Secretary of Samoan Affairs, Satele.)
President of the Miss American Samoa Incorporated, Meafou Imo said this is a longstanding issue that should be corrected because it’s long overdue.
She said the Miss American Samoa does not represent the MASI, rather she represents American Samoa, its people and its government, which is why whenever there is a government function the Miss American Samoa should be involved in every way she can.
Another member of the MASI who spoke anonymously told Samoa News that in previous years when this occurred they met with the Office of Samoan Affairs, and they agreed that they would contact the Miss American Samoa whenever there is an ava ceremony. However, since the new administration came in, it went back to their usual, where officials have their daughter’s mix the ava for the ava ceremony.
“What is the purpose of having a Miss American Samoa when she’s not given the opportunity to perform her duties. It appears that the Office of Samoan Affairs office does not respect, honor, nor care that there is a current Miss American Samoa,” said the MASI rep.
The MASI rep further stated, “Every year they hold pageants seeking an ambassador to represent our Territory out in the Pacific and in our Territory and how do we expect other countries to respect and honor our ambassador when we don’t even do it ourselves. When the girls are crowned their utmost goal is to serve and among their services is performing the ava ceremony, yet we are not giving it to them.”
The current Miss American Samoa is Eleitino Tuiasosopo 2013-2014.
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