The meaning of Mapu Maia
The name ‘Mapu Maia’ is like an informal karanga in the everyday Samoan language. It invites a visitor to come in and rest. Imagine yourself in the tropical heat of Samoa passing through a village. You are dripping with sweat, shoulders drooping, feeling fatigued. A local villager is standing at the entrance of their fale (Samoan house), beckoning to you to come in to rest. This humble invitation of “Mapu Maia” is offered with kindness and charitable love that invites you to come in, rest, take shelter, and let me (or us/family) serve you. The rest may simply be to quench your thirst or it may be more critical to be there to aid in an emergency or accident – even a place of refuge.
Samoa has two types of language, one that is chiefly and the other is spoken by untitled or common persons. “Mapu Maia” is appropriate in both chiefly and everyday language, and is recognised as acceptable for all status of Samoan people. Most important is the ‘heart’ of the invitation from the host. The ‘host’ is ‘privileged’ to invite you into their ‘va’ (their space) which is often deemed ‘sacred’. Culturally, it is an honour to receive a “Mapu Maia” invitation from another.
The metaphoric symbolism of “Mapu Maia” is the philosophy behind our Mapu Maia service. Which means that the narrative (story telling/talatalanoa); object relations/attachment; strength-based and value centred interventions are primary theories in our service delivery.