Databases \ Fāgogo : Fables from Samoa


A selection of fables in Samoan from a large collection recorded in Samoa in the 1960s by Professor Richard Moyle as part of a survey of traditional forms of music.

Their present value on this site is more for their linguistic content than their musical features, because they are intended to allow the student of Samoan language to learn as a Samoan child primarily does, by listening.

This collection is part of the Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound.


Fāgogo is an oral account told at night after a day's chores; it was something special to look forward to as a Samoan child. The fāgogo was often told in the dark while you were getting ready to sleep, so the listeners were often required to call 'Aue' to signal you were awake and listening. The call also voiced your appreciation for the storytelling and the narrator. Fāgogo were told in many cases by older women. Sometimes the sung part of the fāgogo that was performed by the elderly voice not only made one's imagination traverse the universe of the Samoan spiritual world, but also held one's attention. The vivid emotions were often of wonderment, enjoyment and at times, fear of the supernatural, effects achieved through the spoken and the sung word pictures. The effect of this powerful medium resulted in not only the closing together of little bodies in case the aitu (ghost or spirit) might come at night in one's sleep, but also the confirmation of the world that was Samoan in essence. Learning the language through listening to fāgogo is based on a medium that is natural and culturally powerful. Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin


Fāgogo : Fables from Samoa is related to 4 subjects. Explore these subjects to find other useful databases.