In search of her roots - Solomon Star News

In search of her roots

05 October 2019
Faith Mila showing a photo of her grandparents.

AN Australian of Samoan descent has been in the country since last week to establish her ancestral links to the Solomon Islands.

Faith Mila, 30, said history has it that her great grandfathers were captured from the Solomons by German soldiers and brought over to Samoa.

“Our history has it that my great grandfathers were actually captured using nets and taken over to Samoa to work as labourers in coconut plantations,” she told the Solomon Star.

That was in the 1900s during the black-birding days.

“They never returned to the Solomons,” she added.

Mila said her grandfathers were part of the last group the German captured, and after then New Zealand came and took over Samoa.

“The Germans went back home, so what happens was the Solomon Islanders in Samoa did not have any way to come back home because it was the German who brought them there so they just stayed and married there.”

Aside from any information regarding her two great grandfathers, the only thing they knew was they were from Buka and Musau tribes.

“We don’t know much because when the Germans captured them they only numbered them without any other identity or any other information.

“So when they got to Samoa people there did not know their Solomon names, so the Samoan people gave them names.

“The one who was from the Buka tribe was called Ugaga and the other one from Musau tribe was called Saloi.

“We believe these two tribes are from the Solomon Islands.”

According to Mila, Salu was her grandfather’s dad while Ugaga was her grandmother’s dad.

“Their mothers were both Samoans but were not from the same tribe; they each have half Solomon bloods,” she said.

So what happened after was they each married to Samoan women and they had children.

Born from the Solomon fathers, both her granddad and grandmother came together to marry in which each have half Solomon and Samoan blood and later they have her dad and all her dad’s siblings.

She said that her dad’s sibling skin colour and their features were like Solomon Islanders and doesn’t look like Samoans.

Mila’s travelling here is just to try to establish the existence of Musau tribe.

 “I would like to know if anyone knows where the Musau tribe is based or anyone know information about or know about people who went to Samoa during that year or their grandmothers who knew something about the era.

“I came here just to get some clarification on the past events to see if anyone knew about that time or the Solomon Islanders who were captured and taken to Samoa.

“Would appreciate any information on that.”

She said since she arrived here last week , it seems that the story was not well known here as many here knew more about the ones that went to Queensland and Fiji than to Samoa.

It was in the late 1970s that Mila’s parents migrated from Samoa to Auckland, New Zealand, and that is where she and her sibling were born and raised.

From there they moved to Melbourne in 2009 where they now lived.