In Samoan mythology, Tagaloa (also known as Tagaloa-lagi or Tagaloa of the Heavens/Skies) is generally accepted as the supreme ruler, the creator of the universe, the chief of all gods and the progenitor of other gods and humans. Tagaloa dwelt in space and made the Heavens (lagi), the sky, the land, the seas, the fresh water, the trees and the people. Samoans believed Tagaloa created nine heavens (lagi tua iva). After Tagaloa made the islands, the humans developed from worms.
The arrival of missionaries and Christianity in Samoa from 1830 saw the Samoan atua gods like Tagaloa, replaced by a Christian deity.
Tagaloa in mythology
Tagaloa features in many of Samoa's myths and legends.
- Tagaloa rolled stones from heaven. One became the island Savai'i and the other stone became the island of Upolu.
- One legend tells that Tagaloa had two children, a son Moa and a daughter Lu. Tagaloa's daughter Lu had a son, also called Lu. Young Lu argued with his uncle Moa and fled to earth which he called Samoa.
- Tagaloa is the father of gods Losi and 'Fue.'
- Tagaloa is a sun god whose son Alo'alo married Sina, the daughter of Tuifiti. There is a legend about a figure called Tui Fiti in the village of Fagamalo on the island of Savai'i.
- In Manu'a, Tagaloa sent a vine to earth that resulted in maggots which became human beings.
- Tagaloa brought a war god called Fe'e (octopus) to Manu'a
- In Samoan architecture, Tagaloa also features in a story which explains why Samoan houses are round.
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