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He encourages warm family relations, offers advice, directs religious participation, and oversees disputes.
As well as watching over the family land and representing the family in village affairs.
Though divided by government, the culture and language remain the same.
The Samoan people and culture form a vital link and stepping stone in the formation and spread of Polynesian culture, language and religion throughout Eastern Polynesia.
Most men considered for the Matai position are at least 40 years old, meaning many young candidates don’t even stand a chance.Once a new matai is chosen, a feast is thrown for the family, followed by a bigger feast for the whole village at a later date.At the larger feast, the matai is expected to give a traditional inaugural speech, displaying his abilities to speak publicly, his wisdom and retelling of Samoan myths.One person, predominately a male figure, is elected to become the Aiga of his extended family.Elections take place after the former Aiga has died or is no longer to fulfill his duties, either for ethical reasonings or old age.
These reasons range from the candidate’s wisdom to wealth, including highly praised values such as negotiating, ritual knowledge, politics and economics.