‘Riverdale’ star KJ Apa made a Samoan chief in traditional ceremony

KJ Apa is following in his father’s footsteps by changing into a chief in his village. 

On Aug. 31, 2022, the “Riverdale” star was formally granted the matai—or chief—title Savae throughout a ceremony held on the conventional grounds Laoa o Tamapua in Moata’a by the chiefs of his village, in line with Talamua. His father, Keneti Apa, is presently a chief of the village.

Apa shared a photograph from the ceremony on Instagram to mark the momentous event. Within the image, the actor donned conventional apparel, together with a superb mat round his physique in addition to a pale fuiono, which is a beaded headpiece, in line with NZ Herald. He seemed to be kneeling earlier than the opposite village chiefs and leaders amid the ceremony.

“O la’u fautuaga — o le a ou tautua i le tatou aiga ma le tatou nu’u. Fa’afetai i le Atua,” the 25-year-old wrote in Samoan in his caption, including the interpretation, “My goal is to serve my family and my village (Moata’a) Thank you God.”

Apa, who just lately made headlines for his dramatic buzzcut that removed his character Archie Andrews’ signature pink hair, has opened up prior to now about his Samoan heritage. 

Throughout a February 2021 look on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” host Jimmy Kimmel requested the actor what his identify stood for, which he defined, “KJ is short for Keneti James, which is a Samoan name. I’m named after my father.”

Apa shared extra about his father and his function within the village, including, “He holds the matai title—chief title—of the village that he’s from and I’m from called Moata’a in Samoa.”

The actor defined that after his grandfather handed away, his chief title was then handed alongside to his father. When requested if the title would then be handed right down to Apa, he replied, “I don’t know. I can’t speak Samoan… I would think it’s a huge responsibility. I don’t really feel adequate to be honest, but I doubt myself in almost everything that I do, so.”

Years prior throughout a February 2017 interview with Vulture, he spoke about his Samoan heritage his household on his father’s facet.

“I have a massive Samoan family. And the Samoan culture has always played a massive part of my life,” he defined. “I’ve got hundreds of family on my dad’s side that live in Samoa and in New Zealand. I’ve just been surrounded by the culture ever since I was a kid. I actually used to speak Samoan, but me and my sisters all kind of lost it. We go there at least once a year to see family. And my dad recently just got a traditional Samoan tattoo. He’s a chief in Samoa, so he got that tattoo to commemorate it.”

Apa has stated in a previous interview with Mr Porter that most individuals do not understand he’s half-Samoan as a result of “I’m white and I have red hair,” a quintessential piece of his “Riverdale” character’s look.

“I almost identify more as a Samoan than I do as a New Zealander, just because I grew up with so much Samoan family and the Samoan culture is really close to me,” he stated. “I feel ashamed of myself for not pursuing it more, for not spending more time with my Samoan side because I’m out there all the time.”

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