Fakamatala Langi (English translation)


Fakamatala Langi

Ke fanongo mai ho'o pulotu na
Kae fai 'emau talatupu'a
Ko e talanoa talu mei mu'a
Mei he'etau 'uluaki matu'a.
Na'e fakatupu hotau fonua
'O fakapulonga mei 'olunga
Pea tau totolo hange ha 'unga.
Langi tuotaha langi tuoua
Tala ange maa Maui Motu'a
Ke ne teketeke ke ma'olunga
Ke havilivili he 'oku pupuha
Pea fakamaama e fonua
Pea tau tu'u hake ki 'olunga
'O 'eve'eva fakamafutofuta.
Langi tuotaha langi tuoua
Ko e langi pe 'a Maui Motu'a.
Langi tuotolu langi tuofa
Nofo ai 'a 'Ufia mo Lata
Ko e langi kehe,
Langi 'uha ne 'ufia e langi ma'a
Pea lilo ai Tapukitea
'Ikai haa mai ki tu'a.
Langi tuonima langi tuo'ono
Nofo ai e la'a mate toto
Ne hange ha tui ngahomohomo
'A e fetu'u 'ene fakaholo.
Langi tuofitu langi tuovalu,
Ko e langi pe 'a Tamutamu
Toki me'a lahi ange fau
'Ene 'ita 'o ka longolongotau.
Langi tuohiva langi tuohongofulu
Ko e langi 'ape 'oku 'u'ulu
Kae fefe 'a e talatuku
Mo e langi ne fulufulumotuku
Ke fanongo mai 'a e pulotu na
Kae fai 'emau talatupu'a.
Submitted by SilentRebel83 on Thu, 28/11/2013 - 01:10
Last edited by CherryCrush on Tue, 26/04/2016 - 11:54
Align paragraphs
English translation

The Story of the Skies

Stay awhile and listen1
To the tale I tell you now2
For it speaks of a time long past3
From the days of the first men.4
Our world5was created
And shrouded from above
And we crawled like crabs.
The first and second skies6
They speak of Maui the Old7
Of how he pushed them upwards
Towards the cool breeze, for they were hot
And thus the land was illuminated
And we were able to stand on two
And walk about with pride.
The first and second skies
Where only Maui the Old resides.8
The third and fourth skies9
Is where 'Ufia10and Lataa11reside12
It was a different sky,
A sky of rain that covered the clear sky
And hidden there was Tapukitea13
And there, she remained.14
The fifth and sixth skies15
Is where the crimson16 sunset resides
It resembles a garland of flowers17
A constellation of stars.18
The seventh and eighth skies19
Is where only Tamutamu20resides.
A wondrous sight21
Like the calm before the storm.22
The ninth and tenth skies23
An ominous sky threatening with sounds of thunder24
Is there an end to it?25
And the sky of feathers
So listen and stay awhile
To the tale I tell you now.
  • 1. lit. to listen/give heed to the poets over there.
  • 2. lit. for we tell our story/fable/tale
  • 3. lit. A story/telling from long ago
  • 4. lit. from our first parents/progenitors
  • 5. lit. land/country
  • 6. lit. first sky, second sky
  • 7. In Tongan mythology, Maui is believed to have pull the islands of Tonga from the depths with a fishing hook he had borrowed from Samoa.
  • 8. lit. the only sky of Maui the Old.
  • 9. lit. third sky, fourth sky
  • 10. the Shrouded
  • 11. the Clouded
  • 12. 'Ufia and Lataa are the names of clouds in a Tongan fable.
  • 13. also known as Venus or the Evening Star.
  • 14. lit. (she) did not come out and revealed (herself).
  • 15. lit. fifth sky, sixth sky
  • 16. lit. blood colored sunset; refers to the reddish color during the setting of the sun.
  • 17. lit. resembles someone wearing the ngahomohomo (a necklace made of flowers)
  • 18. referring to the area known as the Milky Way
  • 19. lit. seventh sky, eighth sky
  • 20. Tamutamu is a figure in Tongan myth, and also a word that describes the reddish clouds during sunset.
  • 21. lit. a great thing ("thing" refers to the scenery) to behold
  • 22. lit. [its/his] anger after a period/time of silence
  • 23. lit. ninth sky, tenth sky
  • 24. lit. a lingering sky making sounds of thunder.
  • 25. This is an interesting line. So there's two ways to interpret "it": The line literally means "how does the story/tale end?", but it can also refer to the "thunder" from the previous line -- as to whether if there is an end to the sound of thunder.
"Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise!"
Submitted by SilentRebel83 on Thu, 28/11/2013 - 03:24
Last edited by SilentRebel83 on Tue, 03/06/2014 - 08:19
Author's comments:

The ancient Tongans believed that the world was made up of different layers of langi (sky/vault/heaven). Anthropological studies indicate that there may have been up to more than a 100 of these "layers". The stars are said to be of the highest layer, and the bottommost is called Pulotu (the Underworld) or the place where the gods reside.

More translations of "Fakamatala Langi"
Oceanic Folk: Top 3
Idioms from "Fakamatala Langi"
See also