Stone Methodist church, Satupa'itea c. 1908
Map of Samoa showing Satupa'itea district
In the country's modern political divisions, Satupa'itea is also a Political District (Itumalo), one of 11 in the country, which now includes the traditional area of Salega.
Geographically, the district consists of two divisions separated by Palauli district.
The paramount chiefly title of the district is Tonumaipe'a, with special relevance in the Alataua sub-district (the western half of the district).
During the 19th century, Satupa'itea was an important stronghold for the early Methodist mission in Samoa. The English Methodist missionary George Brown (1835-1917) arrived in Samoa in 1860 and lived with his wife Lydia in Satupa'itea. They lived in a bamboo hut for the first two years and later constructed a mission house. In 1863, Brown began to train teachers at Satupa'itea for the ministry. The 'training' for the Methodist ministry was later established, in 1868, at Lufilufi on the north coast of Upolu island as the Piula Theological College.