Valerie Adams honoured as Lord Vaea’s new herald

    The New Zealand-Tongan shotput golden girl Valerie Adams has been formally appointed as Lord Vaea’s herald with the name Tongitupe-ʻO e-Funga Taua.

    The appointment is the highest honour given to commoners in Tongan culture.

    Adams will be greeted with her heraldic title whenever she attends any formal occasion in the Tongan community.

    She was appointed to the title in Tonga on January 2 while attending a double celebrations in her mother’s village, Houma. Houma is Lord Vaea’s estate.

    Tongan women are rarely given heraldic names because the position is mainly associated with male activities like the kava ceremony at which heralds may be required to spend a lot of time drinking kava.

    They may also be required to stay at places where the occasions take place to receive visitors.

    Women usually can perform minor roles of heralds such as formally presenting gifts on special occasions but they never formally appointed heraldic names.  At this stage they can only use the names of appointed heralds in their villages or clans.

    Although her new title means Adams now has obligations to fulfil if she is at functions where Lord Vaea is present, her appointment was apparently made to express Lord Vaea’s appreciation for her great sporting achievements.

    Lord Vaea is chairman of the Tonga Traditions Committee and brother-in-law and second cousin of King Tupou VI. He has served as a Master of the Royal Household and as palace archivist.

    The roles

    When a person is given a heraldic title, their duties include sitting down in front of the chief when he is giving an audience. The herald’s chief duty is to speak to the people attending the audience on behalf of the chief.

    On occasions like funerals or weddings, heralds must stay in a separate small building (palepale) with men who drink kava. The herald’s job is to formally receive visitors, thank them on behalf of the family and tell them about the programme and what they are expected to do.

    Adams’ appointment involved being presented to the chief in a kava ceremony at which she drank a coconut shell cup of kava. From now on she will be referred to at formal occasions within the Tongan communities as Tongitupe-ʻO e-Funga Taua and not Valerie Adams.

    If Adams attends formal Tongan occasions in New Zealand or abroad the heralds or organisers of the events will honour her by calling out her name and say: “Tapu mo Tongitupe – ‘O e – Funga – Taua,” which means “Saying Adams is a taboo and I ask to be excused from speaking while she is here with us in case I say things that might not please her.”

    Adams tweeted to say she had completed her first kava ceremony in Houma with Lord Vaea: “An amazing honour. Got a new name: Tongi Tupe oe Fungataua”.

    Adams was crowned World Champion in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. She was the World Indoor Champion in 2008, 2012 and again in 2014. She also has 13 National titles to date.

    Tongitupe – ‘O e – Funga-Taua

    Adams’ title is a combination of two poetical terms. Tongi Tupe comes from lafo, a game mostly played by chiefs and their heralds or for the chiefs to watch. The words refer to a situation when a thrower throws their tupe (a disc made from coconut shell) against the opponent’s disc, moving it further within the lafo mat and giving the thrower extra points. Poetically this can only be referred to a person with huge achievement.

    Funga Taua refers to the top of the tower, a poetical reference that sometimes refers to something incomprehensible or higher than the king or queen.

    The late Queen Salote composed a lullaby for her eldest grandchild, the Late King George V, when he was born in 1948. The first and second line said: “Ke fakatulou mo e taua, Kau feia ‘a e fakana’ana’a.”

    This was translated by Dr Melenaite Taumoefolau as “My deference be to the Tower, While I compose this song.”

    The reference in the first line to the Taua can be interpreted as meaning the Queen lowered herself even though she held the highest social and political position in Tonga, and sent her respect to the tower so she can compose the song. Poetically she may have used taua as a metaphor which stands for how she felt about the song as something that was composed for something of great importance – her first grandson, who became king of Tonga.

    The  main points

    • The New Zealand-Tongan shotput golden girl Valerie Adams has been formally appointed as Lord Vaea’s herald, with the name Tongitupe-ʻO e-Funga Taua.
    • The appointment is the highest honour given to commoners in Tongan culture.
    • Adams will be greeted with her heraldic title whenever she attends any formal occasion in the Tongan community.
    • Lord Vaea is chairman of the Tonga Traditions Committee and brother-in-law of King Tupou VI. He has served as a Master of the Royal Household and as palace archivist.

    1 COMMENT

    1. Kuo fakanofo e ta’ahine tolo sotiputi koula ‘a Tonga mo Nu’u Silá Valerie Adams ko ha matāpule faifatongia ʻa Looti Vaea ʻaki e hingoa ko e Tongitupe-ʻO e-Funga Taua.

      Ko e tuʻunga māʻolunga taha ʻeni ke fakalāngilangiʻi ʻaki ha taha tuʻa ʻi he angafakafonua ʻo Tongá.

      ʻE taku he ngaahi fakatapuá ʻa Adams ʻaki hono hingoa matāpulé he taimi ʻoku ne kau atu ai ki ha ouau ʻi he komiunitī Tongá.

      Naʻe fakanofo ia ki he hingoa matāpulé ʻi Tonga ʻi Sānuali ʻaho 2 lolotonga ʻene kau atu ki ha ongo kātoanga lalahi ʻi he kolo tupuʻanga ʻene faʻeé, ʻa Houma. Ko Houmá ko e tofiʻa ia ʻo Vaea.

      ʻOku tātāmotaha ke fakanofo matāpule e kakai fefine Tongá koeʻuhí ko e lakangá ʻoku lahilahi ko e fatongia ke fai pe ʻe he kakai tangata hangē ko hano fakahoko e ouau ʻo e kavá ʻoku lahi fiemaʻu ke nau inu kava ʻa ia ʻoku faʻa maaʻu loloa foki ia ʻi ha taimi lahi.

      ʻOku toe fiemaʻu foki ia ke nau nofo ʻi he ngaahi feituʻu pau ʻoku hoko ai ha fakapangai ʻo talitali ʻa e kau ʻaʻahí pe kakai kaungā ongoʻí kuo nau tapa mai ki he meʻa kuo hoko.

      ʻI he angamahení ʻoku faʻa fakahoko pe ʻe he kakai fefiné ʻa e fatongia fakamatāpule iiki hangē ko hano fakahoko ha fakatūʻuta ʻi ha ngaahi meʻa makehe ʻoku hoko neongo ʻa e ʻikai ke nau kau he fakanofo hingoá.

      Kae ʻi he tuʻunga pehení te nau ngāueʻaki pe ha hingoa ʻo ha kau matāpule kuo ʻosi fakanofo ʻi honau ngaahi koló pe fāmilí.

      Neongo ko hono hingoa foʻoú kuopau ai hono ngaahi ngafa ke fakakakato ʻo kapau te ne ʻi ha ngaahi meʻa ʻoku fai ka ʻoku meʻa ai ʻa Looti Vaea, ko hono fakanofo ʻo Adams ia naʻe tefito pe ia ke fakaeʻa e houngaʻia ʻa e houʻeikí heʻene lavameʻa kāfakafa he malaʻe ʻo e sipotí ʻi māmaní.

      Ko Looti Vaea ko e sea foki ia ʻo e Komiti Talafakafonua ʻa Tonga pea ko hono tehina ʻi he fonó mo kāsini ua e Tuʻí. Naʻá ne maʻu e tuʻunga ko e Master of the Royal Household pehē foki ki hono tauhi e ʻākaivi ʻa e palasí.

      Fatongiá:

      Ko e taimi ko ē ʻoku ʻoange ai ha hingoa matāpule ki ha tahá ʻoku ʻoatu ai e fatongia ʻe kau ai ʻene tangutu ʻi muʻa ʻi he ʻeikí kapau ʻoku ʻaʻahi atu ai ha kakai kiate ia.

      Ko e fatongia tefito ʻo e matāpulé ko e lea ki he kakaí ʻoku nau ʻaʻahi ki he houʻeikí ʻo ne fakafofongaʻi atu ʻe ia ʻa e ʻeikí.

      ʻi he ngaahi meʻa ʻoku hoko hangē ko e mali mo e putu, kuopau ke nofo ʻa e kau matāpulé ʻi ha palepale makehe ʻo maʻu kava ai mo ha kakai tangata.

      Ko e fatongia tefito ʻo e matāpulé ko ʻene talitali ʻa e kau ʻaʻahí, fakamālōʻia kinautolu fakafofongaʻi ʻa e fāmilí ʻoku ʻonautolu ʻa e ouau ʻoku fakahokó, pea mo tala kia kinautolu e polokalama pea mo e meʻa ke nau ʻamanaki ʻe fakahokó.

      Ko e fakanofo hingoa ʻo Adams ne kau ai ʻene tangutu ʻi ha ʻilo kava ʻo ne fuuʻi mo inu hono kavá ko e faka’ilonga kuo fakanofo ia ki he hingoa.

      Mei he taimí ni ʻo fai atu ʻe ui ia ko Tongitupe-ʻO e-Funga Taua ʻi ha ngaahi ouau mamafa ʻe fakahoko ʻi he komiunitī Tongá kae ʻikai ko Valerie Adams.

      Kapau ʻe ʻi ha kātoanga pe ʻapisia faka-Tonga ʻa Adams ʻi Nuʻu Sila pe ʻi muli pea ʻilo ki ai ʻa kinautolu kau matāpule pe kau fokotuʻutuʻu ouaú ʻokú ne ʻi ai, ʻe lava ke te nau fai hano fakalāngilangiʻi ia ʻaki hano fakatapua hono hingoa ʻo hangē ko ha pehē : Tapu mo Tongitupe – ʻO e – Fungataua.

      Ko e kakano ʻo e foʻi fakatapu ko ʻení e mei tatau ia mo e fakakaukau ʻoku toputapu ʻa Adams pea ʻoku ou kole ke fakamolemoleʻi au heʻeku lea lolotonga ʻokú ne ʻi hení telia naʻa hala ha lea ʻo hoko ia ko ha meʻa ʻe ala ʻikai fiefia ia ai.
      Naʻe tuku mai ʻe Adams haʻane lau ʻi he uepisaiti ʻa e Tuitá ‘i he ‘aho 2 ‘o Sānualí ni ʻo ne pehē kuo kakato hono ouau kavá ʻi Houma mo Looti Vaea.

      Naʻá ne pehē ai ko ha fakalāngilangi fakaʻofoʻofa ia. Kuo ʻi ai hono hingoa foʻou: Tongi Tupe ʻo e Funga Taua.

      Naʻe fakakalauni ʻa e Semipione ʻa Māmaní ʻi he 2007, 2009, 2011 mo e 2013. Ko e hau ia ʻo māmani ʻi he feʻauhi sipoti fakaloto falé ʻi he 2008, 2012 mo e 2014. ʻOku toe ʻi ai mo e ngaahi taitolo fakafonua kehe ʻe 13 ne ne maʻu ʻo aʻu mai ki he ʻahó ni.

      Tongitupe – ‘O e – Funga-Taua:

      Ko e hingoa Tongitupe-ʻO e- Funga Tauá ko hano fakatahaʻi ia ʻo ha ongo lea fakapunake ʻe ua.

      Ko e maʻu e Tongi Tupé mei he faiva lafó ʻa ia ko ha vaʻinga ʻeni ʻi onoʻaho ne fai pe ʻe he houʻeiki pe ko ʻenau kau matāpulé pea ko e faiva ʻeiki ia.

      ʻOku tuhu e lea ni ki he taimi ʻoku tongiʻi ai ʻe ha taha lafo e tupe ʻa hono kaungā feʻauhí ʻa ia ʻoku lau ai e kai ʻo e tokotaha tongí. Pea ʻi he lau fakapunaké ʻoku ʻai e leá ni ki ha taha ʻoku ne feia ha ikuna kāfakafa.

      ʻOku ʻuhinga ʻa e Funga Taua fakapunake he taimi ʻe niʻihi ki ha meʻa ʻoku taʻe maaʻusia pe maʻolunga ia ʻi he tuʻi pe kuiní.

      Kuo ʻi ai e maaʻimoa ʻa Kuini Sālote kuo ungafonuá ko ʻene fatu e ʻūpē ʻo hono ʻuluaki mokopuna ka ko e Tuʻi kuo ungafonua ko Siaosi V ʻi hono fāʻeleʻi ʻi he 1948.

      Ko e ʻuluaki lainí mo e laini hono uá ne peheni hono fakaleá: Ke fakatulou mo e taua, Kau feia ʻa e fakanaʻanaʻa.

      ʻOku hangē fakatulou ʻa e Kuiní ki he tauá ʻokú ne tuku hifo ia neongo ko ia ne ne maʻu ʻa e tuʻunga māʻolunga taha fakapolitikale mo fakasōsiale ʻi he fonuá.

      Ka ʻoku lava ke pehē ne ne ngāueʻaki ʻa e lea fakapunake ko e tauá ke fakamahino ko ʻene maaʻimoa faʻu e hiva ki ha kaveinga mātuʻaki fuʻu mahuʻinga fau kuo hulu hake hono ʻuhingá ʻiate ia – ko hono fuofua mokopuna, pea naʻá ne hoko ko e tuʻí.

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