Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Masalu's coming south


I am very grateful to Craig Small, the director of the Tongan division of New Zealand Immigration, for speeding up the visa application of Masalu Halahala, so that Masalu can fly south to Nu'u Sila and attend the launch on Thursday night of my book The Stolen Island: searching for 'Ata.
Masalu's ancestors thrived as farmers and traders for hundreds of years on the tiny and rugged island of 'Ata, at the southern edge of Tonga. In 1863, though, a ship crewed by New Zealand and Tasmanian slavers raided 'Ata, and took half of the island's people away. The king of Tonga moved the survivors of the slave raid to the larger island of 'Eua, where they founded a community they called Kolomaile, after the village they had left behind on 'Ata. Masalu Halahala is a leader of Kolomaile village and a guardian of many stories and traditions of his 'Atan ancestors. 
When I travelled to 'Eua in 2015 Masalu and his wife Pisaina made me and my family welcome in Kolomaile, feeding us puaka and kava and sharing tales. Now I am delighted to be able to make Masalu welcome in Auckland. He will be the guest of honour on Thursday night at Auckland public library. The librarians will be making a podcast to commemorate the launch of The Stolen Island, and they are looking forward to recording a few words from Masalu. I am sure many other Aucklanders are looking forward to some talanoa with the elder of Kolomaile. 


[Posted by Scott Hamilton]

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because 'Ata has no natural harbor let alone an airfield, it is near impossible to set foot on the island.

11:04 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://matangitonga.to/2016/11/21/more-cannabis-seized-eua

12:37 pm  

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