Seminar on Samoan Archaeological To’i Maa (Stone Adze) Collection

The Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture is hosting a Museum Seminar on the Museum of Samoa’s To’i Maa (Stone Adze) Collection on Friday 28th August 2020 at MESC Malifa.

The To’i Mao is an ancient Samoan stone tool made and sharpened from stone, and often attached to a wooden handle for usage. It was used to fell trees, hew timber, build houses and canoes and produce many wooden household items. It was traded between islands and shared among crafters, boat builders and house builders of the time. The traditional knowledge associated with stone tool making in Samoa has been lost to time. However,
expressions like “Ua gau le silo i le fa’i” which originated from the making of to’i maa, are still being used today.

Research continues in Samoa and abroad on the significance of this pre-historic tool and its link to cultural practices, way of life and even migration patterns.

This seminar co-hosted by the National University of Samoa’s Centre for Samoan Studies will continue this dialogue, enhancing through shared knowledge, a greater understanding and appreciation of this ancient technology that bears witness to our intangible cultural heritage and Samoan way of life.

The Museum of Samoa has 36 stone adzes in its Archaeological Collection including Lapita pottery ceramics. It is one of the most popular Galleries in the Museum and one that has generated the most interest from our online Museum of Samoa page and local visitors alike.

This Seminar will host local experts, stakeholders and interested individuals who wish to share in this dialogue so the Museum can collate available information to further inform continuing research and promotional work on safeguarding Samoa’s heritage.

For further information, please contact the Museum of Samoa on 26036 or emails or


Afamasaga Dr. Karoline Afamasaga-Fuata’i
Chief Executive Officer

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