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Tusitala


Tusitala

Tusitala

Tusitala was the name given to Robert Louis Stevenson by the inhabitants of the Polynesian island of Upolu, Samoa, on which he lived between 1889 and his death in 1894. It means 'Teller of Tales': Polynesian literature and history existed only in the oral tradition and the title was given to Stevenson as a mark of respect for his position in the island community.

Vailima was the estate on the island of Upolu, Samoa, where Robert Louis Stevenson lived from the early part of 1890 until his death on 3rd December 1894. He purchased it soon after his arrival on the island in December 1889 and a house was built, slowly taking shape to become a substantial dwelling by late 1891, with Stevenson as the paterfamilias of a household that included his wife Fanny, her children, his mother and a changing group of itinerant friends and relations. By the end of his life the estate extended to 400 acres and had been cultivated, with moderate success, to grow cocoa, coffee and vanilla. Vailima took its name from a native word meaning 'five
streams' although, in reality, there were only four.

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