"ʻAumua Mataʻitusi Simanu: The Lifestory of a Ninety-Seven-Year-Old Samoan

November 8, 12:00pm - 1:15am
Mānoa Campus, Kuykendall 409A

"ʻAumua Mataʻitusi Simanu: The Lifestory of a Ninety-Seven-Year-Old Samoan and Educator in Diaspora."

A month’s vacation in Hawaiʻi in 1987 serendipitously turned into permanent residency and then citizenship. Thus began an amazing story of surviving impoverishment, cultural adjustment, and a personal and professional history about life as a pioneer blazing the trail for women in education leadership in Samoa. ‘Aumua Mataʻitusi Simanu retired from UH Mānoa at age 92, after more than two decades of teaching courses on Samoan respect language and ceremonial speech to native and heritage speakers. This is her life story as shared with and presented by her daughter who will summarize the life as a career woman, orator, and matriarch of a global family which she oversees from Hawaiʻi. The talk moves across almost a hundred years of history, highlighting themes and issues concerning gender and power relations in education in Samoa, and as an elder deacon and orator in the Church and Faʻamatai or Chiefly System in Hawaiʻi. Dr. Fata’s talk underscores the power of story in processing and informing our humanity, and the role that women play in sustaining it.

Luafata Simanu-Klutz is an assistant professor at the department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures at UH Mānoa where she teaches contemporary Samoan literature in English, and Samoan folklore in Samoan. She also teaches respect language and ceremonial speech. Fata has been at UH Mānoa for more than three decades where she did undergraduate and graduate studies in Education, Pacific Islands Studies, and Pacific history. Her research interests include Samoan women and power, oratory as history and literature, and Pacific education. She has published some of it, as well as a few poems. Her presentation is based on an MA Thesis in Pacific Islands Studies in the early 2000s about her mother’s journey as an educator and orator in a predominantly male landscape in both Samoa and Hawaiʻi.

Event Sponsor
Center for Biographical Research, Mānoa Campus

More Information
(808) 956-3774, biograph@hawaii.edu, http://www.facebook.com/CBRHawaii

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