Two New Zealand sailors remove the Mau insignia, a white band, from the lavalavas of two Samoan men, in 1930. The Mau independence movement had precedents in small-scale protests against German colonial authority in 1904–5 and 1909, and was linked to disquiet amongst chiefs about the reshaping of the traditional order. Under New Zealand rule, the Fono of Faipule (a council of faipule, or district representatives, which acted as a bridge between a district and the government) acquired greater authority than it had under German rule. Customary chiefs feared that this would eclipse their status. White traders also resented New Zealand rule, owing to efforts to force up prices paid for Samoan produce. They backed a petition in 1921 urging that Samoa be controlled by Britain.
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Alexander Turnbull Library, F. J. Gleeson Collection
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