HOME

TheInfoList




Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a s ...

Polynesia
n
island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an indepe ...
consisting of two main islands ( Savai'i and
Upolu Upolu is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerry, sk ...

Upolu
), two smaller, inhabited islands (
Manono
Manono
and
Apolima Apolima is the smallest of the four inhabited islands of Samoa. It lies in the Apolima Strait, between the country's two largest islands: Upolu to the east, and Savai'i to the west. The island has one village settlement, Apolima Tai, with a popul ...
), and several smaller, uninhabited islands, including the
Aleipata Islands The Aleipata Islands are a group of four uninhabited islands off the eastern end of Upolu Upolu is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_i ...
( Nu'utele, Nu'ulua,
Fanuatapu Fanuatapu, an uninhabited island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_Lower_Saranac_Lake.jpg.html" ...
and
Namua Namu'a is a small, uninhabited island off the east coast of Upolu Upolu is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Euro ...
). Samoa is located 64 kilometres west of
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
, 889 kilometres northeast of
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...

Tonga
(closest foreign country), 1,152 kilometres northeast of
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies about northeast of New Zealand. Fiji consists of an archipelago ...

Fiji
, 483 kilometres east of
Wallis and Futuna Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands (; french: Wallis-et-Futuna or ', Fakauvea Wallisian, or Uvean ( wls, Fakauvea, links=no), is the Polynesian language spoken on Wallis (island), Wallis Island (also k ...
, 1,151 kilometres southeast of
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country in the Polynesian subregion of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean. Its islands are situated about midway between Hawaii and Australia. They lie east-northeast of the Santa Cruz ...

Tuvalu
, 519 kilometres south of
Tokelau Tokelau (; "north-northeast"; known previously as the Union Islands, and, until 1976, known officially as the Tokelau Islands) is a dependent territory of New Zealand in the southern Pacific Ocean. It consists of three tropical coral atolls: A ...

Tokelau
, 4,190 kilometres southwest of
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
and 610 kilometres northwest of
Niue Niue ( or ; niu, Niuē) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, r ...

Niue
. The capital city is
Apia Apia is the capital of Samoa Samoa (), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesian island country consisting of two main isl ...
. The
Lapita The Lapita culture is the name given to a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by ...
people discovered and settled the
Samoan Islands The Samoan Islands are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands. Indonesian Archi ...

Samoan Islands
around 3,500 years ago. They developed a
Samoan language Samoan ( or ; ) is the language of the Samoan Islands The Samoan Islands are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containin ...
and
Samoan cultural identity Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands ** Something of, from, o ...
. Samoa is a
unitary Unitary may refer to: * Unitary construction, in automotive design a common term for unibody (unitary body/chassis) construction * Lethal Unitary Chemical Agents and Munitions (Unitary), as chemical weapons opposite of Binary * Unitarianism, in Chr ...
parliamentary democracy A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the government of a state (polity), state, by a market (economics), mar ...
with
eleven administrative divisions Eleven or 11 may refer to: *11 (number), the natural number following 10 and preceding 12 * one of the years 11 BC, AD 11, 1911, 2011 Literature *Eleven (novel), ''Eleven'' (novel), a 2006 novel by British author David Llewellyn *''Eleven'', a 1 ...
. The
sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geographic area. International law defines sovereign states as having a permanent population, defined territory, one government ...
is a member of the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territorial evolution of the British Empire, territories of the British Empire. The chief ins ...

Commonwealth of Nations
. Western Samoa was admitted to the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for har ...
on 15 December 1976. Because of the Samoans' seafaring skills, pre-20th-century European explorers referred to the entire
island group An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands. Indonesian Archipelago, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the ...
(which includes
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
) as the "Navigator Islands." The country was a colony of the German Empire from 1899 to 1915, then came under a joint British and New Zealand colonial administration until 1 January 1962, when it became independent.


History


Early Samoa

Samoa was discovered and settled by the Samoans' Lapita ancestors (Austronesian people who spoke
Oceanic languages The approximately 450 Oceanic languages are a branch of the Austronesian languages The Austronesian languages () are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), ...

Oceanic languages
). New Zealand scientists have dated the earliest human remains found in Samoa to between roughly 2900 and 3500 years ago. The remains were discovered at a
Lapita The Lapita culture is the name given to a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by ...
site at
Mulifanua Image:Samoa - Mulifanua ferry.JPG, 250px, Cars wait for the Savai'i ferry Mulifanua is a village on the north-western tip of the island of Upolu, in Samoa. In the modern era, it is the Capital (political), capital of Aiga-i-le-Tai districts of Samo ...
, and the scientists' findings were published in 1974. The Samoans' origins have been studied in modern times through scientific research on Polynesian
genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, p ...

genetics
,
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...

linguistics
and
anthropology Anthropology is the of ity, concerned with , , , and , in both the present and past, including . studies patterns of behaviour, while studies cultural meaning, including norms and values. studies how language influences social life. studi ...
. Although this research is ongoing, a number of theories have been proposed. One theory is that the original Samoans were
Austronesians The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan (collectively known as Taiwanese indigenous peoples), Maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar that ...
who arrived during a final period of eastward expansion of the Lapita peoples out of Southeast Asia and
Melanesia Melanesia (, ) is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from the island of New Guinea in the west to Tonga in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea. The region includes the four independent countries of Fiji, V ...

Melanesia
between 2,500 and 1,500 BCE. Intimate sociocultural and genetic ties were maintained between Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga, and the archaeological record supports oral tradition and native genealogies that indicate inter-island voyaging and intermarriage between pre-colonial Samoans, Fijians, and Tongans. Notable figures in Samoan history included the Tui Manu'a line, Queen
SalamasinaQueen Salamasina (floruit in the 1500s) was a powerful and high-ranking woman in History of Samoa, Samoan social history. She held the four papā (district) titles which gave her the paramount status of Tafa‘ifā ('one supported by four') on the we ...
, King Fonoti and the four tama-a-aiga:
Malietoa Mālietoa ( ''Mālietoa'') is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily n ...
,
Tupua Tamasese File:Tupua Tamasese Tupuola Tufuga Efi 00.jpg, Samoa's former Prime Minister and Head of State and current holder of the title, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, 290x290pxTupua (known as Tupua Tamasese) is a State (polity), state dynasty and one of the f ...
,
Mata'afa Matā'afa is one of the four paramount ''tama-a-'aiga'' (maximal lineage) titles of Samoa.
and Tuimalealiifano.
Nafanua Nafanua was an historical ''ali'i'' (chief/queen) and ''toa'' (warrior) of Samoa Samoa (), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynes ...
was a famous woman warrior who was deified in ancient Samoan religion and whose patronage was highly sought after by successive Samoan rulers. Today, all of Samoa is united under its two principal royal families: the Sā Malietoa of the ancient Malietoa lineage that defeated the Tongans in the 13th century; and the Sā Tupua, Queen Salamasina's descendants and heirs who ruled Samoa in the centuries that followed her reign. Within these two principal lineages are the four highest titles of Samoa - the elder titles of Malietoa and Tupua Tamasese of antiquity as well as the newer Mata'afa and Tuimalealiifano titles who rose to prominence in 19th century wars that preceded the colonial period. These four titles form the apex of the Samoan matai system as it stands today. Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century.
Jacob Roggeveen Jacob Roggeveen (1 February 1659 – 31 January 1729) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch explorer who was sent to find Terra Australis and Davis Land, but instead found Easter Island (called so because he landed there on Easter Sunday). Jacob Roggeveen a ...

Jacob Roggeveen
, a Dutchman, was the first known non-Polynesian to sight the Samoan islands in 1722. This visit was followed by French explorer
Louis-Antoine de Bougainville Louis-Antoine, Comte de Bougainville (, , ; 12 November 1729 – August 1811) was a French admiral and exploration, explorer. A contemporary of the British explorer James Cook, he took part in the Seven Years' War in North America and the America ...

Louis-Antoine de Bougainville
, who named them the ''Navigator Islands'' in 1768. Contact was limited before the 1830s, which is when English
missionaries A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or provide services, such as education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), va ...

missionaries
, whalers and traders began arriving.


Samoa in the 1800s

Visits by American trading and
whaling Number of whales killed through time Whaling is the process of hunting Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife or feral animals. The most common reasons for humans to hunt are to harvest useful animal ...

whaling
vessels were important in the early economic development of Samoa. The Salem brig ''Roscoe'' (Captain Benjamin Vanderford), in October 1821, was the first American trading vessel known to have called, and the ''Maro'' (Captain Richard Macy) of
Nantucket Nantucket is an island about by ferry south from Cape Cod Cape Cod is a geographic cape extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massa ...

Nantucket
, in 1824, was the first recorded United States whaler at Samoa. The whalers came for fresh drinking water, firewood and provisions, and later, they recruited local men to serve as crewmen on their ships. The last recorded whaler visitor was the ''Governor Morton'' in 1870. Christian missionary work in Samoa began in 1830 when
John Williams John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer A composer (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken ...
of the
London Missionary Society The London Missionary Society was an interdenominational evangelical missionary society formed in England in 1795 at the instigation of Welsh Congregationalist minister Edward Williams. It was largely Reformed tradition, Reformed in outlook, with C ...
arrived in Sapapali'i from the
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua Avarua (meaning "Two Harbours" in Cook Islands Māori) is a town and district in the north of the island of Rarotonga, and is ...
and
Tahiti Tahiti (; Tahitian language, Tahitian ; ; previously also known as Otaheite) is the largest island of the Windward Islands (Society Islands), Windward group of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, located in the central part of the Pacific ...

Tahiti
. According to Barbara A. West, "The Samoans were also known to engage in 'headhunting', a ritual of war in which a warrior took the head of his slain opponent to give to his leader, thus proving his bravery." In '' A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa'' (1892)
Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson (born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson; 13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, essayist, poet and travel writer. He is best known for works such as ''Treasure Island'', ''Strange Case of Dr Jekyll an ...

Robert Louis Stevenson
, details the activities of the great powers battling for influence in Samoa – the United States, Germany and Britain – and the political machinations of the various Samoan factions within their indigenous political system.Stevenson, Robert Louis (1892).
A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa
' at Gutenberg.
Even as they descended into ever greater interclan warfare, what most alarmed Stevenson was the Samoans' economic innocence. In 1894 just months before his death, he addressed the island chiefs:
There is but one way to defend Samoa. Hear it before it is too late. It is to make roads, and gardens, and care for your trees, and sell their produce wisely, and, in one word, to occupy and use your country... if you do not occupy and use your country, others will. It will not continue to be yours or your children’s, if you occupy it for nothing. You and your children will in that case be cast out into outer darkness".
He had "seen these judgments of God," in Hawaii where abandoned native churches stood like tombstones "over a grave, in the midst of the white men’s sugar fields". The Germans, in particular, began to show great commercial interest in the Samoan Islands, especially on the island of Upolu, where German firms monopolised
copra Copra ( > ) refers to the dried coconut The coconut tree (''Cocos nucifera'') is a member of the palm tree family (biology), family (Arecaceae) and the only living species of the genus ''Cocos''. The term "coconut" (or the archaic "coc ...

copra
and
cocoa bean The cocoa bean or simply cocoa (), also called the cacao bean or cacao (), is the dried and fully Fermentation, fermented seed of ''Theobroma cacao'', from which cocoa solids (a mixture of nonfat substances) and cocoa butter (the fat) can be ex ...
processing. The United States laid its own claim, based on commercial shipping interests in Pearl River in
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
and Pago Pago Bay in
Eastern Samoa Image:American Samoa Districts.png, 200px, The Eastern District of American Samoa is shown in red. The Eastern District is one of the primary Administrative_divisions_of_American_Samoa, districts of American Samoa. It consists of the eastern portion ...
, and forced alliances, most conspicuously on the islands of
Tutuila Tutuila is the main island of American Samoa (and its largest), and is part of the archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing ...

Tutuila
and Manu'a which became
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
. Britain also sent troops to protect British business enterprise, harbour rights, and consulate office. This was followed by an eight-year civil war, during which each of the three powers supplied arms, training and in some cases combat troops to the warring Samoan parties. The
Samoan crisis The Samoan Crisis was a standoff between the United States, the German Empire, and the British Empire from 1887 to 1889 over control of the Samoan Islands during the First Samoan Civil War. The incident involved three US Navy warships (the sloop-o ...
came to a critical juncture in March 1889 when all three colonial contenders sent warships into Apia harbour, and a larger-scale war seemed imminent. A massive storm on 15 March 1889 damaged or destroyed the warships, ending the military conflict. The
Second Samoan Civil War The Second Samoan Civil War was a conflict that reached a head in 1898 when Germany, the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Gu ...

Second Samoan Civil War
reached a head in 1898 when
Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas to the north, and the to the south; it covers an area of ...
, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, and the United States were locked in dispute over who should control the
Samoan Islands The Samoan Islands are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands. Indonesian Archi ...

Samoan Islands
. The Siege of Apia occurred in March 1899. Samoan forces loyal to Prince
TanuTanu may refer to: People * Malietoa Tanumafili I (1879–1939), Samoan prince * Tanu Nona (1902–1980), Australian pearler and politician * Tanu Roy (born 1980), Indian actress and model * Tanu (born 1997), a Finnish/Assyrian rapper Places * Tan ...

Tanu
were besieged by a larger force of Samoan rebels loyal to
Mata'afa Iosefo Mata'afa Iosefo (1832 – 6 February 1912) was a Paramount Chief A paramount chief is the English-language designation for the highest-level political leader in a regional or local polity or country administered politically with a Chiefdom, chief ...
. Supporting Prince Tanu were landing parties from four British and American warships. After several days of fighting, the Samoan rebels were finally defeated. American and British warships shelled Apia on 15 March 1899, including the . Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States quickly resolved to end the hostilities and divided the island chain at the Tripartite Convention of 1899, signed at Washington on 2 December 1899 with ratifications exchanged on 16 February 1900.Ryden, George Herbert. ''The Foreign Policy of the United States in Relation to Samoa''. New York: Octagon Books, 1975. (Reprint by special arrangement with Yale University Press. Originally published at New Haven: Yale University Press, 1928), p. 574 The eastern island-group became a territory of the United States (the Tutuila Islands in 1900 and officially Manu'a in 1904) and was known as
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
. The western islands, by far the greater landmass, became
German Samoa German Samoa (german: Deutsch-Samoa) was a German Empire, German protectorate from 1900 to 1919, consisting of the islands of Upolu, Savai'i, Apolima and Manono Island, Manono, now wholly within the independent state of Samoa, formerly ''Western S ...
. The United Kingdom had vacated all claims in Samoa and in return received (1) termination of German rights in
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...

Tonga
, (2) all of the Solomon Islands south of Bougainville, and (3) territorial alignments in West Africa.


German Samoa (1900–1914)

The German Empire governed the western part of the Samoan archipelago from 1900 to 1914.
Wilhelm Solf Wilhelm Heinrich Solf (5 October 1862 – 6 February 1936) was a German scholar, diplomat, jurist and statesman. Early life Wilhelm Solf was born into a wealthy and liberal family in Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List ...

Wilhelm Solf
was appointed the colony's first governor. In 1908, when the non-violent Mau a Pule resistance movement arose, Solf did not hesitate to banish the Mau leader to Saipan in the German
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territory Under Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
. The German colonial administration governed on the principle that "there was only one government in the islands." Thus, there was no Samoan ''Tupu'' (king), nor an ''alii sili'' (similar to a governor), but two ''Fautua'' (advisors) were appointed by the colonial government. ''Tumua'' and ''Pule'' (traditional governments of Upolu and Savai'i) were for a time silent; all decisions on matters affecting lands and titles were under the control of the colonial Governor. In the first month of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, on 29 August 1914, troops of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force landed unopposed on Upolu and seized control from the German authorities, following a request by Great Britain for
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
to perform this "great and urgent imperial service."


New Zealand rule (1914–1962)

From the end of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
until 1962, New Zealand controlled Western Samoa as a Class C Mandate under
trusteeship Trustee (or the holding of a trusteeship) is a legal term which, in its broadest sense, is a synonym for anyone in a position of trust and so can refer to any person who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or responsibility to transfe ...
through the
League of Nations The League of Nations (french: Société des Nations ), was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member state ...
, then through the United Nations. Between 1919 and 1962, Samoa was administered by the
Department of External Affairs A foreign affairs minister or minister of foreign affairs (less commonly minister for foreign affairs) is generally a Cabinet (government), cabinet Minister (government), minister in charge of a sovereign state, state's foreign policy and foreign ...
, a government department which had been specially created to oversee New Zealand's Island Territories and Samoa."External Affairs Bill", in ''New Zealand Parliamentary Debates'', Vol. 185 (3 October–5 November 1919), p.337. In 1943, this department was renamed the Department of Island Territories after a separate
Department of External Affairs A foreign affairs minister or minister of foreign affairs (less commonly minister for foreign affairs) is generally a Cabinet (government), cabinet Minister (government), minister in charge of a sovereign state, state's foreign policy and foreign ...
was created to conduct New Zealand's foreign affairs. During the period of New Zealand control, their administrators were responsible for two major incidents.


Flu pandemic

In the first incident, approximately one fifth of the Samoan population died in the influenza epidemic of 1918–1919. In 1918, during the final stages of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, the
Spanish flu Spanish flu, also known as the Great Influenza epidemic or the 1918 influenza pandemic, was an exceptionally deadly global influenza pandemic An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of an influenza virus that spreads across a large region ...
had taken its toll, spreading rapidly from country to country. On Samoa, there had been no epidemic of pneumonic influenza in Western Samoa before the arrival of the SS ''Talune'' from
Auckland Auckland ( mi, Tāmaki Makaurau) is a large metropolitan city in the of . The in the country, Auckland has an urban population of about It is located in the —the area governed by —which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the ...

Auckland
on 7 November 1918. The NZ administration allowed the ship to berth in breach of quarantine; within seven days of this ship's arrival, influenza became epidemic in Upolu and then spread rapidly throughout the rest of the territory. Samoa suffered the most of all Pacific islands, with 90% of the population infected; 30% of adult men, 22% of adult women and 10% of children died. The cause of the epidemic was confirmed in 1919 by a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Epidemic concluded that there had been no epidemic of pneumonic influenza in Western Samoa before the arrival of the ''Talune'' from Auckland on 7 November 1918.


Mau movement

The second major incident arose out of an initially peaceful protest by the
Mau Mau may refer to: Places France * Mau (river), a small tributary of the Marne (river), Marne in Châlons-en-Champagne Kenya * Mau Escarpment * Mau Forest India * Mau, Agra, a List of villages in Agra district#M, village in Agra district ...
(which literally translates as "strongly held opinion"), a non-violent popular movement which had its beginnings in the early 1900s on Savai'i, led by , an orator chief deposed by Solf. In 1909, Lauaki was exiled to
Saipan Saipan ( ch, Sa’ipan, formerly in es, Saipán, and in ja, 彩帆島, Saipan-tō) is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a Commonwealth (U.S. insular area), commonwealth of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. Acc ...

Saipan
and died en route back to Samoa in 1915. By 1918, Western Samoa had a population of some 38,000 Samoans and 1,500 Europeans. However, native Samoans greatly resented New Zealand's colonial rule, and blamed inflation and the catastrophic 1918 flu epidemic on its misrule. By the late 1920s the resistance movement against colonial rule had gathered widespread support. One of the Mau leaders was
Olaf Frederick Nelson Ta'isi Olaf Frederick Nelson (24 February 1883 – 28 February 1944) was a Samoans, Samoan businessman and politician. He was one of the founding leaders of the anti-colonial Mau movement. Biography Nelson was born on 24 February 1883 in Safune ...
, a half Samoan and half Swedish merchant. Nelson was eventually
exile To be in exile means to be forced away from one's home (i.e. village A village is a clustered human settlement In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scien ...

exile
d during the late 1920s and early 1930s, but he continued to assist the organisation financially and politically. In accordance with the Mau's non-violent philosophy, the newly elected leader, High Chief Tupua Tamasese Lealofi, led his fellow uniformed Mau in a peaceful demonstration in downtown Apia on 28 December 1929. The New Zealand police attempted to arrest one of the leaders in the demonstration. When he resisted, a struggle developed between the police and the Mau. The officers began to fire randomly into the crowd and a
Lewis machine gun The Lewis gun (or Lewis automatic machine gun or Lewis automatic rifle) is a World War I, First World War–era light machine gun. Designed privately in America but not adopted, the design was finalised and mass-produced in the United Kingdom, an ...
, mounted in preparation for this demonstration, was used to disperse the demonstrators. Mau leader and paramount chief
Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III Tupua Tamasese Lealofi-o-ā'ana III (4 May 1901 – 29 December 1929) was a Fa'amatai, paramount chief of Samoa, who became the leader of the country's pro-independence Mau movement from early 1928 until his death in 1929. Inspired by his Christ ...

Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III
was shot from behind and killed while trying to bring calm and order to the Mau demonstrators. Ten others died that day and approximately 50 were injured by gunshot wounds and police batons. That day would come to be known in Samoa as Black Saturday. The Mau grew, remaining steadfastly non-violent, and expanded to include the highly influential women's branch.


Independence (1962)

After repeated efforts by the Samoan independence movement, the New Zealand
Western Samoa Act 1961 Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...
of 24 November 1961 granted Samoa independence, effective on 1 January 1962, upon which the Trusteeship Agreement terminated. Samoa also signed a friendship treaty with New Zealand. Samoa, the first small-island country in the Pacific to become independent, joined the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territorial evolution of the British Empire, territories of the British Empire. The chief ins ...

Commonwealth of Nations
on 28 August 1970. While independence was achieved at the beginning of January, Samoa annually celebrates 1 June as its independence day. Travel writer Paul Theroux noted marked differences between the societies in Western Samoa and
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
in 1992. In 2002, New Zealand's prime minister Helen Clark formally apologised for New Zealand's role in Spanish Influenza outbreak in 1918 that killed over a quarter of Samoa's population and for the Black Saturday killings in 1929.


1997 name change

On 4 July 1997 the government amended the constitution to change the country's name from ''Western Samoa'' to ''Samoa''. However, in the United Nations, the country's name had always been ''Samoa''.
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
protested against the move, asserting that the change diminished its own identity.


21st century

On 7 September 2009, the government changed the Right- and left-hand traffic, rule of the road, from right to left, in common with most other Commonwealth countries, most notably countries in the region such as Australia and
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
, home to large numbers of Samoans. This made Samoa the first country in the 21st century to switch to driving on the left. At the end of December 2011, Samoa changed its time zone offset from UTC−11 to UTC+13, effectively jumping forward by one day, omitting Friday, 30 December from the local calendar. This also had the effect of changing the shape of the International Date Line, moving it to the east of the territory. This change aimed to help the nation boost its economy in doing business with Australia and
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
. Before this change, Samoa was 21 hours behind Sydney, but the change means it is now three hours ahead. The previous time zone, implemented on 4 July 1892, operated in line with American traders based in California. In October 2021, Samoa ceased the daylight saving time. In 2017, Samoa signed the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In June 2017, Parliament established an amendment to Article 1 of the Samoan Constitution, thereby making Christianity the state religion. In May 2021, Fiame Naomi Mataʻafa became Samoa's first female prime minister. Mataʻafa's Faʻatuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi, FAST party narrowly won the 2021 Samoan general election, election, ending the rule of long-term Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, although the 2021 Samoan constitutional crisis, constitutional crisis complicated and delayed this. On 24 May 2021, she was sworn in as the new prime minister, though it was not until July that the Supreme Court ruled that her swearing-in was legal, thus ending the constitutional crisis and bringing an end to Tuilaʻepa's 22-year premiership.


Government and politics

The Constitution of Samoa, 1960 constitution, which formally came into force with independence from New Zealand in 1962, builds on the British pattern of
parliamentary democracy A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance Governance comprises all of the processes of governing – whether undertaken by the government of a state (polity), state, by a market (economics), mar ...
, modified to take account of Samoan customs. The national modern Government of Samoa is referred to as the ''Malo''. Fiame Mata'afa Faumuina Mulinu'u II, one of the four highest-ranking paramount chiefs in the country, became Samoa's first Prime Minister of Samoa, Prime Minister. Two other paramount chiefs at the time of independence were appointed joint head of state, heads of state for life. Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole died in 1963, leaving Malietoa Tanumafili II sole head of state until his death on 11 May 2007. The next Head of State was Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, was elected by the legislature on 17 June 2007 for a fixed five-year term, and was re-elected unopposed in July 2012. He was succeeded by Tuimalealiifano Va'aletoa Sualauvi II in 2017. The unicameral legislature (the Fono) consists of 51 members serving 5-year terms. Forty-nine are ''fa'amatai, matai'' title-holders elected from territorial districts by Samoans; the other two are chosen by non-Samoans with no chiefly affiliation on separate electoral rolls. At least, 10% of the MPs are women. Universal suffrage was adopted in 1990, but only chiefs (matai) may stand for election to the Samoan seats. There are more than 25,000 matais in the country, about 5% of whom are women. The prime minister, chosen by a majority in the Fono, is appointed by the head of state to form a government. The prime minister's choices for the 12 Cabinet of Samoa, cabinet positions are appointed by the head of state, subject to the continuing confidence of the Fono. Prominent women in Samoan politics include the late Laulu Fetauimalemau Mata'afa (1928–2007) from Lotofaga constituency, the wife of Samoa's first prime minister. Their daughter Naomi Mataʻafa, Fiame Naomi Mataʻafa is a high chief and a long-serving senior member of cabinet, who was elected Prime Minister in 2021. Other women in politics include Samoan scholar and eminent professor Aiono Fanaafi Le Tagaloa, orator-chief Matatumua Maimoana and Safuneitu'uga Pa'aga Neri ( the Minister of Communication and Technology). The judicial system incorporates English common law and local customs. The Supreme Court of Samoa is the court of highest jurisdiction. The Chief Justice of Samoa is appointed by the head of state upon the recommendation of the prime minister.


Administrative divisions

Samoa comprises eleven ''itūmālō'' (political districts). These are the traditional eleven districts which predate European arrival. Each district has its own constitutional foundation (''fa'avae'') based on the traditional order of title precedence found in each district's ''faalupega'' (traditional salutations). The capital village of each district administers and coordinates the affairs of the district and confers each district's paramount title, amongst other responsibilities. For example: A'ana has its capital at Leulumoega. The paramount '''tama-a-'aiga (royal lineage) title of A'ana is Tuimaleali'ifano, Tuimalealiifano. The paramount ''pāpā'' title of A'ana is the Tui A'ana Tuimalealiifano Va'aletoa Sualauvi II, Tui A'ana. The orator group which confers this title – the ''Faleiva'' (House of Nine) – is based at Leulumoega. Atua (district), Ātua has its capital at Lufilufi. The paramount '''tama-a-'aiga (royal lineage) titles of A'ana are Tupua Tamasese (based in Falefa and Salani) and Mata'afa (based in Amaile and Lotofaga). The two main political families who confer the respective titles are Falefa, 'Aiga Sā Fenunuivao and 'Lotofaga, Aiga Sā Levālasi. The paramount ''pāpā'' title of Ātua is the Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, Tui Ātua. The orator group which confers this title - the ''Faleono'' (House of Six) - is based at Lufilufi. Tuamasaga has its capital at Afega. The paramount '''tama-a-'aiga (royal lineage) title of Tuamasaga is the
Malietoa Mālietoa ( ''Mālietoa'') is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily n ...
title, based in Malie. The main political family that confers the Malietoa title is 'Aiga Sā Malietoa, with Auimatagi as the main speaker for the family. The paramount ''pāpā'' titles of Tuamasaga are Gatoaitele (conferred by Afega) and Vaetamasoalii (conferred by Safata). The eleven ''itūmālō'' are identified to be: On
Upolu Upolu is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerry, sk ...

Upolu

:1. Tuamasaga (Afega)1 :2. A'ana (Leulumoega) :3. Aiga-i-le-Tai (
Mulifanua Image:Samoa - Mulifanua ferry.JPG, 250px, Cars wait for the Savai'i ferry Mulifanua is a village on the north-western tip of the island of Upolu, in Samoa. In the modern era, it is the Capital (political), capital of Aiga-i-le-Tai districts of Samo ...
)2 :4. Atua (district), Atua (Lufilufi)3 :5. Va'a-o-Fonoti (Samamea) On Savai'i
:6. Fa'asaleleaga (Safotulafai) :7. Gaga'emauga (Saleaula)4 :8. Gaga'ifomauga (Safotu) :9. Vaisigano (Asau (Samoa), Asau) :10. Satupa'itea (Satupa'itea) :11. Palauli (Vailoa) 1
2
3
4


Human rights

Major areas of concern include the under-representation of women, domestic violence and poor prison conditions. LGBT rights in Samoa, Homosexual acts are illegal in Samoa.


Christian revival

In June 2017, an Act was passed changing the country's constitution to include a reference to the Trinity. As amended, Article 1 of the Samoan Constitution states that "Samoa is a Christian nation founded of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit". According to ''The Diplomat'', "What Samoa has done is shift references to Christianity into the body of the constitution, giving the text far more potential to be used in legal processes." The preamble to the constitution already described the country as "an independent State based on Christian principles and Samoan custom and traditions."


Geography

Samoa lies south of the equator, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, in the
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a s ...

Polynesia
n region of the Pacific Ocean. The total land area is , consisting of the two large islands of
Upolu Upolu is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerry, sk ...

Upolu
and Savai'i (which together account for 99% of the total land area) and eight small islets. The islets are: * the three islets in the Apolima Strait (Manono Island,
Apolima Apolima is the smallest of the four inhabited islands of Samoa. It lies in the Apolima Strait, between the country's two largest islands: Upolu to the east, and Savai'i to the west. The island has one village settlement, Apolima Tai, with a popul ...
and Nu'ulopa) * the four
Aleipata Islands The Aleipata Islands are a group of four uninhabited islands off the eastern end of Upolu Upolu is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_i ...
off the eastern end of Upolu ( Nu'utele, Nu'ulua,
Namua Namu'a is a small, uninhabited island off the east coast of Upolu Upolu is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Euro ...
, and
Fanuatapu Fanuatapu, an uninhabited island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_Lower_Saranac_Lake.jpg.html" ...
) * Nu'usafe'e, which is less than in area and lies about off the south coast of Upolu at the village of ''Vaovai'' The main island of Upolu is home to nearly three-quarters of Samoa's population, and to the capital city, Apia, Samoa, Apia. The Samoan islands result geologically from volcanism, originating with the Samoa hotspot, which probably results from a mantle plume. While all of the islands have volcanic origins, only Savai'i, the westernmost island in Samoa, remains volcanically active, with the most recent eruptions at Mt Matavanu (1905–1911), Mata Ole Afi, Mata o le Afi (1902) and Mauga Afi (1725). The highest point in Samoa is Silisili, Mt Silisili, at . The Saleaula lava fields situated on the central north coast of Savai'i result from the Mt Matavanu eruptions, which left of solidified lava. Savai'i is the largest of the Samoan islands and the sixth-largest Polynesian island (after New Zealand's North Island, North, South Island, South and Stewart Island/Rakiura, Stewart Islands and the Hawaiian islands of Hawaii (island), Hawaiʻi and Maui). The population of Savai'i is 42,000 people.


Climate

Samoa has an equatorial climate, with an average annual temperature of and a main rainy season from November to April, although heavy rain may fall in any month.


Ecology

Samoa forms part of the Samoan tropical moist forests ecoregion. Since human habitation began, about 80% of the lowland rainforests have disappeared. Within the ecoregion about 28% of plants and 84% of land birds are endemic.


Economy

The United Nations has classified Samoa as an developing country, economically developing country since 2014. Samoa's gross domestic product in purchasing-power parity was estimated at $1.13 billion United States dollar, U.S. dollars, ranking the country 204th in the world. The tertiary sector of the economy, services sector accounted for 66% of GDP, followed by Industrial sector, industry and agriculture at 23.6% and 10.4% respectively. For the same year, the Samoan workforce, labour force was estimated at 50,700. The Central Bank of Samoa issues and regulates Samoa's currency, the Samoan tala, Samoan tālā. The economy of Samoa has traditionally depended on agriculture and fishing at the local level. In modern times, development aid, private family remittances from overseas, and agricultural exports have become key factors in the nation's economy. Agriculture employs two-thirds of the labour force and furnishes 90% of exports, featuring coconut cream, coconut oil, noni (juice of the ''nonu'' fruit, as it is known in Samoan), and
copra Copra ( > ) refers to the dried coconut The coconut tree (''Cocos nucifera'') is a member of the palm tree family (biology), family (Arecaceae) and the only living species of the genus ''Cocos''. The term "coconut" (or the archaic "coc ...

copra
. Sixty percent of Samoa's electricity comes from renewable hydroelectricity, hydro, solar, and wind sources, with the remainder produced by diesel generators. The Electric Power Corporation set a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2021. See the main article for more detail of the Economy of Samoa


Agriculture

In the period before German colonisation (from the late 19th century), Samoa produced mostly copra. German merchants and settlers were active in introducing large-scale plantation operations and in developing new industries, notably cocoa beans and rubber, relying on imported labourers from China and
Melanesia Melanesia (, ) is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from the island of New Guinea in the west to Tonga in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea. The region includes the four independent countries of Fiji, V ...

Melanesia
. When the value of natural rubber fell drastically, about the end of the Great War (
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
) in 1918, the
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
government encouraged the production of bananas, for which there is a large market in
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
. Because of variations in altitude, Samoa can cultivate a large range of tropical and subtropical crops. Land is not generally available to outside interests. Of the total land area of , about 24.4% is in permanent crops and another 21.2% is arable. About 4.4% is Western Samoan Trust Estates Corporation (WSTEC). The staple products of Samoa are copra (dried coconut meat),
cocoa bean The cocoa bean or simply cocoa (), also called the cacao bean or cacao (), is the dried and fully Fermentation, fermented seed of ''Theobroma cacao'', from which cocoa solids (a mixture of nonfat substances) and cocoa butter (the fat) can be ex ...
s (for chocolate), rubber, and bananas. The annual production of both bananas and copra has been in the range of 13,000 to 15,000 metric tons (about 14,500 to 16,500 short tons). If the Asiatic rhinoceros beetle in Samoa were eradicated, Samoa could produce in excess of 40,000 metric tons (44,000 short tons) of copra. Samoan cocoa beans are of very high quality and are used in fine New Zealand chocolates. Most are Criollo (cocoa bean), Criollo-Forastero hybrids. Coffee grows well, but production has been uneven. WESTEC is the biggest coffee producer. Other agricultural industries have proven less successful. Sugarcane production, was originally established by Germans in the early 20th century. Old train tracks for transporting cane can be seen at some plantations east of
Apia Apia is the capital of Samoa Samoa (), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesian island country consisting of two main isl ...
. Pineapples grow well in Samoa, but have not moved beyond local consumption to become a major export.


Demographics

Samoa reported a population of 194,320 in its 2016 census. About three-quarters of the population live on the main island of
Upolu Upolu is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerry, sk ...

Upolu
.


Health

A measles outbreak began in October 2019. As of 7 December, there have been 68 deaths (0.31 per 1,000, based on a population of 201,316) and over 4,460 cases (2.2% of the population) of measles in Samoa, mainly children under four years old, and 10 reported cases in
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies about northeast of New Zealand. Fiji consists of an archipelago ...

Fiji
. It is expected that 70 people will die and up to 6,500 people will be infected.


Ethnic groups

The population is 92.6% Samoans, 7% Euronesian (people of mixed Europeans, European and Polynesians, Polynesian ancestry) and 0.4% Europeans, according to the The World Factbook, CIA World Factbook.


Languages

Samoan (''Gagana Fa'asāmoa'') and English are the official languages. Including second-language speakers, there are more speakers of Samoan than English in Samoa. Samoan Sign Language is also commonly used among the Hearing loss, deaf population of Samoa. To emphasize the importance of full inclusion with sign language, elementary Samoan Sign Language was taught to members of the Samoa Police Service, Red Cross Society, and public during the 2017 International Week of the Deaf.


Religion

Since 2017, Article 1 of the Samoan Constitution states that "Samoa is a Christian nation founded of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit". Religion in Samoa, Samoans' religious adherence includes the following: Christian Congregational Church of Samoa 31.8%, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic 19.4%, Methodist 15.2%, Samoan Assemblies of God, Assembly of God 13.7%, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Samoa, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 7.6%, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Seventh-day Adventist 3.9%, Worship Centre 1.7%, other Christian 5.5%, other 0.7%, none 0.1%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 estimate). The Head of State until 2007, Malietoa Tanumafili II of Samoa, Malietoa Tanumafili II, was a Baháʼí Faith, Baháʼí. Samoa hosts the seventh (of nine current) Baháʼí House of Worship, Baháʼí Houses of Worship in the world; completed in 1984 and dedicated by the Head of State, it is located in Tiapapata, from
Apia Apia is the capital of Samoa Samoa (), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesian island country consisting of two main isl ...
.


Education

The Samoan government provides eight years of primary and secondary education that is tuition-free and is compulsory through age 16. Samoa's main post-secondary educational institution is the National University of Samoa, established in 1984. The country is also home to several branches of the multi-national University of the South Pacific and the Oceania University of Medicine. Education in Samoa has proved to be effective as a 2012 UNESCO report stated that 99 per cent of Samoan adults are literate.


Culture

The fa'a Samoa, or traditional Samoan way, remains a strong force in Samoan life and politics. As one of the oldest Polynesian cultures, the fa'asamoa developed over a period of 3,000 years, withstanding centuries of European influence to maintain its historical customs, social and political systems, and Samoan language, language. Cultural customs such as the Samoa 'ava ceremony are significant and solemn rituals at important occasions including the bestowal of ''fa'amatai, matai'' chiefly titles. Items of great cultural value include the finely woven '''ie toga''. Samoan mythology includes many gods with creation stories and figures of legend such as Tagaloa and the goddess of war
Nafanua Nafanua was an historical ''ali'i'' (chief/queen) and ''toa'' (warrior) of Samoa Samoa (), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynes ...
, the daughter of Saveasi'uleo, ruler of the spirit realm Pulotu. Other legends include the well known story of Sina and the Eel which explains the origins of the first coconut tree. Some Samoans are spiritual and religious, and have subtly adapted the dominant religion of Christianity to 'fit in' with fa'a Samoa and vice versa. Ancient beliefs continue to co-exist side by side with Christianity, particularly in regard to the traditional customs and rituals of fa'a Samoa. The Samoan culture is centred around the principle of vāfealoa'i, the relationships between people. These relationships are based on respect, or fa'aaloalo. When Christianity was introduced in Samoa, most Samoan people converted. Currently 98% of the population identify themselves as Christian. Some Samoans live a communal way of life, participating in activities collectively. Examples of this are the traditional Samoan ''Architecture of Samoa, fale'' (houses) which are open with no walls, using blinds made of coconut palm fronds during the night or bad weather. The Samoan ''siva Samoa, siva'' dance has unique gentle movements of the body in time to music and tells a story, although the Samoan male dances can be more snappy. The ''sasa (dance), sasa'' is also a traditional dance where rows of dancers perform rapid synchronization, synchronised movements in time to the rhythm of wooden drums ''(pate (musical instrument), pate)'' or rolled mats. Another dance performed by males is called the ''fa'ataupati'' or the slap dance, creating rhythmic sounds by slapping different parts of the body. This is believed to have been derived from slapping insects on the body. The form and construction of traditional architecture of Samoa was a specialised skill by ''Tufuga fai fale'' that was also linked to other cultural artforms. File:Catholic church in Samoa-2.jpg, Roman Catholic Immaculate Conception of Mary cathedral. File:Siva Afi - Fire spinning.jpg, A Samoan fire dancer. File:Fale on Manono Island.jpg, A Architecture of Samoa, fale on Manono Island File:Apia Samoa Temple-new.jpg, LDS Apia Samoa Temple


Tattooing

As with other Polynesian cultures (Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian, Tahitians, Tahitian and Māori culture, Māori) with significant and unique tattoos, Samoans have two gender specific and culturally significant tattoos. For males, it is called the Pe'a and consists of intricate and geometrical patterns tattooed that cover areas from the knees up towards the ribs. A male who possesses such a tatau is called a soga'imiti. A Samoan girl or ''teine'' is given a malu, which covers the area from just below her knees to her upper thighs.


Contemporary culture

Albert Wendt is a significant Samoan writer whose novels and stories tell the Samoan experience. In 1989, his novel ''Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree'' was made into a feature film in New Zealand, directed by Martyn Sanderson. Another novel ''Sons for the Return Home'' had also been made into a feature film in 1979, directed by Paul Maunder. The late John Kneubuhl, born in American Samoa, was an accomplished playwright and screenwriter and writer. Sia Figiel won the 1997 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for fiction in the south-east Asia/South Pacific region with her novel "Where We Once Belonged". Momoe Malietoa Von Reiche is an internationally recognised poet and artist. Tusiata Avia is a performance poet. Her first book of poetry ''Wild Dogs Under My Skirt'' was published by Victoria University Press in 2004. Dan Taulapapa McMullin is an artist and writer. Other Samoan poets and writers include Sapa'u Ruperake Petaia, Eti Sa'aga and Savea Sano Malifa, the editor of the Samoa Observer. In music, popular local bands include The Five Stars, Penina o Tiafau and Punialava'a. The Yandall Sisters' cover of the song ''Sweet Inspiration'' reached number one on the New Zealand charts in 1974. King Kapisi was the first hip hop artist to receive the prestigious New Zealand Australasian Performing Right Association, APRA Silver Scroll Award in 1999 for his song ''Reverse Resistance''. The music video for ''Reverse Resistance'' was filmed in Savai'i at his villages. Other successful Samoan hip hop artists include rapper Scribe (rapper), Scribe, Dei Hamo, Savage (rapper), Savage and Tha Feelstyle whose music video ''Suamalie'' was filmed in Samoa. Lemi Ponifasio is a director and choreographer who is prominent internationally with his dance Company MAU. Neil Ieremia's company Black Grace has also received international acclaim with tours to Europe and New York. Hip hop has had a significant impact on Samoan culture. According to Katerina Martina Teaiwa, PhD from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, "Hip hop culture in particular is popular amongst Samoan youth."Dances of Life , American Samoa
piccom.org
As in many other countries, hip hop music is popular. In addition, the integration of hip hop elements into Samoan tradition also "testifies to the transferability of the dance forms themselves," and to the "circuits through which people and all their embodied knowledge travel." Dance both in its traditional form and its more modern forms has remained a central cultural currency to Samoans, especially youths. The arts organisation ''Tautai'' is a collective of visual artists including Fatu Feu'u, Johnny Penisula, Shigeyuki Kihara, Michel Tuffery, and Lily Laita. Director Sima Urale is a filmmaker. Urale's short film ''O Tamaiti'' won the prestigious Best Short Film at the Venice Film Festival in 1996. Her first feature film ''Apron Strings'' opened the 2008 New Zealand International Film Festivals, NZ International Film Festival. The feature film ''Siones Wedding'', co-written by Oscar Kightley, was financially successful following premieres in Auckland and Apia. The 2011 film The Orator (film), The Orator was the first ever fully Samoan film, shot in Samoa in the Samoan language with a Samoan cast telling a uniquely Samoan story. Written and directed by Tusi Tamasese, it received much critical acclaim and attention at film festivals throughout the world.


Sport

The main sports played in Samoa are rugby union, Samoan cricket and netball. Rugby union is the national football code of Samoa. In Samoan villages, volleyball is also popular. Rugby union is the national sport in Samoa and the Samoa national rugby union team, national team, nicknamed the Manu Samoa, is consistently competitive against teams from vastly more populous nations. Samoa has competed at every Rugby World Cup since 1991 Rugby World Cup, 1991, and made the quarter finals in 1991, 1995 Rugby World Cup, 1995 and the second round of the 1999 Rugby World Cup, 1999 World Cup. At the 2003 world cup, Manu Samoa came close to beating eventual world champions, England. Samoa also played in the Pacific Nations Cup and the Pacific Tri-Nations. The sport is governed by the Samoa Rugby Football Union, who are members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance, and thus, also contribute to the international Pacific Islanders rugby union team. At club level, there is the Samoa National Provincial Championship, National Provincial Championship and Pacific Rugby Cup. They also took home the cup at Wellington and the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens in 2007—for which the Prime Minister of Samoa, also Chairman of the national rugby union, Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, declared a national holiday. They were also the IRB World Sevens Series Champions in 2010 capping a year of achievement for the Samoans, following wins in the US, Australia, Hong Kong and Scotland Sevens tournaments. Prominent Samoan players include Pat Lam and Brian Lima. In addition, many Samoans have played for or are playing for New Zealand national rugby union team, New Zealand. Rugby league is mostly played by Samoans living in New Zealand and Australia. Samoa national rugby league team, Samoa reached the quarter finals of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, the team comprising players from the NRL and Super League plus domestic players. Many Samoans and New Zealanders or Australians of Samoan descent play in the Super League and National Leagues in Britain, including Francis Meli, Ta'ane Lavulavu of Workington Town, Maurie Fa'asavalu of St Helens, David Fatialofa of Whitehaven and Setaimata Sa, who signed with London Irish rugby club. Other noteworthy players from NZ and Australia have represented the Samoa national rugby league team, Samoan National team. The 2011 domestic Samoan rugby league competition contained 10 teams with plans to expand to 12 in 2012. Samoans have been very visible in boxing, kickboxing, Professional wrestling, wrestling, and sumo; some Samoan sumo wrestlers, most famously Musashimaru and Konishiki, have reached the highest rank of ''Oozeki, Ozeki'' and ''Yokozuna (sumo), yokozuna''. American football is occasionally played in Samoa, reflecting its wide popularity in
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
, where the sport is played under high school sanction. About 30 ethnic Samoans, many from American Samoa, currently play in the National Football League. A 2002 article from ''ESPN'' estimated that a Samoan male (either an American Samoan or a Samoan living in the mainland United States) is 40 times more likely to play in the NFL than a non-Samoan American.


See also

* Outline of Samoa


References


Further reading

* Watson, R M, ''History of Samoa'' (Wellington, 1918) * Meleisea, Malama. ''The Making of Modern Samoa: Traditional Authority and Colonial Administration in the Modern History of Western Samoa''. (Suva, 1987) Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific. * Schnee, Dr. Heinrich (former Deputy Governor of
German Samoa German Samoa (german: Deutsch-Samoa) was a German Empire, German protectorate from 1900 to 1919, consisting of the islands of Upolu, Savai'i, Apolima and Manono Island, Manono, now wholly within the independent state of Samoa, formerly ''Western S ...
and last Governor of German East Africa). 1926. ''German Colonization, Past and Future: The Truth about the German Colonies.'' London: George Allen & Unwin. * Eustis, Nelson. [1979] 1980. ''Aggie Grey of Samoa.'' Adelaide, South Australia: Hobby Investments. . * * Mead, Margaret. 1928, ''Coming of Age in Samoa: A Study of Adolescence and Sex in Primitive Societies''. * Freeman, Derek. 1983. ''Margaret Mead in Samoa: the Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth''. * Urmenyhazi Attila. 2013 ''Samoan & Marquesan Life in Oceania: a probing travelogue''. – National Library of Australia, Bib ID: 6377055. * Mallon, Sean. 2002. ''Samoan Art and Artists''. O Measina a Samoa. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. *


External links

* Government
Government of Samoa


General information
Samoa
''The World Factbook''. Central Intelligence Agency.
University of Colorado
from ''UCB Libraries GovPubs'' *
Samoa
from the BBC News *
Samoa Tourism Authority

Key Development Forecasts for Samoa
from International Futures * {{Authority control Samoa, 1962 establishments in Oceania Archipelagoes of the Pacific Ocean Countries in Polynesia English-speaking countries and territories Island countries Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations Member states of the United Nations Small Island Developing States States and territories established in 1962 Commonwealth republics Christian states Countries in Oceania Former least developed countries