The Northern Marianas Humanities Council cordially invites the public to attend two presentations which are a part of its “Samoan Exiles on Saipan” program.
The first presentation, on Thursday June 18, will feature Dr. Malama Meleisea who will discuss the Mau a Pule, the indigenous Samoan resistance movement which was led by the orator chief Lauaki Namulau’ulu Mamoe.
Lauaki and nine other chiefs were subsequently exiled to Saipan in 1909 by the German colonial administration for their involvement in the Mau. They lived on Saipan for six years before being allowed to return home in 1915.
The second presentation on Friday June 19, will be given by Faautu Talapusi. Her talk will focus on the youngest of the exiled chiefs, Iiga Pisa, who gained fame by undertaking a 120-mile voyage from Saipan to Guam in a traditional Samoan paddling canoe.
Both presentations will be held from 6pm to 7:30pm at the Visitors Center Theater, American Memorial Park.
Meleisea is the director of the Center for Samoan Studies at the National University of Samoa. He has authored several books on Samoan history including “The Making of Modern Samoa.” Meleisea has also held senior positions at Auckland University, the University of Canterbury, and UNESCO.
Talapusi has conducted extensive research on her great-grandfather Iiga Pisa, including collecting oral histories related by her family. She was born in England, grew up in Fiji, France, Samoa and Switzerland and studied in the U.S. Talapusi worked for development organizations in Switzerland for nine years before moving back to Samoa.
Both presentations are open to the public and free of charge.
The program also includes the dedication of two interpretive signs; one north of Lower Base at the site of the former Samoan village and a second at Unai Agingan (Coral Ocean Point) from which Iiga Pisa set out on his canoe voyage to Guam.
The signs will be dedicated on the mornings of the June 18 (Lower Base) and June 19 (Unai Agingan) beginning at 9am.
The program will culminate with a special ceremony hosted by Saipan’s Samoan community on Saturday, June 20 at the Carolinian Utt beginning at 10am.
For more information, please contact council staff at 235-4787 or visit the Council’s website at www.northernmarianashumanities.org. (PR)