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Malietoa Tanumafili I - King of Samoa
Gelatin dry plate
Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa
Registration Number: C.001521
Curatorial description (Accessed: 3 September 2018)
Close up, portrait view of a young man wearing European clothing (he is dressed in white). The king appears to be leaning against a bench onboard of a ship. Malietoa Tanumafili 1 (1880-1939) was the son of Malietoa Laupepa and Sisavai'i. He was invested with the paramount Malietoa title in 1898. He went on to become one of the leaders in the Mau a Pule movement by 1908. On the death of Mata'afa Iosefo in 1912 the position of Ali'i Sili was abolished and Tanumafili was appointed by the German governor Solf as joint Fautua with Tupua Tamasese Lealofi. Tanumafili was a supporter of the Toeai'na club and attended the meetings of the citizens committee which later became the Mau movement, but he sided with the New Zealand administration and did not support the Mau. In 1928 he was one of the two Samoans on the first Legistlative Council which included Samoan members. When he died in 1939 he had held a paramount Samoan title for 41 years and was the last proclaimed King of Samoa.