Talatama is named as the oldest son of Tuʻitātui and succeeded him as the 12th Tuʻi Tonga (king of Tonga) somewhere in the middle of the 12th century AD.

They lived at Heketā, along the northcoast of Tongatapu, with its rocky shore. Launching and landing canoes was difficult and the surf of the sea was always noisy. The nearby village of Kolonga, nowadays is nicknamed ʻUtulongoaʻa (noisy coast), because that was what Talatama's sister Fatafehi said.

Either to please her or just to find a better harbour for themselves Talatama and his younger brother Talaihaʻapepe decided to move the royal court to Muʻa (meaning: first, because as the new capital, the village would be the first to receive honours). Indeed, the coast there was sandy and muddy, safe for the boats, the big royal canoes, named ʻĀkiheuho and Tongafuesia, and it was quiet. The place was named Fangalongonoa (silent shore).

Since that time, up to the last Tuʻi Tonga, Laufilitonga, the dynasty has always remained in Muʻa.

When Talatama died he had no sons. Talaihaʻapepe seemed to be the most straightforward one to succeed him, but he himself saw it as a bad omen to break the tradition from father to son. Now when Talaihaʻapepe had been a boy (some say he was still a boy at that time) he had a doll, made of tou wood, called Tamatou. This doll was declared the son of Talatama and installed with all the pomp and splendour of a Tuʻi Tonga, even a queen was assigned to him, and he was named Tuʻi-Tonga-nui-(ko-e)-tama-tou (Great Tonga king (that is) tou person).[1]

Three years later Talaihaʻapepe declared that the king, Tamatou, had died and would be buried in a vault,[2] while his wife was supposed to have been pregnant and born a son. This son, Talatama's grandson, would succeed as the 14th Tuʻi Tonga. Needless to say that this was Talaihaʻapepe himself.

Preceded by
Tuʻi Tonga
around 1150
Succeeded by


  1. This is the only known example where the eastern-Polynesian word nui (big) occurs in the Tongan language; the normal word is lahi.
  2. No vault has ever been found at the place pointed out by tradition.


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 3/7/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.