Samoa is a laid-back paradise, beautiful, and filled with tranquility. It feels like we’ve heard this before but it’s probably because it’s true, the independent state of Samoa until 1997 known as Western Samoa is a unitary parliamentary democracy with eleven administrative divisions. Samoa Has a culptivating culture, fascinating traditional way of life, and a vibrant History.
Samoa’s Incredible culture shows how Samoans express themselves differently with people throughout Oceania. In the Samoan culture their clothing has been adapted to modern life in Western Samoa, instead of pants and shorts the Samoans use the wraparound skirt they call a lavalava or ie. Different from the Hawaiian Malo which exposes bare skin the Ie covers the entire bottom portion of the body. The webpage The Samoan Culture suggests “women do the serving of the food and are required to wear ie (lavalavas) throughout the duration of preparing and serving the food. Regardless of what you’re wearing, you must wear one over your jeans, shorts, sweats, or whatever you’ve got on. This is just to show respect to the guests and the elders of your family.” However, in this day of age Hawaiians don’t wear Malos everywhere like the Samoan culture still does.
The Samoan culture is abundant with hidden symbolic meanings. That is why to preserve stories or show what family you belong to the Samoans have Tattoos. In fact, the Samoan culture communicated with more distinctive signs rather than words, that’s why they started with tattoos to show identity and personality. According to the webpage Polynesian Tattoo: History, Meanings, and Traditional Design suggests “Tattoos would indicate status in a hierarchical society as well as sexual maturity, genealogy and one’s rank within the society. Nearly everyone in ancient Polynesian society was tattooed.” Samoa’s culture was so infectious that when captain cook ventured on his first voyage, he narrated the behaviors of the Polynesian people in his voyage. In that voyage, he brought back a Polynesian named Ma?i who demonstrated the tattoos which Europeans fell in love with. Even some of them got a Polynesian tattoo on their body because of Ma?i.
The Samoan way of life heavily consisted with food. The traditional way of life back then as a Samoan included taro root, yams, bananas, coconuts, breadfruit, fish, turtle, and chicken. Even though pigs are raised, pork is reserved for ceremonial occasions. Many people would thing that Samoans eat or drink coconut on the daily but surprisingly they are wrong. From the webpage Countries and Their Culture informs “Coconut is not eaten in Western Samoa as it is in other areas. For a Samoan, eating coconut is a sign of poverty. The favorite Samoan beverage iskoko Samoa, which is made from fermented cacao beans (the source of chocolate and cocoa), water, and brown Fijian sugar. It is an essential part of the village meal in Western Samoa.” This being said shows the food portion of the traditional way Samoans eat.
In a Samoan House hold they have many rules and many traditions that they follow. In a house, most activities are done together. The family is very close being said they live in a house they call a Fale which is a house with no rooms or walls. Up to twenty people lives in a Fale all on a ground. As of the rite of Passage from when they are toddlers, they are expected to respect their elders without hesitation. There is no tolerance for misbehavior or disobedience, in fact older siblings are in duty to watch over their younger brethren. When they reach adulthood, they will receive a tattoo.
Samoa’s unique history connects with its people since the very beginning. In 1878 the United States signed a treaty for the establishment of a naval station in Pago Pago Harbor.
Before the 1700s when the early Europeans found Polynesia, but according to the Europeans Samoa was settled 3,500 years ago apart of the Austronesian Expansion. Samoa was founded in June 14, 1899 while an 1899 agreement between colonial powers divided Samoa, Germany gained control of the western islands, and the United States took the eastern islands.
In more recent history Samoa has raised a lot of very honorable Polynesians and have influenced the rest of the world completely. Many athletes in history have Polynesian blood from Samoa such as Troy Polamalu, Marcus Mariota, and Manti Te?o all professional athletes. These Samoans represent the Samoa and all of Oceania. Samoans also have a rich history in playing rugby such as Manu Tuilagi, Brian Lima, and Ausofa Aumua. These sports allow Samoa to get exposed and allow other people to know what the island of Samoa is all about.
Fa?a Samoa stands for the Samoan way and Samoans are proud to show this through their life every single day which is because of their rich culture, history, and traditional way of life. Once shown what the islands of Samoa has to offer it is sure to be a place where you don’t want to leave. A laid back paradise, this is Samoa.