Late King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV Tomb Lanukilikili

20 DECEMBER 2006

Fourth King of Tonga buried at the Malae Kula.
King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV died on 10 September at 2334 hrs Mercy Hospital Auckland, New Zealand and was buried on 19 September 2006 at the Royal Tombs Mala’e Kula.
From the death of our Tongan monarchy until the 100th night Virgil is maintained.

A lone Ha’atufunga
seated on the west side of the King’s burial mound awaiting the lanukilikili of the late monarch. The King’s mound is plain sand above and the lanukilikili process starts from the Tupou I, II, III and finally Tupou IV.


Lanukilikili is the soaking of the small black pebbles in the wooden sene [wooden bowl], straining of the small black pebbles [lanu ‘o e kilikili], waylaying into small brown cocoanut leaf basket, and passing [hakeaki’i ki mounga] the oiled black pebble basket to the nima tapu and poured [hifoaki ki mounga] on to the top of the white beach sand burial mounds [mounga].

Hifo’aki ki mounga

Hifo’aki ki mounga

The placement of the oil scented specially selected pebbles on top of the burial mound. The ritual of selection of the small black pebbles starts it’s journey from Niu’afo’ou 300 miles north of Tongatapu and Tofua 100 miles north of Tongatapu.

The people of Niu’afo’ou and Ha’apai selected and prepared the small rounded black pebbles. They were carried from quarries off shore to the nearest beach head and awaited smaller vessels for transportation to the main shipping route. The baggage of rounded black pebbles from the northern islands was transported to the main island of Tongatapu on the main inter islander ferry Olovaha. The several hundred sack loads was off loaded in Tongatapu and brought to the palace where a group of elder females are seated in a circle and  select the appropriate black pebble.
The selection process includes colour, size and roundness of the kilikili [black pebbles].
Hon. Phaedra Fusitua and Hon Fatafehi ‘o Lapaha Tuita carry heavily bottled scented oil

Hon. Phaedra Fusitua and Hon Fatafehi ‘o Lapaha Tuita carry heavily bottled scented oil to the ha’atufunga as part of the ceremonial lanukilikili.

Three wooden kava bowls pictured carved by Toni of Ma’ufanga. The tree trunk used for the carving of the kava bowls above was kindly donated by Hon. Tu’iha’ateiho.