The first known Tui Tonga was Aho'eitu (known to Samoan as Aso'aitu) who started this royal dynasty at about 900 AD - 950 AD. According to Tongan legends he was said to have been the son of the God Tangaloa and a Tongan woman. The Tongan royal families therefore trace their lineage to him.
Samoan variations regarding the first Tui Tonga include the legend that prior to the first Tui Tonga, much of Tonga was ruled by Tui Manu'a. Tui Manu'a Tagaloa Aitumatupua (known to Tongans as Eitumātupua) and a Tongan Woman 'Ilaheva Va'epopua then had a son Aso'aitu (known to Tongans as Aho'eitu) who began to rule over Tonga and later start the expansion of the Tui Tonga Empire in the Pacific.
Tonga was apart of a trade network between Fiji Tonga and Samoa. Tui Tonga were known to have married Samoan woman to to fulfill the needs for lack of wives.
A theory on the Tatau Tonga is that Tongans would have Samoan Tufuga Tatau be given the status equivalent of Matapule to give the Tui Tonga their Tatau. This was a great honor as the Tui Tonga were believed to be sacred. Such duties that required physically touching a Tui Tonga were reserved for only a few.
Tui Tonga ruled over much of the South Pacific for an estimated 500 years including most of Samoa with the exception of the the Manu'a Islands of Samoa ruled by Tui Manu'a.
When the Samoans finally drove Tui Tonga out of their land he respectfully stated these words (samoan version) "Ua Malie Toa, Malie Tau Ou te le toe sau i le auliuli tau, a o le auliuli folau O le a le toe sii mai se taua e Toga i Samoa; well fought brave warriors! In the future I shall not return here to fight, nut only pay friendly visits. Never more shall the Tongan wage war on the Samoans." The high title of Malietoa in Samoa originates from this.
Historically in peaceful times Tui Tonga, Tui Fiti, Tui Manu'a, the Paramount chiefs of Samoa often intermarried and strengthened their trade network between the three nations of Tonga, Fiji and Samoa. In current times Tonga has good relations with both Samoa and American Samoa and leaders are often invited to each others ceremonies and special events.
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