By Roland Bourdeix, Malua Solinuu. Valerie Saena Tuia and Alofa Leuluaialii

This website returns the information collected during four scientific visits conducted in 2001, 2010, 2012 and 2017 on behalf the Ministry of Agriculture of Samoa, the International Coconut Genetic Resources Network, the Secretatiat of the South Pacific Community, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, Bioversity International, CIRAD (French Centre for Agricultural Research and Development), the Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific (CIDP project) and the Darwin Initiative "Saving Pacific Coconuts".

Words related to coconut in Samoan language

In its Grammar and Dictionary of the Samoan Language dated 1893, Pratt recorded 87 words related to coconut. Some of these words are related to coconut varieties:
  • Utogau means a nut with edible shell and husk, but the name may indicate it was introduced from Tonga Island
  • There are two varieties with large husk and small coconut, niu'afa and niufetepulu
  • savase is the spicata type
  • tao'ave means only a very productive palm, but to be checked becauase it seems that in Tonga Tao'kave is a special variety
  • niutetea is described as palms with whitish leave, it may be Dwarf-types with yellow or orange fruits, that generally have palms of lighter green color.
1 :‘a’a :see lau’a’a
2 :a’aa’a :the many-fibred coconut root
3 :‘afa :cord made of coconut fibre
4 :alava :the fibre of the stem and wood
5 :aleale :the young coconut with the kernel just formed
6 :amo :to separate the fibres from the husk by plucking
7 :aputi :the sheath of the young leaf
8 :‘ina :a coconut husk with long fibres. good for twisting cord
9 :utogau : a nut with edible shell and husk
10:fa’agaga :to ask for permission to pick coconuts
11:fa’ata’a :fibres twisted for making cord
12:fa’atatå :to crack a coconut in the middle so that the juice drains quickly
13:gutu :the soft hole of the nut (see sisi)
14:feti‘ipopo :to hang a pair of nuts on a tree
15:filiga :the edge or border of a coconut mat
16:fui :a cluster of nuts
17:fugafuga :the rubbish when cleaning fibres
18:galulu :the noise when a partially filled nut is shaken
19:la’ita :a palm with large clusters of small nuts
20:lau’a’a :the net-like sheath of the leaf
21:lau‘afa :cleaned coconut fibre
22:lauafega :leaves from very old trees
23:lauo’o :leaves from young trees
24:laulau :a house improvised of coconut leaves - table mats
25:le‘a :a kind of coconut (also of kava)
26:lolo :to prepare coconut kernel in order to obtain the oil
27:mafua :rancid kernel,attractive to birds
28:malaise :a block for beating coconut fibre on; a new name in place of saga
29:macaipu :the top half of a coconut shell
30:mataniu :the eye end of the nut (gutu)
31:matatuna :one part of the split husk
32:mati :stale fruit water
33:matofi :the fibres of a matatuna prepared for making into cord
34:migimigi :dry curling husks
35:moi‘a`a :fibres of the husk (moti’a`a)
36:mo’omo’o :a nut without juice or kernel
37:mole :an oily fluid bctwecn the hard and spongy kernel
38:molï :oil (u’u)
39:mu’a :a young nut with the kernel half formed
40:mulipu : (muliipu?) the point of the shell
41:niua :full of palms
42:niu’afa :large nuts, good for‘afa
43:niufetepulu :large husk and small kernel
44:niuui :a kind of coconut for the lulu’u, sprinkling with coconut water to remove the tapui
45:‘ini‘ini :ripe with no juice (o’o)
46:ipiniu :a coconut shell cup
47:o’a :to husk coconuts (mele’i)
48:oaoa :coconut shells tied together to rattle
49:olapita :a brittle leaf
50:u’u :scented oil
51:ulusü :the dry leaf stalk
52:unu :the strainer of a coconut fibre used in making oil
53:niumagu : old nuts (Sapapali’i)
54:magu : : old nuts (Sapapali’i)
55:niupaoga :tall palms
56:niusami :the nut before it is ripe
57:niutetea :palms with whitish leaves
58:penu :the grated kernel of the nut
59:pei, pepei, galemu :a nut broken in two
60:pogamata :the eye of the nut
61:pola :mats made of leaves for house jalousies
62:polani :mats for wrapping up things
63:popo :ripe nut (copra)
64:popouli :the nut in its best stage of ripeness
65:pulu :the husk of the coconut
66:pulufafine :the innermost layer of fibre
67:pulutane :the outer fibre,good for`afa
68:pulupului :a number of nuts tied together
69:salisali :the shell adhering to the remains of the kernel
70:salu :the broom made of the ribs of the leaves
71:sami :a nut shortly before being ripe (popo),tasting bitter
72:sasave :a kind of nut having no stem to the fruit
73:sisi :the two hard eyes of the nut; see gutu and mataniu
74:soamoemoe :the just unfolded leaf
75:su’i :a fork made from the leaf rib
76:su’i :a young nut having water but no kernel
77:susu’i :to make a hole in a young nut to drink it
78:ta’ale :the shoot of the crown of a palm
79:ta’ei :to break the nut to pieces
80:ta’e :the top of the nut which has been broken out to be able to drink it
81:ta’elafa :a very flat-bottomed nut broken open
82:tao’ave :a very productive palm
83:taume :the dried cover of the flowers (used for torches)
84:talele :to break a nut to pieces for eating, without drinking it
85:taniu :to cut down trees for spears or timber
86:lapa’au :the rough house mat placed underneath the others on top of the pebbles –tapa’auvai if made from four half fronds
87:tuatua :the rind of the kernel

Pratt, G. (1893). A Grammar and Dictionary of the Samoan Language, with English and Samoan vocabulary. London Missionary Society.
Krämer, A. (1994). The Samoa Islands: Material Culture (Vol. 2). University of Hawaii Press