name = Kapiliele Faupala
title = 51st Lavelua of Wallis (Uvea)
July 25, 2008- Present
July 25, 2008
Tomasi Kulimoetoke II
Council of Ministers
successor = To be determined
royal house =
royal anthem =
date of birth = ?
place of birth =
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Kapiliele "Gabriel" Faupala is the 51st Lavelua (King) of
Wallis Island(Uvea), one of the three traditional kingdoms which comprises the French overseas territory of Wallis and Futuna. Faupala was officially crowned Lavelua on July 25, 2008, succeeding Tomasi Kulimoetoke II, who died in May 2007. cite news |first=|last=|title=New King Of Wallis Crowned Today|url=http://www.pacificmagazine.net/news/2008/07/25/new-king-of-wallis-crowned-today|work= Ocean Flash|publisher= Pacific Magazine|date=2008-07-25 |accessdate=2008-07-27] The King of Wallis is also known as the Lavelua.
Faupala is locally known as Kalai Ki Valu by
Wallisians. He is from the village of Ahoa, which is located in the center of Wallis Island. Faupala is a retired public servant, who worked for the French administration of Wallis and Futuna as well as the the local Wallisian public worksdepartment until his retirementin 1995. Faupala was head of the Customary Council of Ministers for four years from approximately 2004 until his coronationin 2008. The Customary Council of Ministers enjoys a certain level of official recognition from the government of France under the 1961 treaty signed by Tomasi Kulimoetoke II which made Wallis and Futuna a French overseas territory(" Territoire d'Outre-Mer"). cite news |first=Alex|last=Duval Smith|title=King Tomasi Kulimoetoke II, King of Wallis obituary
The Independent|publisher=|date=2007-05-08 |accessdate=2008-07-27]
Faupala predecessor as Lavelua of Wallis,
Tomasi Kulimoetoke II, died in May 2007. Kulimoetoke had served as the King for 48 years since his coronation in 1959. A six month period of mourningwas held after Kulimoetoke's death, when it was considered tabooby Wallisians to discuss a possible successor to the throne. cite news |first=|last=|title=No new king in Wallis for six months |url=http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=32104|work= Radio New Zealand International|publisher=|date=2007-05-09 |accessdate=2008-07-27] Kulimoetoke had a sometimes strained relationship with French authorities during the final years of his reign.
The period of mourning officially ended on November 2007, at which time discussions for a possible successor formally began. cite news |first=|last=|title=Wallis awaits moves to elect new king |url=http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=36244|work=
Radio New Zealand International|publisher=|date=2007-11-06 |accessdate=2008-07-27] A Council of Ministers had taken up the role of royal duties after Kuliemoetoke's death and was charged with finding his successor. Two main feuding royal families of Wallis had been engaged in a behind the scenes fight for the previous three years to secure the throne of Uvea. Their struggle to succeed Kulimoetoke had begun before the previous King's death in 2007. The royal Wallisian families, or clans, were from the North (Hahake) and South (Mu'a) of Wallis Island. Each offered their own candidate to succeed Kuliemeotoke. Each royal clan also claimed to be the rightful next-in-line to the throne, which led to an impasse in negotiations for months.
Ultimately, after months of deliberations, the traditional Council of Ministers chose Kapiliele Faupala to become the new King of Wallis (Uvea) in an announcement held in mid July 2008. cite news |first=|last=|title=New King Chosen For Wallis, But Protests Continue
Ocean Flash|publisher= Pacific Magazine|date=2008-07-15 |accessdate=2008-07-27] Kuliemeotoke had originally chosen Faupala as his hand-picked successor before his death in May 2007. The candidates from the other feuding chiefly clans and royal families on Wallis were rejected by the Council. The announcement of Faupala as the new King sparked protests by the other royal families and clans across Wallis. Critics charged that the Council of Ministers should have more actively worked toward reconciling the different arguing clans on Wallis before announcing a final choice for King of Uvea. The North and South royal families also claimed that they should have been actively consulted by the Council in choosing the new monarch for the island.
Kuliteaof one of the royal clans, Po'oi Fotofili, called for calm and denounced calls for violence saying, "We have decided not to move for the time being. We will let this crowning take its own course. We are calling on our people to remain calm in order to maintain peace on the territory. But this doesn't mean that we will just sit back and watch." He hinted at future action by the disgruntled royal clans following the coronation, including the possibility of appointing additional, new rival Kings on Wallis Island who are not endorsed by the Council of Ministers. As Fotofili said to the three main royal family clans on Wallis - Mu'a, Hahakeand Hihifo- "Should we have one King for each district, or just one King for all three districts? Should the current situation be reviewed? All this will be put on the table and discussed with all the great families."
Kapiliele Faupala was formally crowned the 51st Lavelua of Wallis on
July 25, 2008. He chose to retain the title and name of Lavelua. His coronation took place in Mata-Utu, the capital of Wallis and Futuna, on the main grounds of Marae Sagatosoane, cite news |first=|last=|title=Kapiliele Faupala crowned new King of Wallis |url=http://www.islandsbusiness.com/news/index_dynamic/containerNameToReplace=MiddleMiddle/focusModuleID=130/focusContentID=12866/tableName=mediaRelease/overideSkinName=newsArticle-full.tpl|work= Island Buiness|publisher=|date=2008-07-26 |accessdate=2008-07-27] where Faupala's predecessor, Tomasi Kulimoetoke II, is buried. The coronation ended several days of formal traditional Wallisian celebrations, which included a kava ceremony and the presentation of gifts to the new King. Faupala was 68 years old at the time of his coronation.
Several of Wallis's chiefly royal families, such as the North (Hahake) and the South (Mu'a), chose not to attend Faupala's coronation due to the ongoing dispute over the
The coronation took place in the presence of the French Secretary General to the Administrator Superior of Wallis and Futuna, since the current Administrator Superior,
Richard Didier, was traveling outside of Wallis and Futuna a the time. A large delegation from New Caledonia, which is also a French overseas possession, also attended the coronation. There are currently over 20,000 citizens of Wallis and Futuna residing in New Caledonia, which makes them an important community. New Caledonian dignitaries included Marie-Claude Tjibaou, the current Chair of New Caledonia Kanak Culture Development Agency. A number of pro-French New Caledonian political parties were also represented including the president of Future Together, Didier Leroux. Other New Caledonian political and traditional figures, such as the Chairman of South Province Philippe Gomèsand the High Chief of Lifou Island, Evanes Boula, also attended Faupala's coronation on invitation.
The New Caledonian delegation was careful not to become involved with the internal Wallisian royal succession dispute. Didier Leroux said in an interview with the local
Réseau France Outre-mer television stationthat, "We were invited to attend the ceremonies. But I'd like to point out that we come as external observers and I would not like to take sides in the current quarrel between one side or the other."
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