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The travel ABCs of Samoa: Q is for quest for legends

It's time to launch right back into our Samoan ABCs, and this time there's a lot to uncover about Samoa's intriguing, mystical legends. Embark on a quest to discover the ancient cultural sites around the Samoan islands, each rich with the history of Fa'a Samoa

Q is for...


Explore the 12-pointed ancient star mound on the flat top of Mount Tulimanuiva. Located on the small island of Manono, just four kilometres off the southeastern coast of Upolu, this mountain stands tall at 110 metres and has a flat peak that is easy to walk across.

Spreading throughout this peak is a historic archaeological site, an ancient ceremonial platform shaped like a star. After admiring this spot, you can also see the grave of Afutiti nearby. It is said he was buried alive while standing guard over the island. What's more, Mount Tulimanuiva is the highest point on Manono, so the views over the Pacific from this vantage point are truly worth seeing. 

Once you have come back down from Mount Tulimanuiva, head over to Lepuiai Village on the southwestern side of the island. Here you can continue the quest for archaeological legends by visiting a site called the Grave of 99 Stones. According to Samoan legend, each stone represents one of the wives of the great chief Vaovasa.

Author Rowan McKinnon wrote in the book 'South Pacific' that Chief Vaovasa was killed during his attempt to abduct his 100th wife from the island of Upolu, which is perhaps why this site is titled Grave of 99 Stones.

Another legend that is linked to a spot in Samoa is the story of the Long Toothed Devil of Falelima. The village of Falelima is based on the southwestern coast of Savai'i, and myths say that once upon a time it was home to a powerful devil named Nifoloa, who had an enormously long tooth. After Nifoloa died, his tooth just continued to grow, creepily extending out underground towards Upolu. 

Which one of these mystical spots will you visit?