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In Samoan mythology, Tagaloa (also known as Tagaloa-lagi or Tagaloa of the Heavens/Skies) is generally accepted as the supreme ruler,[1] the creator of the universe, the chief of all gods and the progenitor of other gods and humans. Tagaloa dwelt in space and made the Heavens (lagi),[2] the sky, the land, the seas, the fresh water, the trees and the people. Samoans believed Tagaloa created nine heavens (lagi tua iva).[3] After Tagaloa made the islands, the humans developed from worms.[4]

The arrival of missionaries and Christianity in Samoa from 1830 saw the Samoan atua gods like Tagaloa, replaced by a Christian deity.[5]

Tagaloa in mythology

Tagaloa features in many of Samoa's myths and legends.

  • Tagaloa rolled stones from heaven. One became the island Savai'i and the other stone became the island of Upolu.[6]
  • One legend tells that Tagaloa had two children, a son Moa and a daughter Lu. Tagaloa's daughter Lu had a son, also called Lu. Young Lu argued with his uncle Moa and fled to earth which he called Samoa.[7]
  • Tagaloa is the father of gods Losi and 'Fue.'
  • Tagaloa is a sun god whose son Alo'alo married Sina, the daughter of Tuifiti. There is a legend about a figure called Tui Fiti in the village of Fagamalo on the island of Savai'i.
  • In Manu'a, Tagaloa sent a vine to earth that resulted in maggots which became human beings.
  • Tagaloa brought a war god called Fe'e (octopus) to Manu'a
  • In Samoan architecture, Tagaloa also features in a story which explains why Samoan houses are round.

See also


  1. ^ [1], Journal of Pacific History, Vol. 33, Mo.2, J998
  2. ^ [2], History of Samoa by Robert Mackenzie Watson, p.19 & 30
  3. ^ [3], Penina uliuli: contemporary challenges in mental health for Pacific peoples By Philip Culbertson, Margaret Nelson Agee, Cabrini 'Ofa Makasiale,p. 68
  4. ^ [4], An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology by Te Rangi Hīroa, p. 98
  5. ^ [5] Spirits in culture, history, and mind by Jeannette Marie Mageo, Alan Howard, p. 38
  6. ^ [6] Legends of Maui by W. D. Westervelt, p.25
  7. ^ [7], Dictionary of Polynesian mythology by Robert D. Craig, p. 28

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