“Samoan Exiles on Saipan, 1905-1915”


One of the most famous names in the Mau movement, when Samoa was fighting for independence is that of orator Lauaki Namulauulu Mamoe.

He was among Samoans who were exiled on Saipan from 1909 to 1915.

Lauaki’s story will be told as part of a program by the Northern Marianas Humanities Council June 17-20 in saipan.

A press release says “Samoan Exiles on Saipan, 1909-1915,” will explore the events and personalities associated with the exile of ten Samoan chiefs and their families to Saipan during the German administration.

These chiefs, led by the orator Lauaki Namulau’ulu Mamoe, were banished from Samoa due to their involvement in the Mau a Pule (Opinion of Pule), an indigenous resistance movement that sought to reinstate traditional chiefly authority banned by the German colonial government in the late 19th century.

The program will feature public presentations, the dedication of historical markers, oral history interviews, and a special ceremony hosted by Saipan’s Samoan community.

One of Samoa’s best known historians Dr. Malama Meleisea will give a talk covering the Mau a Pule. Dr. Meleisea is the director of the Center for Samoan Studies at the National University of Samoa.

The second presentation, 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.

This presentation will be made by a senior representative of the late chief’s family.

The program will also include the dedication of two interpretive signs marking sites associated with the exile’s six year stay on Saipan.

Activities will conclude with a special ceremony on June 20 hosted by members of Saipan’s Samoan community who have been planning the event in conjunction with the Humanities Council for the past few months.

A longer term goal of the program is the preparation of a booklet that provides a history of the exiles that may be used by the Public School System and Northern Marianas College.