Fale Sāmoa


Fale Sāmoa - the Sāmoan Fale

“Fale” literally means house and/or structural building in the Sāmoan language.

Master builders

The Tufuga Fau Fale is the name given to the builders of the fale.

Types of Fale Sāmoa

There are a few traditional types of Fale Sāmoa, each with its own name and function.

Faletele This is the fono or meeting house. Its shape large with a high roof, round ends and a short middle section.

Faleoʻo This is the normal house used for the family.

Faleafolau This is a guest house, its shape consists of long middle section and rounded ends.

Falelalaga This is where ie toga or fine mats are woven.

Maota - gagana fa‘aaloalo

Maota is the word for house structure in gagana fa‘aaloalo.

Gagana fa‘aaloalo is the respectful or formal Sāmoan language.

Fale Sāmoa traditional vocabulary words

  • Fale - house, structure - Fale
  • ‘Aso - Rafter (thatch roofing)
  • ‘Au‘au - Ridgepole
  • Fautū - Purlin (Arched)
  • La‘aumatua - Purlin
  • Pou - Post (house, structure)
  • Poutū (also Pou tū) - Post (main center)
  • Poulalo (also Pou lalo) - Post (outer, wall, side)

“Fale” in modern Sāmoan language

In modern Sāmoan language, “Fale” is also used as prefix in naming buildings in Sāmoa.

  • Fale - House
  • Fale Sāmoa - Traditional Sāmoan house / building
  • Fale‘āiga - Restaurant
  • Fale‘āoga - School
  • Falema‘i - Hostpital
  • Falemāta‘aga - Museum
  • Falemeli - Post Office
  • Fale‘oloa - Store / Commercial Shop
  • Falepālagi - Modern (foreigner style) house / building
  • Falesā - Church
  • Faleteutupe / Faletupe - Bank

Learn more words with our Sāmoan and Polynesian Dictionary >>