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Le Fatuga Samoa Project launched

The Department of Youth and Women's Affairs, with grant funding from the Amerika Samoa Humanities Council and sponsorship from Bluesky Communications launched the long awaited Le Fatuga Samoa Project last Wednesday, Sept. 11 during a show that was aired live on KVZK-TV Channel 2 and included performances by six groups. Another seven groups have registered with the goal of 20 submissions in all.


Registration will remain open until Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the DYWA office on the second floor of the A.P. Lutali Executive Office Building in Utulei.


According to DYWA Deputy Director Tapumanaia Galu Satele, last week's performances were a "trial run" for the program, as workshops led by Pulefa’asisina P. Tuiasosopo, who has been selected as the scholar for the Fatuga Project, are set to begin next Wednesday, Sept. 25


Groups will be given three weeks to prepare their songs before the official competition kicks off in mid-October.


The goal of the program is to preserve the art of writing and composing original Samoan songs, using traditional Samoan equipment and instruments, based on cultural history, legends, fables and oral stories passed down from generation to generation.


The six groups that participated in the launch are: The Seventh Day Adventist Churches from Aua and Satala, Nuuuli Methodist Church, Leloaloa Methodist Church, CCCAS Laulii, and the Church of the Nazarene in Nuuuli.


Once the workshops are completed, the official competition will then begin and be featured live once a week with 3-6 group performances a night. Each group comprises two or more members, but fewer than ten.


DYWA Acting Director Pa'u Taito Roy Ausage said in an initial interview, "since the project focuses on Samoan songwriting and composition, the participants will learn how our Samoan cultural language is used in song composition and how it relates to various cultural practices — ancient and/or modern, that may also contribute to improving the cultural lives of our youth."