Dancers performing a lakalaka during the Coronation of King Tāufa'āhau Tupou IV celebrations at Mala'e Pangai, Nuku’alofa, Tonga in 1967

Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga – Tonga Language Week 2021

Mālō e lelei! Si’oto’ofa! Welcome to Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga | Tonga Language Week Sunday 5 September to Saturday 11 September 2021. The theme this year is Fakakoloa ‘o Aotearoa ‘aki ‘a e Ako Lelei | Enriching Aotearoa with holistic education.

Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound 50th Anniversary Podcast

To mark Tonga Language Week, the Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound (AMPS) presents their 50th Anniversary Podcast, a series of talanoa (conversations) with five significant anthropologists from the University of Auckland, in celebration of the Archive’s 50th anniversary.

For the series, AMPS staff spoke to Dr Judith Huntsman, Professor Hūfanga-He-Ako-Moe Lotu Dr ‘Ōkusitino Māhina, Dr Richard Moyle, Dr Wendy Pond and Dame Anne Salmond about their work with the Archive since it was established in 1970. They also shared rich details about their decades of fieldwork and research. The podcast is being released in stages to coincide with the remaining Language Weeks coming up this year.

Listen to the first two episodes with Professor Hūfanga-He-Ako-Moe Lotu Dr ‘Ōkusitino Māhina and Dr Wendy Pond below.

Professor Hūfanga-He-Ako-Moe Lotu Dr ‘Ōkusitino Māhina

AMPS staff spoke to Hūfanga-He-Ako-Moe Lotu Dr ‘Ōkusitino Māhina, Professor of Tongan Philosophy, Anthropology and Aesthetics. Dr Māhina shares insights from his ongoing research on Tongan music and oral histories. He describes a unique sense of continuity which sound artefacts present for Tongan and Moana Oceania peoples, “Without sound we don’t have poetry, language, oratory, mythologies, genealogies, and so on. Sound is a running thread that entwines and intertwines a lot of things such as these art forms.” Listen to the 35-minute episode:

Dr Wendy Pond

In her episode, Dr Wendy Pond recalls a 1967 trip to Tonga by sailboat where, upon arrival, Dr Pond says she was embraced by a local dance community. “That was how I began to be an anthropologist making the recordings that are now in the Archive.” Listen to the 20-minute episode:

‘Ana Lātū

In addition to the podcasts, listen and sing along to the famous song ‘Ana Lātū, composed by Uaisēlē Taufa (‘Epalahame Uaisēlē) of Nomuka, Ha‘apai. The song, which is about love, loss and grief, is performed here in afo fakafa’ahikehe (minor tune, literally meaning ‘sound-of-a-different-side/order/being’, i.e., ‘side-of-death-and-the-dead’) by Kalapu Tau’ātāina in Nuku’alofa in 1965.

Find the lyrics in Tongan and English below.

Explore more


Kupu/Veesi 1

Neu fanongo au mei amáKihe talanoa mei falevaká

Tokua kuo vaivai a ‘Aná

Pea to’o leva ‘eku me’afaná

‘Ou numinumi mo si’oku valá

Pea u hopo ki tahi ‘o a’á


Kupu/Veesi 2

Tu’u hifo au ‘i Fale Ha’amoá

‘O sio ki Mango mo Tonumeá

Ne hangē ha vaka ‘oku failā

‘Ae kite mai ‘a Kefikaná


Kupu/Veesi 3

He uoiau to’a vale ē

Ho’o nofo ‘o tufi e vevé

‘Ikai teke ‘oho mai pē

‘O hangē ā ko Uaisēlē


Kupu/Veesi 4

He uoiau ‘Ana Lātū

‘Ana tauele kiate aú

Si’eta fononga he ‘one’oné

He na’a ta topuva’e taha pē

Koe’uhi na’a ‘iloa koé

Kae ‘ita ‘eku kau fefine


Kupu/Veesi 5

Ta’ahine ‘Ana tu’u ke ta ō

‘O ‘ai ho tekiteki hinganó

Moho hāfuni fisi’i kahó

Ne toki veuki ‘oka vaeuapō


Kupu/Veesi 6

‘Ofa fau si’i nima ‘o ‘Aná

He nima takai ’ema suluká

‘Oka ma ta‘utu he ‘ulutoá

Fakamalumalu ha ‘aho la‘ā


Kupu/Veesi 7

Si’ota mohenga he pālaví

He na’a ta fala kihe fataí

‘Oke tekiteki ai e huní

Koe’uhi keu va’inga aí


Kupu/Veesi 8

Si’ota mohenga ‘i Hōfonú

‘Eta hala pālavi he likú

Na’e viku ai ho tapaveú

‘I hono afuhi ‘ehe peau


Kupu/Veesi 9

Si’ota mohenga ‘i Matamaká

Ne huhulu pulepule ē la‘ā

Ho’o kali toloni ‘i hoku nima

‘O va’inga he’eku kaukavá


Kupu/Veesi 10

Si’ota mohenga ‘i Hā’olá

‘Oka fasi malu ha ‘aho la‘ā

Pea to’oto’o si’eta laká

He valevale ‘a hono patapatá


Kupu/Veesi 11

He loumaile ‘o ‘Āhaú

Hangē ha fononga pale navú

Si’ene nanivi kiate aú

‘Ana ē, ‘eku tali ha’o fotú


Kupu/Veesi 12  

Koe helu ē koe mama ē  

Ko si’oto luosī fa’u ē  

‘Atu ia keke ‘alu mo koé  

‘O tauhi’ofa ‘aki mai pē  


Kupu/Veesi 13

Kau tangatá, kau fefine

Mou mātuku atu ‘o mohe

Kae tuku keu ‘āfia pē

He ko homa faka’osi pō ē

Verse 1

I overheard from the outrigger

Talks from the boathouse

That ‘Ana was weakening

I grabbed ahold of my speargun

Folded up my outer garments

And hopped into the sea


Verse 2

I stopped off at Fale Ha’amoa1

And gazed at Mango2 and Tonumea3

Like a flotilla with outstretched sails

Kefikana4 appearing from afar


Verse 3

Oh yes only the foolhardy hero

Remains and gathers garbage

And not rushing in

Like the way of Uaisēlē


Verse 4

Oh my beloved Ana Lātū

‘Ana how you’ve tempted me

As we walked on the sand

Our footprints became one

So that you are not known

And irritate my women


Verse 5

Lady ‘Ana arise and let us go

Make a head flower of hingano

And headband of fine kaho

Only to be disturbed at mid-night


Verse 6

I so loved the hands of ‘Ana

The hands that rolled our tobacco

When we sat under the toa5 trees

Taking shelter from the burning sun


Verse 7

Our lovely bed in the coastline

Our mat, the soft leaves of fatai

With the huni flower as your head ornament

So that I may play with them


Verse 8

Our lovely bed at Hōfonu6

Where we walked along the cliff shores

Where your outer wear got wet

By the sprays of the breaking waves


Verse 9

Our treasured bed at Matamaka7

Where the sun shone in multi-colours

My arm as your headrest

As you play with my beard


Verse 10

Our most beautiful bed at Hā’ola8

The sun’s shades began to fall

As we walked hastily along the beach

On the smooth texture of its pebbles


Verse 11

The sweet-scented loumaile of ‘Āhau9

Like well-groomed travellers

So pleasing they are to me

Oh ‘Ana, will you ever show


Verse 12

Here‘s my comb, here‘s my ring

Here‘s my head amour of sī leaves

Wholly yielded to take with you

As your beloved treasures of me


Verse 13

Dear men, dear women

Take your leave, go and rest

Allow me to mourn alone

As tonight, is our final night

1Name of fa’itoka/mala’e cemetery in Nomuka.

2Name of islands in ‘Otu Lulunga hihifo (west) of Ha’apai Islands.

3Name of uninhabited island in ‘Otu Mu’omu’a in Ha’apai Islands

4Name of reef in ‘Otu Mu’omu‘a in Ha’apai Islands.

5Casuarina or ironwood trees.

6An ‘apikolo (town allotment) belonging to Tāufatofua in the kolo fo’ou (new) village of Nomuka island, where Hōfonu was named after the fonu (turtles), the catching and fishing of which were one of the chief roles of Tāufatofua as a delicacy for the Tu’i Tonga; Tāufatofua of Tofua island, Fanualofanga of Lofanga island, and Kavamo’unga’one of Mo’unga’one island were the viceroys originally sent out by the Tu’i Ha’atakalau to Ha’apai Islands, collectively called ‘Otu Ha’apai to supervise and organise the affairs of the Hau for the Tu’i Tonga on the main island Tonga’eiki, Tongatapu, or Tongalahi.

7An ‘apikolo (town allotment) in the kolo fo’ou (new village) on the island of Nomuka.

8Hā’ola is short for Palalafa ‘o Hā’ola said to have originated from a performance art of faiva tautāpalalafa coconut-mid-rib-playing between a Sāmoan and Tāufa’āhau, who is also said to have tofikulu done with a hifofua one whole big blow cutting his head into two halves; the question thus asked following the match was, koe hā ‘ae ola (shortened as hā ola / hāola) what was the result/outcome? Tāufā’ahau was since nicknamed Hifofua, which is also commonly associated with the Tu’i Kanokupolu.

9Name of old village on Nomuka.

Huni Mancini, Cultural Collections Assistant, Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound, on behalf of Pacific Language Weeks kainga 


‘Ana Lātū English translation by Hikule’o Fe’ao-Moe-Ako Melaia Māhina, Mele Ha’amoa Māhina ‘Alatini and Hūfanga-He-Ako-Moe-Lotu, ‘Ōkusitino Māhina. From: Māhina, ‘Ō. (2019). ‘Koe Sio Fakatonga ‘ae Aati FakaTonga – Tongan Views of Tongan Arts: The Arts of John Webber.’ Visible (and Invisible) Voices presentation, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki, 14 September 2019.

‘Ana Lātū performed by Kalapu Tau’atāina on 20 June 1965 at Tonga Broadcasting Commission in Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga. Richard Moyle Tonga collection. 74/100.11, 17/001/603

Hero image: Dancers performing a lakalaka during the Coronation of King Tāufa’āhau Tupou IV celebrations at Mala’e Pangai, Nuku’alofa, Tonga in 1967. Photo by: Garth Rogers and Wendy Pond. Courtesy of the Anthropology Photographic Archive.