Massive Family Reunion for Samoan High Chief - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Massive Family Reunion for Samoan High Chief

By Stephen Florino

NANAKULI (KHNL) - They've gathered from all over the world here in Hawaii. More than 500 people, from seven generations, all part of one family. It's a massive reunion, to honor the senior member of an important Samoan family.

They're all wearing different colors, but underneath, they're all cut from the same cloth.

These people are all blood relatives, from the Afoa Lutu family.

"It's the first time this family Afoa Lutu, has reunited from all over the world," said Amanda Sofa, the high chief's great great granddaughter.

It's all to honor the family patriarch -- Chief Simanualii Molioo Afoafouvale Lutu.

Each family performs a dance, and they all march in a taaloo -- a parade to scare away evil spirits. But the chief wants his family to learn about its deep history.

"Our family is very important. and the youth need to know where their heritage comes from," said Chief Lutu.

The high chief was the liason between the Samoan and American governments when it became a US territory. He also served in the country's government.

"I'm very grateful that our family pulled together to reunite, and for all the generations, for young children," said Sofa.

"If everything's gone, you have your family and you have your God," said Lutu. "That's a good foundation to stand on."

And these children should know that they can stand tall because of the work of their ancestor.

The family says it's holding a similar reunion on the mainland later.

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