Volume 75 1966 > Volume 75, No. 2 > Kinship organization and behaviour in a contemporary Tongan village, by Machiko Aoyagi, p 141 - 176
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I should like to thank Professor Toichi Mabuchi for suggestions and Professor William Newell for criticism of the manuscript. I also wish to thank the villagers who so kindly assisted me in my work.


This is a descriptive study on the kinship organisation and behaviour of Tongan commoners in a contemporary Tongan village. It will discuss the following questions. 1. Within what kind of kinship network do people live in a rural area of Tonga today? 2. How do they behave in such a network?

Kinship in Tonga has been variously described in the literature. According to G. P. Murdock 1 the Tongans are classified as an extended family type with polygamous household; patrilocal residence, but matrilocal residence as a patterned alternative; limited polygymy; absence of any unilinear kin groups; bilateral kindred; cross cousin marriage is disapproved symmetrically but not specifically forbidden. In these characteristics we do not find any particular kin group except kindred. But, on the other hand, R. Firth, 2 and others, 3 discuss the ha'a which is called an optataive descent group or sept or ramage. 4 According to their definition the ha'a is not of a kindred type but resembles a lineage in several ways. Are there, then, two types of kin group in Tonga? If there are two, how do they work together? Through the intensive study of a small village, I will try to clarify the above point.

I stayed in the Kingdom of Tonga from July 1962 to February 1963, and the field work for this paper was done in Nukuleka village from November 1962 to January 1963. Nukuleka is located in the eastern part - 142 of Tongatapu Island 16 miles from the capital, Nuku'alofa. This village was selected for field work because it is one of the most isolated villages in Tongatapu and because it is supposed to have retained the traditional way of Tongan life. The size of the village was also suitable for the study. Although I tried to speak the Tongan language as much as possible for my daily life, the information for the study was collected in English through an interpreter who was nineteen years old.


The People

According to the Government census of 1956 5 the population of Nukuleka was 209 (107 males, 102 females). There were 219 (109 males, 110 females) by my enumeration in December 1962. In spite of the rapid population growth of the Kingdom in recent years, the increase of population of this village has been slight. Among these 219 persons, there are 15 temporary residents made up of two families whose heads serve as the stewards for the two different churches in this village. These 15 residents being excluded, 204 is the village population. Of these 37 were born outside the village (male 10, female 25 and children 2). Eight married men have come from elsewhere and two younger single men live at the home of relatives. The 25 women are married to the villagers. The two children were brought here on their mother's second marriage. Against the 37 who moved in, there are 36 who moved out of this village (male 13, female 23). This figure is the number of persons who are brothers and sisters of the present villagers and were born in Nukuleka but now live elsewhere. It is difficult to count the moved-out otherwise. Most of them, especially women, married out, and a few left the village because they received land in another place or because they were adopted by the relatives.

All the inhabitants are Tongan. There are 49 adult men over sixteen years of age who are old enough to be entitled to receive api tukuhau, tax allotment, and api kolo, town allotment, and at the same time are obliged to pay poll tax according to the Tongan law. The village had been the noble estate held by S. Pangia, but the Government took over direct control in the 1920s. 6 Simultaneously, the Government confiscated extra land from the men who had had larger api tukuhau and redistributed them to more villagers. Today, however, only 28 villagers have api tukuhau of about 8¼ acres each. A further 21 who are entitled to it have not yet received it. The latter borrow the land to cutivate from their relatives or friends. Therefore, all men, without exception, are working the land.

Besides agriculture, the villagers are engaged in fishing. The village location being favourable to fishing, a number of men go out to sea nearly every day. Most of the fish are consumed within the village, but a few - 143 men of enterprise who use a pa trap for catching fish sometimes sell their catch to the villagers or to the people of Mu'a, the ancient capital of the Kingdom lying 3 miles south of Nukuleka.

Eiki Tevita Leka

The high chief of Nukuleka is Tevita Leka, a matapule of the present Queen. His family have been sailors of the Tui Tonga for generations. There is a story about his ancestor. Long ago, a daughter of the Tui Tonga became pregnant, but did not disclose her lover's name. Getting angry, the Tui Tonga was going to kill her, when Haavea Leka, a matapule of Ha'afeva island in Haapai, came in and asked permission to take her with him to his own island. On departing, Haave asked the Tui Tonga as a special favour to name the baby Leka and make him toutai, a sailor, of the Tui Tonga, if the baby should be a boy. The Tui Tonga later called the boy Leka back to Hu'a and made him a chief sailor of the kalia, a double canoe, named Lomupeau.

The genealogical distance between this first Leka and the present one is not clear, although Tevita Leka can identify six generations before him. Many years ago, the Tui Tonga ordered Leka to reside in this village which was formerly called Nuku. The messenger from the Tui Tonga to Leka often lost his way, for there were a number of places named Nuku in Tonga. The name Nukuleka was then given to avoid the confusion.

Today Leka lives in the same way as an ordinary villager, working his own api tukuhau of 8¼ acres, and sleeping in a house thatched with plaited coconut leaves. But he is of the highest rank among the villagers and none is able to take a seat above him. Even in a church a chair is reserved for him beside the pulpit. As matapule of the Queen, he announces the order of the Queen to the villagers. He may ask the villagers to offer pigs, yams and pola (plaited coconut leaves used as a food tray) piled with food cooked in the earth oven, on special occasions like the birthday of the Queen or the two princes or on the feast to an honoured guest. Sometimes he visits the palace in the capital to serve the guest of the Queen. When the Queen visits other islands of the Kingdom, he may follow her as his ancestor did. But his most important duty as a matapule is to attend the fai kava given by the Queen which is usually held on her birthday in the palace or in the open space in front of the palace. The order of drinking kava is as follows; the Queen, Lauaki, Motua paka, Noble Nuku, Noble Luani and Tevita Leka. 7

In the village life Leka has a special role in catching the ika faka fonua, literally ‘the fish of the village”. The ika faka fonua of Nukuleka is the matai, a hammer-headed shark, that comes near the coast from October to March. If the matai does not appear in this season, Leka goes to the graveyard to offer kava roots and to pray to his ancestor. This prayer will be heard without fail. Anyone who sees a matai out to sea calls “Matai, Matai!” when all the villagers gather on the beach, and men both young and old sail out with sticks and paddles in their hands. As soon as Leka hears the call of matai he hurries to his home. While they - 144 are inshore, if he should step out of his house, the matai will get away. Formerly, the head of the matai was always offered to Leka.

Other matapule and ofisa kolo

Besides Leka, there are two matapule, Mautea and Ikaholi, in this village. Mautea was appointed to the position of a matapule of the Queen by one of his relations, Lauaki, in 1950, who was the chief matapule of the Queen. Mautea thinks that his duty as a matapule is to participate in royal funerals. He also attends the kava ceremony held by the Queen, but is not aware of the order of drinking kava. Ikaholi, succeeding to his grandfather, has become a matapule of a noble at Mu'a. He is quite young and has no knowledge about the duty of a matapule.

Ofisa kolo, town officer, was a man of fifty eight years old at the times of this study. He held this position from 1930 to 1943 and from 1958 on. The premier appoints the officer and the Government pays him a small amount of money. As a representative of the villagers as well as an agent of the Government, he reports every day within the village, takes charge of the wooden cases for bananas which are brought in by the Tongan Produce Board, and announces the Government's intentions at the fono, village council. According to him, the qualification of town officer is to belong to a good family, to have never done wrong, to have his own api tukuhau and so on. Since the term of town officer is unlimited, one remains in office usually until death or retirement. The ofisa kolo of this village has several times requested the Premier to replace him for reasons of health, but he still retains his office. There seems to be little difference between thse men and ordinary villagers in economic life or status. The size of the api tukuhau held by them is about the same as others and the crop produced on it is mostly consumed by their families.


Household Composition

There are 35 households in this village. We may exclude two households of the stewards of the Free Wesleyan Church and the Free Church of Tonga from the village households in what follows. The household is a unit of everyday living. Its members usually share a common fale mohe (sleeping room), fale kuki (kitchen), fale kaukau (bath room), and fale malolo (rest room). Some of the households do not have fale kaukau or fale malolo. The location of households is sketched in Fig. 1. 8 The size of the household varies, with an average of 6.15 persons.

No. of Persons 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 13 Total
1 Generation 1 1                 2
2 Generations 1 5 3 1 2 3 4 3 1   23
3 Generations         3 2 1   1 1 8
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As is shown in the table, the two generation household is the dominant style. Out of 33 households, 28 consist of one married couple, 4, two married couples and one has no married pair. This last household consists of the town officer with one of his sons. His wife and small children live at Mu'aa where he received another api tukuhau recently. He intends to go back to Mu'a to join his family after retiring. Three out of the four households with two couples living together consist of couples of parents and children and the other a pair of married brothers.

From the fact that the large majority of the households include two generations and one married couple, it can be inferred that the household is formed primarily on the basis of the nuclear family. In fact, 21 households respectively are nuclear families and the rest include additional members. The households may be classified roughly into four groups on the basis of the sort of kin that they contain:

  • A. 21 households that contain only a nuclear family
  • a man, his wife and children (including adopted ones) 19
  • a man and his wife 1
  • a man and his son 1
  • B. 8 households that contain a nuclear family plus additional kinsfolk of male side
  • A plus husband's mother 2
  • A plus husband's father and sister 1
  • A plus husband's brothers 1
  • A plus husband's brother and his wife with children 1
  • A plus son and his wife with children 2
  • A plus a boy who is remotely related to husband 1
  • C. 3 households that contain a nuclear family plus additional kinsfolk of female side
  • A plus daughter and her husband with children 1
  • A plus daughter who is divorced and her daughter 1
  • A plus wife's mother and a boy who is remotely related to wife 1
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  • D. 1 household that contains A plus wife's children who were born in her previous marriage and husband's father's second wife with her son.

There are only four adopted children. In one case a chid was adopted because the foster parents who had an only child wanted more. In another case a girl was adopted by her mother's sister because her own children have already grown up. Two other little children whose parents had been divorced were taken over by their grandparents.

Fission of the Household

Since most of the households are based on a nuclear family, the development of a household seems to be a kind of cycle. After children grow up, they depart from their parents' household to form their own. Table 2 shows the correlation between the mother's age and the number of children living with their parents. Adopted children are included in number.

Mother's Age         No. of Children            
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
16-20   1 1                
21-25 2 1 3 2              
26-30   2 1 1 1 2          
31-35         1   1 1      
36-40 1 1   1     1 2 1   1
41-45     2     1          
46-50     1                
51-55     1                
56-60   1   1              

When the wife's age is about from thirty six to forty years old, the number of children reaches the maximum. Then the fact that grown-up sons and daughters start separating from their home, reduces the size of the nuclear family in question. We shall examine here six examples in which we see some of the actual processes in forming new households.

14 The first son of No.5 (thirty years old in 1962):

In 1946 he received from the Government api tukuhau of 8¼ acres and api kolo both of which had been vacant. He built a house by himself in this api kolo and has lived there since 1950. He parted from his parents before his marriage.

10 The third son of No. 5 (twenty seven years old in 1962):

Having no api tukuhau, he worked on the land of his father's mother's sister's son (22). He asked the Government to allot him the api tukuhau of his mother's deceased brother. In 1957 his first son was born, and in the next year he built a house in a vacant api kolo which has not yet been recognised as his own.

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1 The fourth son of 5 (twenty five years old in 1962) :

He worked the api tukuhau of his wife's mother who received it from her second husband, and he resides in part of this api tukuhau with his wife and daughters.

17 The first son of 9 (twenty four years old in 1962) :

He has neither api tukuhau nor api kolo. Before 1960 when he married, he had been working on his father's api tukuhau, and is now working on the api tukuhau of the Catholic Church. He had stayed with his parents until 1960 when the api kolo of his father's sister became vacant and he shifted his residence there, building his house by himself with coconut trunks and leaves given by his father.

19 The first son of 21 (twenty five years old in 1962) :

Having no api tukuhau, he works on the land of his close friend. He received api kolo in 1961 from 32 who is his father's mother's brother, and built his house with materials from his father's land. His first son was born in 1960.

23 The third son of 28 (twenty six years old in 1962) :

Having neither api tukuhau nor api kolo, he tills a portion of his father's land and expects that his elder brother who lives in another village will give him his api tukuhau located in Nukuleka. He had stayed in his father's household for a while after his marriage. Then, he and his wife moved to the house built by his elder brother in his api kolo.

Except for 14 and 19, the above householders have neither api tukuhau nor api kolo. To have one's own api tukuhau is not an indispensable condition to form an independent household, because in the Tongan way of life one can freely ask to borrow the land for cultivating from relations and friends. One can borrow even more freely api kolo for the purpose of building the house. Building a house is not expensive. It is easy to get from one's father, coconut trunks and leaves for pillars, roof and walls, and to build it oneself. Generally speaking, a man sets up his independent household a few years after his marriage. Based on the peculiar land system of the Kingdom and owing to the mutual aid among the relatives, the fission of a household takes place quite easily.

Supporting Old Parents

In the last phase of a family cycle an old couple or one of them will remain. However, in this village none of these old men and women keep their own households. One of their married children stays with them. There seems no rule about the person who stays at home in order to take care of the old parents.

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1st son 2 (12, 32)
1st daughter 2 (21, 22)
2nd son 2 (5, 9)
4th son 1 (20)
Step-son 1 (34)

12 and 32 are the only boys of the parents. In case of 5, 9, 21 and 22 the first son has his own household in this village, and in case of 20 three of his elder brothers live in the next village. The next table traces the present whereabouts of married sons of the eleven households including eight examples in table 3.

Living in another village Keeping an independent household in this village Staying with his parents Unknown
1st son 8 4 2 1
2nd son 4 1 2 1

Judging from table 3 and 4, it may be generalised that the grown-up children successively start to form their own households and a son, or sometimes a daughter, depending upon the circumstances, may be selected among younger siblings to remain at home, forming a patrilocal, or matrilocal in a few instances, extended family (according to G. P. Murdock's definition). It may be the youngest child, but not always. On the other hand, the old parents, especially widow or widower, move around at will. For example, a women over seventy years of age usually resides at 34 with the son of her husband with his previous wife, but stays also at 1 with the son of her husband's brother, and also visits Nuku'alofa quite often.

Discontinuity of the Households

The Tongan law prescribes that api tukuhau and api kolo should be inherited by the eldest son of the later holder. In other words the household is to continue by means of the patriocal extended family backed with the inheritance of the land, strictly speaking, the inheritance of the usufruct of the land. But in reality one tends to set up one's own household and can do so very easily, as mentioned above. People do not seem to be intent on continuing the household. A household will terminate when an old couple have no son or daughter to stay with, or when the members of a family break up on the divorce of the parents, or when an old widow or widower shifts the residence to one of the children. The fact that there is no important property to be inherited and no family name among - 149 commoners 9 that may serve for tracing the step of family seems to discourage villagers from striving to continue their households. The inheritance rule for movable property, such as agricultural tools or domestic animals, is not fixed. They do not, anyway, seem to be important items favouring the formation of an extended family.

The Rule of Residence on Marriage

The 36 couples of the village may be classified into four groups according to place of birth.

  • (a) Husband born in Nukuleka and wife born in another village 22
  • (b) Husband born in another village and wife born in Nukuleka 6
  • (c) Both of them were born in Nukuleka 6
  • (d) Both of them were born in another village 2

In the majority of marriages either wife or husband have come from the outside. If I may now use the terms, virilocal residence when a wife comes from another village, and uxorilocal residence when a husband comes from other village, the following argument will be in order.

Since the village population is not large, few marriages are locally endogamous. The majority are virilocal; there are only six examples of uxorilocal residence, including three cases in which the husbands had lived in Nukuleka before they married. One of the three cases (21) had succeeded in acquiring api tukuhau and had settled in Nukuleka in his youth. The other five husbands, except one who was from Nuku'alofa, came from remote islands; two from Ha'apai, and one each from Niuaatoputapu and Vaca'u. They have api tukuhau neither in their home villages nor in Nukuleka. It may be guessed that it is not economically serious for them to leave behind their native place and move to their wife's village. Above all, they seem to prefer to come to Tongatapu rather than to stay in small outer islands.

Two men (classified as group d) from Vava'u had been here before they married women from another village. One, whose mother was born in this village, came here in 1943 to stay with his mother's brother and a few years later he could receive api tukuhau from his mother's father. The other, whose father was native to this village, came here with his parents in his childhood. Being still young and having not received api tukuhau yet, he cultivates his step-mother's land. Those two marriages may well be classified as virilocal. Although virilocal residence is most common, uxorilocal residence is also permissible. Whether the husband has or is likely to acquire api tukuhau or not seems to be important in determining the residence for a couple. In spite of the land system prescribed by the law, a large number of men have, nowadays, difficulty in getting api tukuhau. A man who acquired it in some way or other would not agree to leave his village upon marriage. 10

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Regarding 24 instances of virilocal marriage the following table shows the place from where the wife came.

Tongatapu 18
Talafo'ou 4
Mu'a 4
Vava'u 4
Nuku'alofa 2
Folaha 2
Fua'amotu 2
Ha'apai 2
Nakolo 1
Tofoa 1
Ha'alalo 1
Houma 1

Eight wives came from very near villages, Talafo'ou and Mu'a. For the villagers love seems to be a natural and strong motivation for marriage. As if to testify this, many wives are chosen from neighbouring areas. There are chances for young men to fall in love with girls from other islands who come to visit their relations in this village or vice versa. Generaly speaking, the wives have come from near villages in the marriage of virilocal residence, while in uxorilocal residence, the husbands are from far isolated islands.


Famili and Kainga

E. W. Gifford reported in his Tongan Society that “there exist today in Tonga a number of named lineages called ha'a.” 11 but, ha'a are not known in this village or in other villages where I made enquiries. An old man told me that ha'a may be organised in the eiki, chief class, but not among the commoners.

Instead of ha'a, the term for kin group, famili is most commonly and kainga is much less commonly used. 12 The word fa'ahinga for kin group is seldom used. An informant explained that the original meaning of fa'ahinga is ‘kind’. Some villagers think that famili and kainga indicate just the same social kin group, while other do not. The extension of famili and kainga is variously told as follows.

Man A: Famili includes grandparents, parents (including father's brother, mother's sister), father's sister, mother's brother, ego's brothers with their wives and children, sisters with their husbands and children, ego's children and grandchildren. Famili means one's near relations and kainga one's remote relations. Wife's parents and her siblings are not included even in kainga.

Man B: Famili members are paternal grandparents, parents (including father's brother in the village), siblings (including father's brother's children), children, grandchildren, and one's own wife. The spouses of siblings and their children are the members of kainga. Maternal grandparents who live in another village may be included in kainga. This would not change even if they happened to live in ego's village, though he does not know for certain. The parents and siblings of one's wife are also in the kainga.

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Man C: According to this informant, there is no difference between famili and kainga. He traced as those two group's members every person who is consanguineally related to him through father and mother including far relations such as his mother's sister's daughter's son and his brother's daughter's son. He clearly distinguishes consanguineal relatives from affinal relatives who are defined by him as mali pe, married only. The only exception is his own wife who is included in his famili upon her marriage.

If we ask particularly about the difference between famili and kainga, most of the informants explain that famili includes close relations and kainga remote relations. But the distinction of the two terms is not always clear, for there are not a few cases where one may be called famili of so and so on some occasions, kainga on other occasions by the same informant. The truth is that, both famili and kainga seem to be used in the same way which traces bilaterally all the consanguineal kinsmen. I will use the word here in this report as mentioned by Man C. It may be defined altogether as personal kindred.

Ulu i Famili

The head of famili is called ulu i famili. Gifford mentions the word ulu motua as the head of the family. The functional role of ulu i famili is observed only on ceremonial occasions of weddings and funerals. At a wedding, what the ulu i famili is mainly concerned with is how to divide food among the people invited to a wedding. However, he does not demur at the fitness of the partner or the date of wedding. At a funeral, the ulu i famili gives his instruction about the allotment of the work, the feast and so on.

As famili is personal kindred, it is ‘ego-oriented’ and differs for each person except full siblings. If ulu i famili were the head of a famili of this type, that is personal kindred, he would not function effectively at all as the famili concerned would depend on the position of ego. An ulu i famili can only be appointed for each individual at the centre.

When we ask “Who is your ulu i famili?” villagers name an old man on the paternal side of the famili. When a son or a daughter marries, his or her father will consult with his ulu i famili. Children are included in a famili of their mother, but they are not subject to the ulu i famili to whom their mother belongs. They belong to their father's ulu i famili. So the famili itself is ‘ego-oriented’ but, one may say, those who belong to a certain ulu i famili can be determined only by considering the particular nuclear family concerned. As a matter of convenience in distinguishing these two forms of kin groups, the family group which belong to one ulu i famili will be called the famili organisation in this paper.

Famili organisation in Nukuleka

In Nukuleka, 5, named Pualiki, has the largest number of famili and is somehow related to the families of 24 households out of 33. According to 5, he is the ulu i famili of nuclear families of 15 households. The following list shows his famili organisation and the relationship with them. (see Fig. 2).

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FAMILI Organization in Nukuleka 13

14 is 5's first son; 10 is 5's third son; 1 is 5's fourth son; 34 is 5's full brother's son; 31 is 5's half brother's son; 30 is 5's father's sister's son; 6 is 5's mother's sister's son; 20 is 5's mother's sister's son; 22 is 5's mother's sister's son; 24 is 5's mother's sister's son's daughter's son; 28 is 5's brother's son; 23 is 28's son; 7 is 5's mother's brother; in the case of 2 and 33 the relationship cannot be traced from the figure. Although they themselves do not know it exactly, they think they are famili of 5.

As shown in fig. 2, Pualiki's famili organisation extends both to his father's and his mother's side, excluding 18, 21 and 35 whose wives are related to him. 30 and 6, each related to him through a female member, are considered to be members of his famili organisation. Although Pualiki says that he is the ulu i famili of all these fifteen families, only seven regard him as their ulu i famili; the other eight regard another person or themselves as ulu i famili.

The famili organisation of this village is shown in the following table. As in Pualiki's case those whom one ulu i famili regards as his famili members, are not the same as those who think him their ulu i famili. So, the families listed below are not from the viewpoint of ulu i famili, but from the viewpoint of individual families.

Even though 7 and 27 declare that they were ulu i famili of so and so families, none of them think they belong to either. The persons who regard themselves as ulu i famili are always over fifty years old. Generally speaking, an ulu i famili is an old man of the father's side of one's famili.

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Ulu i famili Age Families which belong to him
5 (Pualiki) 58 14, 10, 1, 29, 24, 33, 2
6 (Leke) 65 20, 22, 12, 32 (31 regards 32 as his ulu i famili)
28 52 33, 16
30 58 4 (8 regards 4 as his ulu i famili)
11 68 15, 13
7 60  
27 67  
outside of the village   3, 9 (17), 18, 21 (19), 26
unknown   35

But the rule is not strictly observed. If someone cannot trace his father's relations for some reason or other, he may belong to his mother's ulu i famili. For example, 22, whose parents live separately, stays here with his mother and belongs to 6, Leka who is his mother's father. Also, 24 and 16 are half- brothers having the same mother, but 16 regards 28 and 24 regards 5 as his ulu i famili respectively. Shown in fig. 3, 16's father is a man from Nukuleka whose relation with 5 is unknown, but 24 presumes 5 to be his father's brother. So, 24 considers his paternal relative 5 as his ulu i famili. On the other hand, 16 can not trace his ulu i famili through his father and belongs to 28 who is his mother's half- brother. In another case, 31 does not think of 5, who is his father's elder brother, as ulu i famili, but 32 who is his mother's brother. There remains the fact to be taken into consideration for explaining the above case that 32 who resides next door gives advice to 31 in daily life. Five families have their ulu i famili outside the village. But they may seek advice from someone among their affinal relatives in the village, if they wish. For instance, 3 regards 2 as an adviser and 18 also regards 32 in the same way. It depends solely on the husband's will who his family's adviser shall be.

FIG .3
Relationship between no. 24 and no. 16

The Looseness of Famili Organisation

When asked, a man will often pause for a little tiime to think over who his ulu i famili is. 11 mentioned his mother's sister as his ulu i famili, when 13 sitting in company with him said that a woman can not be a ulu i famili. Then 11 corrected his previous words by saying that he himself was ulu i famili. And as already noted, those who regard someone as - 154 their ulu i famili do not coincide with those whom he considers to be his famili members. Judging from these two facts, the famili organisation seems to be not solid and not well structured.

Generally, there is a more or less close consanguineal relationship between an ulu i famili and the members of his famili organisation which includes the people of three or four generations whether lineally or collaterally related. When the organisation becomes larger, it breaks up easily, as if unconsciously. That there is nothing to bind its members to the famili organisation, such as the land property or group name, may make the organisation loose and easy to break up. Added to his, the functional role of ulu i famili is limited to the ceremonial occasions that occur vary rarely in one's life, and people may not be conscious of ulu i famili until they need him. The man who belongs to Pualiki could not answer the question who would be the next ulu i famili after Pualiki's death.

The looseness of famili organisation might be related to the family structure itself. If the patrilocal extended family were a basic form, the family would continue over generations and people would easily identify the descent of ulu i famili. But most of the households consist of a nuclear family which does not last over generations and this makes the descent of ulu i famili obscure. A man of an historic family like Leka is supposed to be an ulu i famili of a large famili organisation. Unexpectedly, in fact, only four families of his brothers, grandson, and 32, whose relation to him is unknown, belong to him.


Then what functions have the famili and famili organisation, if any, and on what occasions, and to what degree, do they work?


There are two cemeteries; one is called tua fale kakau and the other sia which is much smaller than the former. In fig. 4, the tua fale kakau is shown. On its northern side there is a section for Catholics who are a minority group in the village. In the central area, the graves of Leka's ancestors occupy a large space, upon which 11 and 32's graves encroach. A small section on the southern side is reserved for 30. Sia is located in the api tukuhau of 33 which is occupied only by 2 and 33.

FIG. 4
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Malae is thus divided by the several kin groups but without an actual fence of demarcation. The people buried in a section of malae roughly coincide with those who belong to the same famili organisation, but not always. There are mainly three reasons for this discordance. Firstly, it is not allowed to dig a grave in the same spot for about five years after the last burial, which means that one who dies within the five years may be buried with members of another family. Secondly, belonging to a section in the malae seems, in the main, to be patrilineally decided; a wife may belong to her husband's place, children except married daughters to their parents' place. But the dead may, under some circumstances, be buried in a section on the basis of their relationship with mother or wife. In the section of 30 at tua fale kakau 30's father as well as his unmarried daughter and 4's son were buried in these years. 30's father was born in Mu'a and came to this village to marry. When he died, he was buried at the corner of the Pualiki's section, probably because Pualiki's sister was his wife. Since then, the section of 30 seems to have acquired its position separately from the main section. Thirdly, a local bond is also recognised in deciding the section in which one shall be buried. For if a person from another village happens to die while staying here with some family, he will be buried in the section to which the family with whom he was staying belonged. A woman married out of the village died while she was back at her native home. She was buried beside her parents' grave.

Church Affiliation

All Tongans are Christian. We can not understand fully the village life without Christianity. There are a number of religious observances for example, attendance at church service several times a week, strict keeping of the Sabbath, prayers before each meal and before going to bed, which are integral parts of daily life for the villagers.

The Free Wesleyan Church, the largest in the Kingdom, holds a large majority of the village members. After this sect come the Free Church of Tonga, the Roman Catholic Church and a few Mormons in this order. There are three churches in this village. The Free Wesleyan Church and the Free Church of Tonga have professional stewards who stay here during the term of their service. The steward of the Catholic Church is a villager. The Mormons go to church in the next village. The following table shows the church affiliation of the famili organisation.

The basic principle in church affiliation is that a wife should follow her husband, and the children should follow their father, which indicates a patrilineal principle at work. But this is not always the case, as is shown in the table. In one case the elder brother (11) is Catholic while the younger brother (15) is Mormon. They may change their affiliation, for example in accord with the school-religion in which they were educated, or sometimes of their own free will. 14 32 gives an example. He was a member of the Free Church of Tonga until 1956, but some unpleasant matter in the church made him and all the members of his nuclear family change their membership to the Free Wesleyan Church to - 156 which his father had formerly belonged. He was appointed as malanga in 1960 and given the honour to have fakaafe (mentioned below).

Household No. Families which belong to him Church Honourable position
5 14 F.W.C. malanga
  10 F.W.C.  
  1 F.W.C.  
  34 F.W.C.  
  24 F.W.C. (His half-brother belongs to F.C.T.)  
  2 R.C. (Husband and his first daughter. But his wife to F.W.C., the third daughter to Mormon.)  
  22 R.C.  
  12 F.C.T. faifekau
  32 F.W.C. malanga
  31 F.W.C. lotu fefui
28   F.W.C. (his wife's mother to F.C.T.)  
  23   malanga
  16 F.W.C. (F.C.T. until 1956) malanga
30   F.W.C.  
  4 F.W.C. malanga
  8 F.W.C.  
11   F.W.C.  
  15 F.W.C. malanga
  13 F.W.C. lotu fefui
7   F.W.C.  
27   R.C. stewata
  3 Mo.  
  9 F.W.C. malanga(formerly)
  18 F.C.T. faifekau
  21 F.C.T.  
  19 F.C.T.  
  26 R.C.  
  35 R.C.  
    F.C.T. malanga

It is now clear that the members of a famili organisation are not necessarily members of the same church. On the other hand, members of a nuclear family are loyal to the same church; a bride, even if she has a different affiliation, on her wedding, is ready to conform to her husband in religious affiliation, which may add strength to family unity.

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If a man attends church service regularly and keeps on doing good, he will be allowed to be called lotu fefui (catechumen), and if he can keep on having a good record a few years more, he will be elevated to the status of malanga. A few excellent men among the malanga may be promoted to faifekau by the church president. 15 It is a great honour and much respected to become malanga or faifekau.

Fakaafe for the New Year

The last day of the year, it is said, is the most important day for the Tongan. On this day, the members of the Free Wesleyan Church, the Free Church of Tonga and the Church of Tonga have fakaafe, a feast, thanking God for the peace of the past year and praying for the happiness of the coming year. Each malanga is invited to one fakaafe to say a grace. After the feast, a malanga is presented with a bark cloth and a sisi (ornamented girdle or waist band or festoon made of flowers and leaves) by the host. It is a great honour for anyone to give fakaafe on this occasion. This privilege is conferred upon him by the steward of the church. In this village, eight men, (4, 6, 14, 16, 29 - steward, 30, 32, 34) in the Free Wesleyan Church and four men (2, 18, 26, 27) in the Free Church of Tonga have been privileged to give fakaafe for many years. Some of their kinsmen who help to make umu (food cooked in an earth oven) are then invited to share the joy of the feast. This occasion offers us a good opportunity to observe kinship functioning. The details of the feast are as follows:

TABLE 8 — Fakaafe
Household number Those who prepared food Those who took a meal together Food served
4 the members of his household only 32 (malanga), 8 and his wife, The household members. 4 pieces of yam, 3 of kape (Alocasia macrorrhiza), 20 of sweet potato, 12 fish, 1 pig, 2 chickens, etc.
6 his son and 12 30 (malanga), 5. The household members. 10 pieces of yam, 2 of kape, 1 basket of sweet potato, some fish, 1 pig, 4 pounds of canned beef, 4 pounds of canned mutton etc.
14 two of his friends, the members of his household 28 (malanga), 20, a woman from another village. 6 pieces of yam, 2 of kape, 20 of sweet potato, 12 fish, 1 pig, 3 chickens, 12 pounds of canned beef.
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Household number Those who prepared food Those who took a meal together Food served
16 24, 28, 23, 15, 22, 21's daughter's husband 22 (malanga), 4, 28, 23, 28's children, 24 & his wife, 15, 5's brother, 21's daughter's husband, husband's sisters, wife's sisters. 16 pieces of yam, 6 of kape, 20 of sweet potato, more than 20 fish, 4 pigs, 6 pounds of canned beef, etc.
29 steward 23's wife, his friends 5 (malanga), 8, 23's wife, wife's brother's son. 4 pieces of yam, a lot of sweet potato, 4 fish, 2 pigs, etc.
30 the members of his household, 31's wife.    
32 the members of his household only The household members 29 (malanga), 34, 30's son, one friend. 6 pieces of yam, 1 of kape, 30 of sweet potato, 10 fish, 1 pig, etc.
34 1, 16, 5's son 6 (malanga), a couple of his friends. The household members. 5 pieces of yam, 2 of kape, 40 of sweet potato, 20 fish, 1 pig, etc.
2 the members of his household only 7 (malanga), 33's wife 33's brother and his wife, 8 and his wife (2's daughter), 9's daughter. 4 pieces of yam, 4 of kape, 2 baskets of sweet potato, 1 fish, 1 pig, 1 chicken, 1 duck.
18 the members of his household only malanga (next villager), 2, 27 and his wife, 25 (steward) and his wife, 19's wife. 8 pieces of yam, 1 of kape, 6 big fish, 4 small fish, 2 pigs, etc.
26 31 18, 25, 27, 31. 8 pieces of yam, 8 fish, 1 pig, etc.

Note to Table:

Those italicised belong to different religious sects from the host.

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Those kinsmen who help and are invited vary according to the scale of fakaafe. For example, 16 gave one of the biggest fakaafe. Those who gathered for cooking on this occasion were his half brother (24), his mother's half brother (28) with his son (23), his father's father's brother (22), his wife's brother (15), and 21's daughter's husband, between whom and 16 the relationship was not clear. They all belong to the Free Wesleyan Church except 15 and 21's daughter's husband, who are Mormons. The villagers stress that the feast is offered to the God, not for themselves, and they know that the feast is under the prescription of the church. The privilege of giving the feast is conferred by the steward, who also selects malanga to be invited, but those who help and attend it are not necessarily the same sect members. In case of 2, a member of the Free Church of Tonga, he invited his mother's sister's sons with their wives (33) and 9's daughter of twelve years old, all of whom are Catholic, and his daughter with her husband (8), members of the Free Wesleyan Church. He invited no one except malanga from his own church. Mutual help among relatives is still found on such an occasion of religious character. Yet, this does not mean that those who participate are selected on the basis of famili or famili organisation. There seems no particular rule for selecting the participants.

On the last day of uike lotu (a prayer week in the beginning of the new year), Pualiki gave one of the biggest feasts in the name of his second son. Eighteen pigs and more than twenty chickens were cooked for this feast, and over twenty men helped the famil yin preparation. Pualiki was helped by one or two men each from 14, 10, 1 (his sons' households), 34, 18, 31 (his brothers' households), 7, 6, 20, 23 (the households of his mother's relations); four men from 4 (the household of his father's relation); three men from 9 (the household not related).

It is difficult from this list to determine which side of his relations helped him more.

Land Use

According to Tongan law, every male Tongan on reaching sixteen years of age, is entitled to receive a grant of 8¼ acres as api tukuhau and 1 rood 24 perches as api kolo. But the actual circumstance is not always in accord with the law. Even in Nukuleka, which is the Government Estate, only 21 men over sixteen years of age have api tukuhau, while 28 have not. Among the 28 men, there are those who are not married or, even if married, are still living with their father or wife's father or elder brother who have api tukuhau in the same households. The remaining 11 men out of the 28 keep nevertheless their own independent households. The following are the relations from whom these 11 men borrow part of api tukuhau for cultivating: father; mother (she has received it from her second husband); mother's half brother; grandfather and his brothers; father's mother's sister's son; the third cousin; wife's father; wife's mother; wife's brother and her sister's husband; one who is not related; Catholic Church.

It is evident that all except two men borrow the land from their famili or wife's famili. Famili members should help each other. They - 160 are not reluctant to ask for help from their famili; one may kole (ask) foods, money, land use for cultivating or housing, and so forth. And one who is asked for something by one's famili would not refuse it. In case they borrow a portion of api tukuhau of their famili, they can usually plant and harvest any crop they like. The only exception is that the borrower has no right to get the coconuts from trees already planted. The coconuts are the chief source of the cash income for the villagers. When I asked them “What do you pay for the use of the land?” a common answer to this question is that he (she) is my famili, which suggests their idea that they do not have to pay to their famili.

Prohibition of Marriage

Marriage prohibition extends bilaterally towards the farthest relationship. If two persons recognise themselves as belonging to the same famili, even if their actual relationship may not be traceable, they must not marry. A man and woman in the same generation in the same famili stand as brother and sister; the former should respect and protect the latter. But in a different village, I know of a couple consisting of a man and his father's (classificatory?) sister's son's daughter. The story about their marriage is as follows. They had lived in the same village and the boy fell in love with her. Every time he came to see the girl, her parents suspecting their immoral love, sent him away. But one day they ran away to Nuku'alofa to get married. After they came back, the bridegroom and his father visited his wife's parents, taking with them food which had been cooked in an umu. Then on the evening of the same day, her mother brought bark cloth and mats to their house for the bridal bed. Now, they are apparently not blamed either by their parents or by the villagers because of the run-away marriage, and her mother was not ashamed to tell me the story. Anyway this remains an exceptional case.

Famili functions in a field of co-operation and marriage and prohibition. On the other hand a famili organisation does not necessarily operate at all since the group for co-operation need not extend beyond the household. A person needing another's help, may ask the members of his famili individually. In short, in the Tongan way, more emphasis is put on the interpersonal, individual relationship than on the group relationship. The next chapters will report the kinship behaviour centring upon the relationship between individuals.


Kinship Terminology

The terminology of Tongan kinship system has already been precisely described by Gifford, I will touch on some variations from his statement. He wrote about tamai that all male and female relatives of the father and in his generation are said to be called fathers. 16 But so far as I could know, this usage of tamai is not so extensive today. It includes the father and the father's brothers in classificatory sense, but not female relations of the father. In the same way, I am not certain if fa'e includes - 161 male relatives of the mother and in her generation or not. When the father's brothers or mother's sisters are indicated separately from the true father or mother, a descriptive term such as tokoua o'e tamai or tokoua o'e fa'e is used. The word for mother's brother, tuasina described by Gifford 17 and Koch 18 was not obtained, and I think fa'e tangata must be much more popular than tuasina today. Also in daily conversation the term tokoua for the siblings of the same sex is widely used, instead of taokete or tehina.

As a term for a spouse, unoho, ohoana and hoa by Gifford are completely replaced by the English term mali. For a man, his wife, his wife's sister and his brother's wife are all denoted by the term mali, and for a woman, her husband, her husband's brother and her sister's husband are her mali. The complementary term to mali is matapule which indicates four kinds of relation; for a man, his sister's husband, his wife's brother, and for a woman, her brother's wife and her husband's sister. A woman's brother's wife and man's wife's brother are grouped by Gifford under the name of mo'a, 19 a term which I could not elicit. Gifford thinks that matapule is an honorary term which applies only to the higher rank of man's sister's husband and woman's husband's sister, but it is used reciprocally regardless of rank or status.

He mentions that the father's sister's husband is also called tangata eiki, chiefly man. 20 But tangata eiki is an honorary term to be extended not only to the father's sister's husband, but also to the father and to a man not related. For example, when one indicates “your father” or “your husband,” it is used as a pure honorific expression, not a kinship term.

There are no special terms of address at all. Even by their own small children people are addressed by their own personal names.

The Norm of Kinship Behaviour

As already pointed out by a number of writers, kinship behaviour is precisely defined according to the rank of an individual within a network of kinship. The norm the villagers think they should observe today is variously defined in accordance with the relationship involved.

Parents and Children

Father and children: It is tapu for both sons and daughters to touch the father's head, to use his clothes, bed, combs and to eat the food he does not finish eating. Upon his death, they cannot stay inside a house where the corpse is laid. The attitude towards the father's brother is the same as towards the father. The head of a nuclear family is the father who is responsible for the management of the household affairs. When sons and daughters want to marry, they should consult their father, and if he forbids the marriage, the only way to effect their purpose is to elope.

Mother and children: There is no tapu towards the mother. Either sons or daughters may use their mother's or sister's bed, clothes and combs.

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Grandparents and Grandchildren

No tapu is observed between the grandparents and grandchildren. The latter may touch the head of the former and eat the balance of their food. An old man who lives with his daughter's family does not dictate to his grandchildren at all, because it is their father's concern.

Brothers and Sisters

Brother and sister: The relationship between them is still an outstanding feature of Tongan kinship. A number of tapu were referred by the villagers. Brother and sister should respect (faka-apaapa) each other. They cannot see each other naked. At ten years of age, they have to sleep separately. A brother may enter the same room as the sister, but may not talk to her without sitting down. The sister may not come into the brother's room or hut except on a special occasion such as a funeral. They may not use each other's comb, bed, clothes or suitcase. They may take a meal together, must sit separately as far as possible, and must not use tableware in common, but if it is washed it may be used. When the brother is beside the sister he may not eat while standing. They may not lie down where they are together. When addressed, the other must reply with koau politely. They may talk with each other except on such topics as a quarrel or love. When the sister is talking with someone, the brother should keep away from her lest he should overhear the conversation about an obscene matter. Each may not attend the wedding and funeral of the other. They may not dance together. The brother may not join a circle of kava drinking in which his sister is asked to make kava. The sister may cook and wash for him, but not his underwear. When one is ill and there is no one else to care for the patient, the other may nurse, but must stay as aloof as possible from the patient. At parting, one may shake hands or kiss the cheek of the other.

Elder brother and younger brother: It is tapu for the younger brother to eat the food the elder brother leaves over and to wear his clothes.

Elder sister and younger sister: Tapu of the same nature as between the brothers are also found in the relationship between the elder and the younger sisters. When one is delivered of a baby, the other may take care of her.

Uncle, Aunt, Nephew and Niece

Towards the parallel uncle and aunt who are denoted tamai and fa'e, the attitude is just the same as towards one's own father and mother. On the other hand, an uncle (or aunt) loves his parallel nephew and niece as well as his own children.

Paternal aunt (mehikitanga) and nephew and niece (fakafotu)

Fakafotu have to show much more respect to mehikitanga than to the father. The maximum of tapu is still found in their relation. They may not smoke while she is near. On her funeral they may not stay in a room where the corpse is laid. Fakafotu may kole (ask) something, but will be called robbers if they take it away without her permission.

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Maternal uncle (fa'e tangata) and nephew and niece (ilamutu)

Even today the ilamutu has the privilege of making free with a fa'e tangata's possessions. A man of about sixty years old told me that he had taken a bicycle, pigs, yams and so on from his four fa'e tangata. All his fa'e tangata have passed away now, but he is still able to take similar things away from their children if he wishes. Conversely, he has several ilamutu of his only sister. He always locks the door of his house while he is out, for fear that the ilamutu should come and take away what they want. Ilamutu have freedom also towards fa'e tangata's wife from whom they can get bark clothes or mats without permission. But if she is not a good natured woman, they cannot make free with her own property.


The fakafotu have to observe tapu towards mehikitanga's children, too. But the tapu in this case is not so strict as towards the mehikitanga. According to the explanation given by an old man, cousins may play together in their childhood, but brother's children may not strike sister's children and not touch their head or possessions. On the other hand, sister's children may take what they want away from brother's children and eat the foods they leave over.

Husband and Wife

There is no tapu between those who are denoted under the term mali each other. Those two persons who are not real husband and wife, may stay in one room together, talking about anything.


A woman and her brother's wife may not use clothes, bark cloths, combs, mats and so forth in common. They may beat bark cloth in company and use a beating bat in common. If one were ill and there were no one to nurse, the other may care for her but it is tapu to attend her at the time of delivery, and to suckle her baby even if the mother can not nourish it on her own milk.


Variation in the Behaviour

When we ask the Tongan about the kinship behaviour they should observe, they mention so and so, as described in the previous chapter. People are very proud of the custom that a brother should respect his sister, saying “This is fake Tonga, Tongan way.” As one might suspect, there seems to be a little difference between the norm and the actual behaviour. My interpreter used to say “If a man is properly reared in Tongan way, he has respect for and supports his sister.” But the norm has been losing its strictness; a man, once married, will no longer bring his sister food, money or anything she pleases, in preference to his wife.

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While I was staying in the village, a quarrel occurred between a man and his classificatory sister who were the second cousins. The reason for their quarrel is as follows: Two girls (H and V) in the village had the same boy friend. The woman (A) took the side of V, although her brother's (B) wife (C) took the side of H, and there was a dispute between them. Then A's adopted son (D) of six years old hit B's son of two years old. Getting angry, B hit D back. So A went to law with B, and B sued D for his violence. Since then, A, B and C, who are next door neighbours, have remained unfriendly.

There is much more emphasis on correct behaviour in the case of a real and direct relationship than a classificatory one. For example, the brother-sister tapu is most strictly observed, but between cousins (classificatory brother and sister) it is sometimes relaxed. Sometimes cousins joke and laugh in loud voices in a way that is never found in the real sibling relationship. And one dares not employ his ilamutu privilege towards the classificatory fa'e tangata so freely as towards his real mother's brother.

Next we shall examine a few practices in connection with kinship behaviour.

The Place to Sleep

It is said that the brother and the sister do not live usually in the same house after ten or twelve years of age. In this village there are only two wooden houses having more than two rooms and the remainder are the houses, each with only one room. A boy who reaches about the age of ten is supposed either to build a hut or find some other place to sleep. Out of 33 households ten have boys and girls who are older than ten years. These ten households are grouped into four according to the place where the boys sleep.

(a) in the main fale mohe with sisters 3 households
(b) in another fale mohe 5 households
(c) in fale kai 1 household
(d) some brothers in another fale mohe but others with sisters 1 household

One of (a) households has a large wooden house, permitting the boy to sleep in a separate room from his sister, so that this case may be added to (b).

Out of 19 boys 14 sleep apart from their sisters. Sometimes a little boy of six years old sleeps with his elder brothers, thus separated from his sister and parents. Among five boys who share the room with the sisters, three are eleven years old or over. The oldest boy, the second son of 9, is already married and lives with his father and sister of twelve years of age in his fatherm's house. A fourteen years old boy is the eighth son of 5; his elder brothers are all married. He stays with his parents and his sister of thirteen years of age in the same house. An eleven year old boy is the first son of 3 who sleeps with his parents and elder sister of twelve years old. So the age of girls sleeping in the same room with a brother - 165 may be as old as thirteen but no girl over thirteen years of age lives with either an older or younger brother. It is probable that boys are told to sleep in a separate place when the sisters reach the age of puberty.

The commonest way to separate boys from girls is to build another hut for the boys in the same api kolo, or to make the fale kai (dining hut) available to the boys. Occasionally the father moves and accompanies the sons (two cases) or the daughters (one case). The case of a complete separation is given by 9 who has accompanied four sons to eldest and married son's household in order to part them from their younger sister. These boys also take a meal and work with the brother's family. They seem to be allowed to live with their brother's wife in one room because she is not their sister-in-law but their mali.

The Name Giver 21

The following table shows the name givers for 96 persons of 17 households in the village.

Name giver First child Second Third and subsequent Total
fa. 3 1 15 19
fa's fa. 1     1
fa's mo. 2   2 4
fa's bro. 1 1 5 7
fa's sis. 4 6 11 21
fa's fa's mo. 1 1 1 3
fa's mo's mo.     1 1
fa's fa's bro's gr. child     1 1
fa's fa's sis. 1     1
fa's fa's sis's da. 1     1
fa's mo's bro's da. 1     1
fa's mo's sis.     1 1
fa's mo's sis's so.   1 1 2
fa's sis's child     1 1
fa's sis's son's wife     1 1
fa's bro's wife     1 1
fa's relative   1 3 4
mo.   1 5 6
mo's mo.     3 3
mo's bro.     2 2
mo's bro's wife     1 1
mo's sis.     2 2
mo's mo's sis.     1 1
mo's mo's mo's bro.     1 1
mo's relative   1   1
not related 2   2 4
unknown     5 5
Total 17 13 66 96
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As indicated clearly in the table, most children are named by the father or by one of his relations; that is 15 out of 17 first born children, 11 out of 13 second born children and 44 out of 66 third born children or the subsequent ones. It is especially noted that the first born children were named by the paternal relations except for two who were named by the Mormon priest and by me. The maternal relations do not play a part in name giving until the third child is born. Among these 17 households, five couples are in uxorilocal and two couples in neolocal residence. As regards these seven nuclear families, two first born children were named by the father, one by the girl who is the father's mother's brother's daughter in Nukuleka, three by one of the paternal relations in another village and one by me. Although all five couples in uxorilocal residence live side by side or very near to the wife's family with whom they are in close contact in their daily life, the kinsmen of the father in another village named the baby. If they are too far away, say in Ha'apai or Vava'u, to be asked, the father himself may name the child, or sometimes an unrelated person, such as myself, may be asked.

It is common that the father gives the name to the third and subsequent children. Yet five of them were named by those to whom the children were not clearly related. 21 children, the largest number in the total, were given the name by the father's sister. Her role is quite eminent in the case of first and second children. Including the father's father's sister and the father's sister's sons and daughters who may be identified with the father's sister because they, as well as the mehikitanga, are of higher rank than the baby, they name one third of the first born and a half of the second born children. This evidenced the villager's statement that the father's sister in general gives the name to the baby.

On the other hand, the maternal relations, particularly the mother's brother, have only a small role in name giving. But in uxorilocal residence, they often play a considerable part for second and subsequent babies. The following are two examples, of 3 with seven children, and of 18 with nine children.

Household No. Order of birth Sex Name Giver
3 1 f. fa's mo.
  2 m. fa's bro.
  3 f. mo's mo's sis.
  4 f. fa's friend
  5 m. fa.
  6 f. mo's mo's mo's fa.
  7 f. mo's bro.
18 1 f. fa's sis.
  2 f. mo.
  3 f. mo.
  4 f. mo's sis.
  5 m. mo's bro's wife
  6 m. fa's bro.
  7 f. mo's sis.
  8 m. mo.
  9 m. mo.
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The father is privileged to choose the name giver for his children. The first born baby, regardless of sex, is always named by the father's relations, with a special preference to the father's sister, irrespective of residence. Since the second and the subsequent children are inferior in birth significanc to the first baby, the father may then grant a maternal relative's desire to name a child.


The rank of individuals among famili is emphasised on ceremonial occasions such as weddings 22 and funerals. I will describe these ceremonial procedures from the view-point of kinship behaviour.

A boy tells his love to a girl, and if she agrees, he will ask his parents' consent. If they do, he or his father goes to an old man closely related to him to ask his favour of becoming matapule. Then he with the boy makes a formal visit, faitohi, to the girl's house, taking some kava teletele (big roots of kava). On faitohi, matapule tells her father that the boy eagerly wishes to marry the girl. When her father is ready to accept their proposal, he consults with her elder brother or ulu i famili as soon as possible. And if he agrees to the matter (and generally the ulu i famili will not object), the people concerned confirm the girl's will. The marriage is now arranged. The kava teletele brought by the matapule is prepared, around which the matapule and the girl's parents sit to drink. The first cup of kava is taken to the ulu i famili on the girl's side, the second to the matapule, the third to anyone present. A few weeks later after faitohi the wedding takes plaec.

In the afternoon of the day before the wedding-day, the boy's father cooks umu and roast pigs to be given to the girl's family. At the sunset, the girl dresses up in formal wear such as fihu, kei (both, a kind of mat) and ngatu (bark cloth). Inside her house is nicely arranged, bark cloths and mats over the floor. Then the boy in formal dress comes with his followers. The fakalelea mali begins now. The bride and the groom sit respectively on the laps of their fa'e tangata. Sometimes fakafeangai, attendants, of the bride and the groom may sit beside them. On this occasion the first kava cup is taken by the bride, 23 then by the groom. If they do not want to drink, the fakafeangai may drink it in place of them. Drinking kava, and eating fono (kava relish, such as bread, pork, and puddings of various kinds, etc.), they spend the time cheerfully chatting until next morning. When faikava is nearly over, the bridegroom and his followers take off their clothes to give them to the bride and her family. Through excess of joy, sometimes, they strip themselves of even their trousers and shirts. The bride's people bring bark cloths and clothes to cover them. The bride also takes off her dress to give to the partner.

On the morning of the wedding, they go to the town for registration. Usually they hire two motor cars which they decorate with kie. The bride and the bridegroom ride separately with each of their fa'e tangata. Other - 168 relations and friends follow them in motor lorries. Having secured the civil marriage licence from the office, they proceed to the church where the religious ceremony is performed by the pastor. This ceremony should be performed within two weeks after registration at the office. Otherwise, the civil marriage licence will be declared invalid. The registration fee of 6 shillings is paid customarily by the bridegroom's family. Moreover, they pay 8 shillings in case of the Free Wesleyan Church and 2 shillings in other churches, but the fee is free in the Catholic Church. Parents of the new couple stay at each of their homes, making umu for the feast, katoanga mali which is to be held in this afternoon. On coming back to the village, the new couple rest at their own house for a while to change their clothes. Then the bride proceeds to the place of katoanga mali with her attendants who carry pigs, foods cooked in umu, bark cloths, mats and so forth. On her way the bridegroom may await her to march together to the banquet place. Katoanga mali is usually given at the house of the bridegroom or one of his relations. There mats and bark cloths have been already piled high. On the top of this piled bark cloth, the fa'e tangata sits down, on whose lap the bride takes a seat. Another fa'e tangata may sit in front of her to keep her feet up. The groom like-wise sits on his fa'e tangata's lap. Faikava begins now. The bridegroom who takes off his long clothes to make kava, serves round the kava cup following the order called by the matapule. Then the largest pig (puaka toho) is cut and the dorsal part is laid in front of the bride. Suddenly her father's sister or her daughter hits it, calling the name of a certain person. The nominee is entitled to eat it. This faikava does not last for a long time.

The things to be exchanged between the bride and groom's people are called koloa, which consists of bark cloth, mats, kato alu (basket made of alu), kali hahapo (a wooden pillow) and kali toloni (a wooden pillow). The koloa is the same for men and women, except kali hahapo and kali toloni which are not usually included in the koloa from the men.

After katoanga mali is over, the foods left over are divided by the two families. The bride's people go back to their home, leaving her behind alone. In the evening, her mother visits his house to have bark cloth and mats ready for making the bed for the bridal night.

For an observer who would like to collect the data from both sides of the couple, a marriage with both partners from the same villages would be the best to observe. Unfortunately in Nukuleka, a small village, intravillage marriage occurs seldom. Since I was able to know a better example of an intra-village marriage in Longoteme village, a much larger village, of the same island, I would like to have it described here for better understanding the kinship behaviour connected with it. Longoteme is not significantly different from Nukuleka in the custom of marriage.

A boy (S) and a girl (K) were born in Longoteme. One day S told his parents about his wish to marry K, but they were opposed to the match because they thought that he was too young to marry and his elder brother had not married yet. S was nineteen years old and K sixteen at that time. S did not give up his idea, asking his younger sister to support him. At last she succeeded in persuading the parents for her - 169 brother. S asked a man (P) of next door as matapule, who was his father's father's brother's son. On the Friday evening, P with S went to K's house for faitohi, taking kava teletele and a can of biscuits which was prepared by S's mother. K's father had expected their coming and told that it depends on K's wishes. He called his classificatory brother T to his house and explained the proposal. T also replied that she might do as she pleased. Then K was called and asked her own wishes. She was affirmative. Sitting at the corner of the house, S had been keeping silence all the time. Then faikava started with kava teletele brought by matapule P. Kava was prepared by K. Her parents, her sister, her ulu i famili T, and matapule P attended the faikava. The cup was offered to her ulu i famili, then to the matapule. During kava they talked and settled several things. They decided not to exchange koloa between the two families, but to give them to the young couple, and so on. The date for the wedding had been already chosen by S and K on next Wednesday.

On Tuesday evening S's father made umu and brought it with fifty loaves of bread to K's house. Afterwards, S proceeded with many of his relations and friends to this house. His parents, who did not accompany him, came to the banquet place just to peep into the inside of the house and soon went back. Of course, the brothers of the bride as well as the sisters of the groom were not allowed to join the meeting. Kava was made by a girl, one of the groom's relatives. The bride was seated on the lap of her mother's brother, Sona, who came from the next village. The groom sat on the lap of his mother's mother's brother's son, Ta. The first cup went to the bride and the next for the groom, but the order of the subsequent cups was not remembered. The arrangement of the seats was not fixed. A number of relations and friends sat round the outside of the house, drinking kava, singing and dancing. The next morning after a sleepless yet joyous night the groom and Ta took off their clothes, ngafi ngafi and fihu, and gave them to the bride. On the other hand, the bride and Sona gave their dresses, fihu and bark cloth to the groom. About noon, the party marched to Nuku'alofa for the registration, riding on two motor cars and motor lorries covered with fihu. The bride with her fa'e tangata and the groom with his father's elder brother, So. On their way back to the home village the newly married couple rode together in the same car. The fee for those cars and lorries was paid half and half by the fathers of the couple.

In the afternoon katoanga mali was held at So's place. The groom's father made umu with many pigs including one puaka toho, most of which were prepared by himself, but a few were offered by T and P (matapule faitohi). The bride's father also made umu, cooking one puaka toho, one puaka hula (a larger pig), and few puaka haano (a small pig), all of which were prepared by himself. On the faikava at katoanga mali T, who was a very old man and ulu i famili of the bridegroom's father, acted as matapule to direct the order of kava cup. (Fig. 5). The young couple sat on the laps of the same person as in the fakalelea mali. The first kava cup went to the bride, the second to a man, her relative. An elder sister of her father hit the tua, dorsal part, of puaka toho and got it for herself.

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FIG. 5
The bridegroom and his relatives.

The bridegroom changed his clothes five times during the period from fakalelea mali to the end of katoanga mali, the clothes were presented to those who are mentioned below.

The vala fakalelea mali (dress for fakalelea mali) of ngafi ngafi and fihu (both, a kind of mat) were given to the bride. The vala mali (dress for the wedding ceremony) of kie (a kind of mat) were borrowed from the groom's mother and given back to her later. The vala katoanga mali (dress for katoanga mali) for the first time, a fihu of thirteen feet was given to the bride's mother; for the second time, a ngatu of launima, 24 to Mrs. Vekune, a noble widow, who was related to the groom's father and attended the feast; for the third time, a vala fakatau kava (dress for bringing kava cup to the bride) a ngatu of ten langanga was given to the bride's mother.

His mother prepared all the clothes. Every time he changed his dress, he went back to his house which was quite near to the banquet place. The bride had been wearing ngatu of eight langanga and kie until katoanga mali was over. Her mother and the fa'e tangata of the groom wore ngatu of five langana.

While they were in Nuku'alofa, both mothers made up koloa respectively for the young couple. The bridegroom's koloa consisted of 3 ngatu, bark cloth), 1 kafu (cover) of 10 langanga, 1 puipui, (curtain) of 10 langanga, 1 aofi (sheet) of 8 langanga; 3 fala (mat), 1 lotaha (roughly made mat) of 10 feet, 1 fala paongo (a mat made of paongo leaves), of 15 feet, 1 fala tofua, (a mat made of tofua leaves) of 15 feet. The bride's koloa consisted of 1 ngatu (bark cloth) which had been lautefuhi (100 langanga), but was cut into halves, two launima (50 langanga); 3 fala (mat), 1 fala paufu (a mat made of paufu leaves), 1 fala tofua, 1 fala fihu, which had been made by her mother's younger sister several years ago, not for her marriage.

Except for this last article all these koloa were made by their mothers. After katoanga mali was over, the bride's mother brought additionally some bark cloths and mats to them. The groom's mother also had already arranged almost the same things to offer herself. So she made the bed for the bridal night with enough materials from both families.

Next morning, the groom's mother examined the bark cloth of the bed. She wrapped it with kie and took it along with a roasted pig to the - 171 bride's mother to share the pleasure with. She was also very much pleased and gave another bark cloth to her daughter. The young couple had been staying at his parents' house until they built their own hut in the api kolo of his father's a few years later. Her parents eagerly wanted to bring her back for her first delivery. The first son was born under her parental roof and the new mother spent there about three months for her recuperation. On the day of its birth, her father made umu, including one chicken and one pig; her mother gave the baby two mats (fala paongo and fala tofua) and two sheets of bark cloth (ten langanga and five langanga) ; the husband's mother gave some napkins, mosquito net and cloth.


When a husband dies, his wife, mother or brothers wash his body immediately. If the dead person is a women, her mother, sisters or mother's sisters undertake this task, and her husband may help them. Children may touch their mother, but not their father. After they rub the corpse with candle nut oil, they put on its clothes. Nowadays, a white shirt is used as an inner wear, and it is wrapped round with bark cloth called vala lotu, for which any kind of new bark cloth is used. Its size is not uniform; four langanga is enough for a child and five to eight langanga for an adult. This is prepared generally by those women to whom the dead stands in a near relation, namely his wife, mother, mother's sister and so on. Some bark cloths and mats are piled in the middle of the house, on which the corpse wrapped with valu lotu is laid. They cover the corpse again with ngafingafi and kie which is called feta'u. Instead of these mats a piece of white silk may be used now as a covering of a corpse.

Then, they send for a steward to lead prayer. Two or three fahu, that is ilamutu, of the dead, regardless of sex, takes seats close to the head of the dead. The seat-ordering among these fahu does not seem to be strict. The family members and relations of the dead sit inside the room; when the dead is a man his children and sisters are excluded from the room, and her brothers are excluded when a woman dies. After the steward finishes his prayer, people express their condolence by turns, weeping and kissing. The near relations offer fihu and bark cloth, and the remote relations, friends and villagers deck the centre of the room with a piece of cloth and garland. On this special occasion, the children and sisters may kiss the corpse to bid farewell to the dead man, and the brothers may do the same to the dead sister. As soon as they bid farewell, they should leave the room and rest in a temporarily built shelter. All day long people mourn and neighbours stand outdoors and sign hymns. Liongi, that is younger brothers, fa'e tangata and those who are inferior in rank to the dead person, have a lot of miscellaneous works to do, for example boiling water and serving topai (a kind of dumpling in soup) and tea to visitors. It is the ulu i famili who assigns them duties. Meanwhile, one of the liongi prepares kava, and men drink until next morning. The first cup should go to T. Leka, and the subsequent cup may go to any present matapule.

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The next morning, they take off the white cloth and feta'u, and wrap the corpse again with bark cloth of launima, named kumifonua. Further, they wrap it with all the mats and bark cloths they can afford and all the gifts the callers have given. When a coffin is not used, the corpse is wrapped with kumifonua, is put on a ladder shaped frame, (fata), and is then carried by men, six or eight consisting of distant relatives, to the graveyard. If the dead person is a man, a fata can not be carried by his younger brother and children, and if a woman, her brother can not touch it. Close relations would also not carry it. While others sing hymns, neighbours, friends and remote relations dig the grave and carry up white sand from the beach. When the funeral reaches the graveyard, the priest gives an oration. Then the coffin is lowered into the grave by remote male relations. The grave is filled with sand by those present. After burial, the ulu i famili makes a brief speech, expressing his thanks to the people at the cemetery and informing them of the feast if one is held. 25 For the funeral feast, pulua, fa'e tangata and the sons of the deceased make enough umu to distribute one basket of food to each attendant. Usually the last basket is presented to the matapule. Sometimes pulua is held on the same or sometimes on the following day of the funeral, when kava drinking is occasionally arranged.

Years ago, liongi cut their hair to show their grief and even now they do not dare to comb their hair for the same reason. 26 The family and close relations sit by the beautifully decorated grave for at least ten days. By this time, the tapu between brother and sister will be lifted, and the sister may tend the grave of her brother. Relations and villagers wear a big ragged mat for mourning, called taovala putu for ten days, but the family members of the deceased wearing it for nearly one year. For these ten days, enjoying movies or beating bark cloth are not allowed for the whole village. At the end of this period merry-making may be held and the relatives from a distance return to their home village.


In the previous chapters, I have tried to describe the organisation and behaviour of kinship found in a Tongan village today. As I mentioned at the outset of this paper, I do not intend to analyse it theoretically, but to depict it as descriptively as possible. My reason for choosing the latter approach is mainly because there is a scarcity of information. ‘Tongan Society’, by E. W. Gifford, which is quoted in many papers, is of course an excellent study, but there are some descriptions in his book that we are unable to find in a Tongan village today. I suppose this is because he collected his data mainly from the noble class, and also it is thirty years since his field survey.

The most important difference, it appears to me, is in regard to ha'a. I have been unable to find it in Nukuleka village. Referring to commoners, Gifford pointed out that “Some commoners are not aware - 173 of their lineage as such, but most are, and claim relationship to some chief, usually the one under whom they live.” 27 When he was told by another informant that the term would apply to the family of a chief, but not to that of a matapule or commoner, he interpreted this as meaning that today only chiefs are heads of ha'a. But the Beagleholes, who made a research at Pangai in Vava'u about ten years later, made a brief note that none of the Pangai commoners: “know their lineage, none of who would dare to claim relationship to the lineage of the royal family.” 28 This is the case not only in Nukuleka, but also in Longoteme, tofia (noble estate) held by Noble Vekune.

Kinship organisations observed in Nukuleka are famili and groups of nuclear families centring on the ulu i famili which I have named famili organisation for the convenience of description. Famili can be best described as personal kindred because it includes all the persons both maternally and paternally with ego's wife. Famili members should cooperate with each other, and should not marry no matter how distant their relationship is, but in actuality union may be permitted if the relationship between them is very distant.

On the other hand, several features of famili organisation may be summarised as follows: One belongs to the ulu i famili through the father, but matrilineal belonging is also permissible in special circumstances. The famili is not localised. It is very flexible, being easy to split. So, the members of famili organisation are confined generally to a few generations. It has neither group name nor group consciousness and does not function as a corporate group. Its organisational bonds exist between one ulu i famili and the individual nuclear families that belong to him, but the recognition of who is one's ulu i famili is ambiguous. The process of famili fission is not one of ramification which may accompany the internal stratification.

Judging from these features, a famili organisation may be called a very fragile, minimal patri-lineage of smaller size. Comparing with ha'a, is seems that ha'a is of more stable character than famili organisation, although the group consciousness and actual functions of ha'a is not clear from the description by Gifford that “they claim relationship to some chief, usually the one under whom they live.” But the important difference between them is that ha'a has a ramified system in the process of segmentation. He wrote that “the whole system of lineages may be likened to a tree with trunk, limbs, branches, and twigs,” 29 which is not the case of famili organisation at all. And much less, an internal stratified system as the result of ramification (ramage type according to M. Sahlins 30 can not be possibly found in this village. Supposing the ramage type to exist here in this village, all the villagers should be integrated into a triangle of hierarchy, the top of which is occupied by Leka. Actually Leka is in the highest rank of the villagers but except for his position it does not seem that people are internally stratified. The principle that every one is ranked by seniority, that means every brother (as well as every sister) is - 174 differentiated from every other brother does not exist in fact in the village. But such rank is limited to the relative rank, strictly speaking, between two persons concerned, and is not the absolute rank of the triangle of hierarchy.

In my opinion, it looks both theoretically and practically impossible to integrate all the people of the community into the ramified structure for the following reasons:

  • (a) Generally, the union of a man and woman is not stable. It is not unusual for a man to have children by several women and for a woman to have children by several men. Consequently, an individual may have a number of half siblings who share the same mother and at the same time who share the same father. It must be difficult to integrate all the siblings of the community as a whole in one alignment from the highest to the lowest in accordance with the order of their birth.
  • (b) An individual often has a double relationship to another individual. For example, if 28 traces through his mother, the mother of 24 and 16 is his sister, but if 28 traces through his father, she is his father's sister's son's daughter (see Fig. 3). In this case he may probably behave towards her according to the direct relationship as brother and sister. But what is the criterion to integrate all the villagers in one hierarchy for they may have a double or triple relationship with one another?
  • (c) The sister is superior to the brother and her children to his children. Consequently, a man (A) who marries a woman rises automatically into a higher position than her brother (B). On the other hand A can not hold up his head before a man (C) who marries A's sister. Then in the relationship among these three men, C, is in the highest rank while B is in the lowest. But it may well be that B is the elder brother of C, or B's mother is C's father's sister. For these reasons it is difficult to stratify all the descendants of one person into a single ramified system.

Anyway, there are three principles in regard to ranking; the elder brother is higher than the younger brother; the sister is higher than the brother; and the husband is higher than the wife. These principles may sometimes offset each other. So each individual has a double rank; this one is higher than that, but this may be lower than that. Even if a person is the direct descendant in the senior line of a common ancestor, his rank is not always paramount. At the same time a descendant from a remote collateral is not necessarily the lowest. Leka occupies, in fact, the supreme position in the community. This seems to be so because he is eiki (chief) and matapule of the Queen, not because he belongs to the senior line of the kinship; he is the second son of his father Tevita Leka, whose first son may be an illegitimate son, and this first son's daughter's sons are 16 and 24.

As described in the latter half of this paper, the relative rank of individuals is quite important in Tongan family. The behaviours of kin are precisely defined, and expressed overtly on the ceremonial occasions. In kava drinking at weddings, the first and the second cups were taken by particular persons, but no one remembers who got the subsequent cups. - 175 This fact suggests partly that there is no system into which all the people who were gathering at the circle recognised.

While I was staying there, I happened to be invited to a feast at the end of the year given by the second son of Pualiki, at which most of the villagers were present. The following Fig. 6 is the table showing the seat arrangement. People took their seats around the long pola (food tray made of coconut leaves). Leka sat in the front of the pola, on either side of which the officers of the church sat down. The other people, I was told, might sit down freely anywhere. Among the ten persons, namely Leka and the church officers, 27 belongs to the Free Church of Tonga, 15 to the Mormons, 11 to the Catholic, and all the rest are the members

Seat-ordering at a fakaafe

of the Free Wesleyan Church. The speech at this feast was given by Leka, first, followed by 15 (matapule of the Queen), 1, Pualiki's wife, 30 (town officer) and 29. In spite of the fact that 11 is the elder brother of 15 and 15's ulu i famili, his seat is lower in the seat order than 15's. It is also incomprehensible why 11 who is a steward of the Catholic Church took such a low seat compared with the malanga of the other churches who were invited to the places of honour. 31 From 30 to 32 are all malanga of the Free Wesleyan Church who sat in order of the age. Whereas 29 is young, he is highly respected by people as a steward of the Free Wesleyan Church and always occupies a seat next to Leka in the meeting of church members. 32 In short, the internal rank of the villagers based on the kinship structure was not reflected in the feast at all, but the rank in the church such as malanga and faifekau was highly esteemed, and one's age or administrative or honourable status such as town officer or matapule were considered among those malanga and faifefau. 33 It is easy to see that the malanga of the church took the places of honour because this feast which was given as a church function was dedicated to God. Nevertheless, this was the only occasion in which an outsider could know the rank of the villagers.

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In the Tongan village today, the basic kinship organisation is famili that is personal kindred, and along with it, there are also particular bonds between nuclear families and an old man, ulu i famili, who is usually chosen on the paternal side of the personal kindred. Personal kindred functions in daily life, but one's belongingness to ulu i famili is shown in ceremonial occasions of life crises such as weddings and funerals.

  • AOYAGI, Machiko, 1964. “Land Tenure in a Tongan Village.” Minzokugaku Kenyu, 29 : 124-140.
  • BEAGLEHOLE, Ernest and Pearl BEAGLEHOLE, 1941. Pangai: Village in Tonga. Memoirs of the Polynesian Society, 18.
  • COLLOCOTT, E. E. V., 1923. “Marriage in Tonga”. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 32 : 221-8.
  • — — 1927. “Kava Ceremony in Tonga”. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 36 : 21-47.
  • DAVENPORT, W., 1959. “Nonunilinear Descent and Descent Groups.” American Anthropologist, 61 : 557-572.
  • FIRTH, R., 1957. “A Note on Descent Group in Polynesia.” Man, 2 : 4-7.
  • GIFFORD, W. E., 1929. Tongan Society. Bernice Pahau Bishop Museum Bulletin, 61.
  • GOODENOUGH, W. H., 1955. “A Problem in Malayo Polynesian Social Organisation.” American Anthropologist, 57 : 71-82.
  • HOCART, A. M., 1915. “Chieftainship and the Sister's Son in the Pacific.” American Anthropologist, 17 : 631-46.
  • KINGDOM OF TONGA, 1951. Revised Edition of the Law of Tonga. 1947.
  • — — 1958. Report on the Results of the 1956 Census.
  • KOCH, Gerd, 1955. Sudsee—Gestern und Heute. Braunschweig, Albert Limbach Verlag.
  • MURDOCK, G. P., 1949. Social Structure. New York, Macmillan.
  • — — 1957. “World Ethnographic Data.” American Anthropologist, 59 : 664-687.
  • RIVERS, W. H. R., “The Father's Sister in Oceania.” Folklore, 21 : 42-59.
  • SAHLINS, M., 1958. Stratification in Polynesia. Seattle, University of Washington Press.
  • WOOD, A. H.,1952. History and Geography of Tonga. Auckland, Wilson & Horton.
1   Murdoch 1957:681.
2   Firth 1957:5.
3   Davenport 1959:562.
4   Sahlins 1958:139-159.
5   Report on the Result of the 1956 Census by Authority, 1958.
6   In the map after Gifford (1929) Nukuleka was a noble estate held by Paniga. A villager told me that the Government had examined the documents of the village in the law court and had taken it lawfully from him, although I could not find the record in the office.
7   This seat-ordering which Leka indicated is not different from the kava ring cited by Collocott. Collocott 1927: 23.
8   The household number (1-34) is given to each according to the ecological arrangement of the households. It is interchangeably used for indicating its household head. European style houses, made of wood, are rectangular. Traditional Tongan style houses are thatched with coconut leaves. Semi-traditional Tongan style houses have wooden walls and tin roofs. Fijian style houses, made of coconut leaves, are rectangular.
9   At least Leka has a family name. There has been a growing habit that children going to school use a joint name of their personaal and father's name. The father's name in this case is used as if it were the family name. See Koch 1955:91.
10   Aoyagi 1964:124 140.
11   Gifford 1929: 29 33.
12   For example, hou'eiki mo kainga (often equivalent to ladies and gentlemen or you in public speaking) is still used in daily life.
13   The figure is simplified by showing only the heads of the nuclear families and the persons who are necessary for tracing the relationship.
14   Beaglehole 1941: 128-130.
15   Rank differentiation in the different churches varies a little.
16   Gifford 1929:28.
17   Gifford 28.
18   Koch 1955: 71.
19   Gifford 1929 :29.
20   Gifford 28.
21   A person's name may change sometimes two or three times in his life. But the name given on his birth is only one for each person.
22   Collocott 1923: 221-5., Beaglehole 1941: 91-98., Koch 1955: 75-81.
23   Collocott writes that the bride who is the chief of this occasion takes the third cup, that is the chief cup. A middle-aged woman told me that the first cup was the chief one.
24   Launima consists of fifty langanga. One langanga is about two times as long as the distance between the thumb and the middle fingers of a hand when the fingers are stretched out in opposite direction.
25   According to Beaglehole ha'a tufunga, undertaker, presides over everything in the graveyard. But the villagers say that ha'a tufunga will be employed only in case of the chief's death.
26   Koch 1955:86.
27   Gifford 1929:30.
28   Beaglehole 1941:71.
29   Gifford 1929:30.
30   Sahlins 1958:139-80.
31   Professor Newell suggested to me that the antagonism between Catholics and Protestants may explain this in part.
32   For instance, in fakaafe hosted by no. 28 on the day of Christmas nos. 6 (Leka), 5 and 30 (town officer) seated along one side of the pola in this order. On the other side of it no. 29 seated facing No. 6.
33   For example, in fono, village council, the villagers gather to sit choosing any place around the town officer who conveys the Government instruction.