Map of Samoa showing Va'a-o-Fonoti district.
The district is 38 km² and consists of a main area around Fagaloa Bay with nine villages and a small coastal exclave about 10 km further northwest, with the village of Faleāpuna (pop. 582). The district includes areas with significant conservation and cultural values. Va'a-o-Fonoti geographical boundaries are surrounded by the larger district of Atua. The capital of Va'a-o-Fonoti is Samamea.
The small settlement of Uafato is part of the Uafato Conservation Area, a project started by the villagers in the early 1990s, to protect their environment from logging. The area has gained a reputation in the last decade for woodcarving and traditional arts and crafts in Samoa.
Va'a-o-Fonoti was established within the district of Atua and established in the 16th century when Fonoti, victorious in the preceding war with his siblings Va'afusuaga Tole'afoa and Samala'ulu and upon assuming the mantle of Tupu Tafa'ifa ('King'), rewarded the people of this part of Atua for the role they played in securing his victory. 'Vaa-o-Fonoti' ("The longboat of Fonoti") is the honour bestowed upon the region for the bravery of the naval canoes who defeated Manono, Sapapali'i and Saleaaumua in the fighting that took part on the sea.
The paramount title of the district is Mata'utia.
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