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date: 28 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Samoan Mau nationalistic movement of the 1920s, which led eventually to Independence in 1962, was characterized by group songs many of which were fervent in their support for traditional leadership and scathing in their condemnation of the then New Zealand administration. In the year 2000 copies of Mau songs recorded some fifty years earlier were among musical items repatriated to Samoa to public acclaim and national radio playback, but within a few weeks they were banned from further broadcast. The ban acknowledged singing as a socially powerful tool for local politics, since the broadcasts transformed songs as cultural artifacts to singing as social assertion, returning into the public arena a range of political views that many Samoans had preferred to keep private.

Keywords: Samoa, Mau, repatriation, broadcast, politics, nationalism

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