“FAIGAMEA ILE TAI” 2014 IS ALL ABOUT THE TEAMS, THE CAPTAINS, AND THE FAUTASI
Coors Light, the major sponsor for the 2014 American Samoa Flag Day Fautasi Race is pleased to present the 10 long boats that will compete on April 16. They are: Fua’o (Vatia), Paepae O Ulupo’o (Aua), Aeto (Pago Pago), Fealofani Samoa (Fagasa), Iseula (Fagatogo), Fetu Ole Afiafi (Faga’alu), Manulele Tausala I/II (Nu’uuli), Fa’asaulala (Vailoa), Matasaua (Manu’a).
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Today, Coors Light features the Manulele Tausala l from the village of Nu’uuli.
Lanes have been drawn for next week’s Flag Day race on Wednesday morning, April 16. Lane #1- Aeto (closer to the Tafuna International Airport), #2-defending champion, Fua’o, #3-Fa’asaulala, #4-Manulele Tausala ll, #5-Fealofani Samoa lll, #6-Paepae O Ulupo’o ll, #7-Manulele Tausala l, #8-Ise’ula, #9-Fetu Ole Afiafi, #10-Matasaua.
According to chairman Faoa, the prize for the Flag Day race championship fautasi, is $20,0000.
Nu’uuli Renounces Satani
When a baby is baptized in the Catholic Church, the priest conducting the ceremony asks the infant questions like, “Do you renounce Satan? Do you renounce his evil ways?” The Godparents answer for the baby. “Yes I do” and then pledge the solemn oath of allegiance to the one true God.
Three weeks ago, the village of Nu’uuli went through a somewhat similar rite, as the leaders and church ministers rechristened their two fautasi, the Manulele Tausala l/ll. They cast away for good the name Satani, the sports logo that all Nu’uuli fautasi and teams were identified with for a very long time. The ceremony was held at the boatshed in Utulei.
Many village leaders and the majority of church ministers have long pushed to change the Satani name as they claimed it represented evil, and brought bad luck.
According to the Bible, Satan was a fallen angel who hates God and wants to turn people against Him. In Hebrew Satan means the adversary.
One church minister who served his parish in Nu’uuli told this correspondent that he did not feel comfortable every time he and his fellow pastors were requested to ask God to bless Satani, the fautasi.
It was three years ago when some villagers talked to this correspondent about their intention of changing the name Satani to Manulele Tausala.
Their campaign seemed to have succeeded as leaders of Nu’uuli met earlier this year and discussed the subject. One village high talking chief said some wanted to rename the fautasi, Saumalu, the name of the village cricket team from long ago.
But the majority approved the ManuleleTausala insignia because of the name’s historical meaning to the village and its relationship with the White House.
“The Manulele Tausala is the name of this village’s Elementary School. It was named after the First Lady, Ladybird, the wife of president, (Lyndon Baines Johnson) who cut the ribbon when she officially opened the school in October 18, 1966,” recalls Manutafea Saleauau Tanielu Taufete’e, captain of Nu’uuli’s fautasi, Manulele Tausala l.
“Our village is in the United States history books as it is the only village in American Samoa that the president of the United States and his wife visited and performed a presidential act — that of opening our elementary school. Many states and territories have not had the privilege of having the United States visit their soil”, continues the proud kapiteni, Manutafea, “but Nu’uuli is now in the annals of US historical events.
“As a Nu’uuli native, I am very proud that our village was the only one in American Samoa that a president of the United States and the First Lady had visited and performed a high level and dignified service.
“It is therefore fitting and proper for the leaders of my village to rename our fautasi after the First Lady, Manulele Tausala. I thank them for their foresight. Their actions reflect their wisdom and vision for Nu’uuli’s future generations.”
According to Manutafea, the Manulele Tausala is also the name of a bird known for its beauty, sings in great harmony, and flies graciously.
Manutafea explains the name Satani his village has been known for was always erroneously misinterpreted. “Our forefathers who named our fautasi after Satani did not mean it in the evil sense of what the name symbolizes. The Satani sign to them represented, ‘fai mea vave’ (swift and fast action)”.
Manutafea was reappointed to take charge of the main fautasi for the village of Nu’uuli while their other sa #2, is under the leadership of Senator Soliai Tuipine.
The Manulele Tausala l is Nu’uuli’s flagship and that is why many veterans of faigamea ile tai are in its auva’a. Others are assigned to Soliai’s fautasi so they could share their experience with the new rowers, according to Manutafea.
Nu’uuli has prepared its two fautasi crews for over two months under the watchful eyes of the trainers, who also serve in the committee. They are: Lewis Sola’ita, Manumaua Wayne Wilson, Sauni Tui To’elau, Faka Laloaoa Sialega and others.
Nu’uuli has over 120 potential rowers who use Taufete’e’s guesthouse, Falekeine, and Fagasoa’ia’s meeting house, Kaulauki for their headquarters and sleeping arrangements.
Skipper Manutafea is satisfied with his crew’s preparations for next week’s Flag Day tu’uga va’a. “We are ready for the race. We have a fit crew, very disciplined and keen to compete for our village and the tapua’iga. Our two crews have shown the true spirit of togetherness; one voice, one heart, one aim-to win the Flag Day Cup for our village, and supporters. With God’s help I believe we can do it.”
Manutafea has been involved in tu’uga va’a for decades as a rower and later as a captain of Nu’uuli’s fautasi. He was also one of his village’s rugby players. The orator from the Taufete’e clan has worked as a Quarantine officer with the Department of Agriculture for 30 years.
“I started at my current job after I graduated from Samoana High School in 1983”, he says. Manutafea has been promoted as a supervisor for the ASG department’s Quarantine office at the Tafuna International Airport.
He serves as general secretary of the Methodist church in Nu’uuli. Manutafea has three grown sons and two daughters.
The Nu’uuli kapiteni wishes to thank his village leaders for his reappointment and asks for their blessing for the successful conclusion of the long and tough campaign.
“I would also like to thank church ministers for their prayers, the tama ma tina who are supporting and praying from their homes for Nu’uuli’s success in faigamea ile tai. I also thank the supporters, fans, and families for offering words and prayers of encouragement, and the businesses for their donations to our cause.”
Manutafea, in his final comments wishes all captains, villages and their supporters a good, fair and balanced race next week. “Every kapiteni wants to win, but please do it in an honest way.
“Fai fai malu le faiva (play the game in a gentleman’s way)”.