I was presented with an Alii title, Muliagatele, by my village council. I knew, but the secret was kept so that my parents could enjoy a big surprise. I had a pulatasi (womans outfit) made up for mom, and a matching shirt for dad. For about 2 weeks before the ceremony i was practicing my lauga (speech) and going over all that i knew about this process so that i'd get i just right. Everything went off without a hitch, even my dad accepting the ava (ceremonial drink), which includes a short thank you in Samoan (no easy task!)
Muliagatele, is a title that has been apart of Samalaeulu and Savai'i for a very long time. It relates back to Salemuliaga which is the name of a man (this mans 'respectful' title) who was once a part of all of the villages that this suafa (title) resides. As i was told, he was the paramount chief of certain regions of Savai'i, Samalaeulu included. Today, Muliagatele, is an Ali'i title that is uncommonly used and although respected doesn't carry the extraordinary village responsibilities that more common titles do. Thus, they have humbly presented it to me as a gift of thanks for my service.