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American Samoa

Samoa is a group of islands; Western Samoa and American Samoa. These islands are situated within the South Pacific Ocean about half means between Hawaii and New Zealand, collectively they’re slightly smaller than Rhode Island. Don’t let the small dimension fool you, these islands are full of rich life and tradition. The pre-Western historical past of Eastern Samoa (now American Samoa) is sure with the history of Western Samoa (now impartial Samoa).

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The Manu’a Islands of American Samoa has one of the oldest histories of Polynesia, accompanying the Tui Manua title, linked with the histories of the archipelagos of Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Tokelau, Tahiti, and elsewhere within the Pacific, the place Manu’a once had influence.

During the Tongan occupation of Samoa, Manu’a was the only island group that remained independent due to the familial relationship between the Tui Manu’a and the Tui Tonga, who was decended from a former Tui Manu’a. The islands of Tutuila and Aunu’u have been politically linked to ‘Upolu Island in what’s now independent Samoa.

It may be stated that every one the Samoa Islands are politically related right now via the faamatai chiefly system and thru household connections which are as strong as ever. This system of the faamatai and the customs of faasamoa originated with two of essentially the most well-known early chiefs of Samoa, who were each women and related, Nafanua and Salamasina. “Samoa. ” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. 14 May 2008 The rich history has laid the inspiration for a rich culture.

Samoa has elaborate ceremonies that incorporate music and dancing.

Of the 2 singing is the most popular, but dance is extremely essential as properly. One of the main dances is the Sasa which is a sitting dance that is performed with only arm actions. Another is Fa’ataupati which is a dance with only males. The males slap their limbs and torso, stomp their feet and sing in rhythm. It may be very stunning to observe and can additionally be mesmerizing. Ava ceremonies mark special events, such as weddings, deaths, or guests from one other village. This ceremony is only carried out when there is an official gathering of the Chiefs, and will always be practiced in the traditional method.

It is an especially elaborate ceremony that has many elements to it. I will briefly explain the detailed ceremony only in context to the beginning of a marriage of two Chief’s children. In this tradition, it’s the woman’s aspect of the family that hosts the ceremony in addition to the entire wedding ceremony itself. After the marriage is over, the new spouse lives with the husband’s family, or if they are from a special village, she will go to reside with her husband in his village. The custom is a patrol-local fashion of residence. Therefore, the feminine provides up every thing from carrying her father’s name to even having to alter religions.

Ava is a root that’s used by the woman’s village, since it is their accountability for the ceremony. To start the marriage preparations, the son’s father arrives on the daughters village and is greeted by the hosting village and seated dealing with the Chiefs. The taupou who is the excessive chief’s daughter or granddaughter. In this ceremony there is a correct place for every thing. Including the individuals in addition to the tanoa also referred to as the ava bowl, it’s a 4 to 6 legged bowl with one leg wider than the others. This wider leg will always be placed in front of the taupou. The taupou begins to combine the ava.

Coconut fibers are placed in the bowl and shall be used to squeeze the ava root right into a drink. Specific persons are positioned across the tanoa to assist the taupou with the mixing, although they don’t mix the drink, they’re there to make positive that she is doing it appropriately. Other individuals are additionally allowed to serve the drink to the chiefs and others are there to chant the order of who gets the following cup of ava. Once the ava ceremony is coming to an end the tufa’ava, (the one that chants the ingesting order) will signal that the final cup of ava will be served. Once this has been done, everyone appears to be dismissed (in a specific order).

The hosting villages begins the massive feast for the visiting village. After the completion of the meal, the 2 fathers begin disguising the wedding plans. During the Ava ceremony I spoke of the Taupou. The Taupou is a Samoan princess. She is the excessive chiefs daughter or granddaughter, each village has a chief and subsequently will have a taupou. As a proper of passage, she is going to be taught to preform the ceremonies in great detail. If she is performing a ceremony and performs any a half of it incorrectly, it’s going to trigger great embarrassment to the chief in addition to the village. This is a really annoying job.

Not solely is there a right of passage for women there’s additionally a right of passage for the males as well. This is a kind that we’re all accompanied to seeing. The tattoo. The tattoo has a two major derivations from the Polynesian word ‘TA’ which implies striking and the Tahitian word ‘TATAU’ which implies to mark something. At the beginning of the paper I said the “Manu’a Islands of American Samoa has one of many oldest histories of Polynesia, accompanying the Tui Manua title, linked with the histories of the archipelagos of Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Tokelau, Tahiti, and elsewhere in the Pacific, the place Manu’a once had influence. Could tattoo be certainly one of them? Tattoos started over 5000 years in the past. In Samoa, the custom of making use of tattoo, by hand, has lengthy been outlined by rank and title, with chiefs and their assistants, descending from notable households in the correct delivery order. The tattooing ceremonies for younger chiefs, typically carried out at the onset of puberty, have been elaborate affairs and had been a key a half of their ascendance to a management position. Not all tattoos give household standing, the more elaborate tattoos which would possibly be seen from the thigh to the ribs are the ones which may be designed to point out status.

The meanings behind every sample of tattoo has its own meaning, and not everyone has the same tattoo. The tattooer sits down and makes a tattoo particularly to you. He could incorporate things which are related to you family in addition to thing that you just like and the sort of individual you might be. Traditionally these designs are by no means copied, but in the modern world, this does happen. A good tattooer will never copy a tattoo, it has to do with satisfaction, showing his capacity to provide you with new designs as properly as creditability. Not only is this a proper of passage but it was explained to me as a sort of Samoan “coat of arms.

Which has a literal meaning as properly. Not only was this an ornamental or “beauty” ritual, this was additionally to guard their heath and non secular nicely being. Boys are allowed tattoo from the beginning of their teenager years but no later than thirty. It is recommended to not have it done within the traditional method because it’s a signal of manhood and at thirty, you’re a man. I spoke of boys getting tattoos but girls are allowed to receive tattoos as properly. Usually girls are tattooed on the hand, fingers, wrists, ankles and sometimes their tongue. The females have the identical age group as the males do.

They too aren’t allowed to get a tattoo until they are of teenage years. Most of the work the individuals do in their plantations or farms, are for food, planting crops to exchange those getting used. It is usually done in the morning hours between 6:00 and 12:00 midday. When it’s carried out, a lot of the day is spend in teams of all ages of their respective pursuits. Not to say that this is the one thing that they do, work on the farm for six hours and then go residence. The financial system of Samoa has traditionally been depending on growth aid, household remittances from abroad, agriculture, and fishing.

Agriculture employs two-thirds of the labor pressure and furnishes 90% of exports, featuring coconut cream, coconut oil, and copra (dried coconut meat). There is also an automobile electrical harness manufacturing unit that employs hundreds of individuals, in addition to the Sunkist Tuna packaging plant. There aren’t particular jobs that women and men can or cant do. They do not discriminate when it comes to bringing in money to the house. Everyone can do anyones job. The conventional language of Samoa is after all Samoan, but each places converse English.

In Western Samoa they communicate English with a “British” sounding accent but they also follow the language and the normal tradition more than American Samoans do, in addition they have a tendency to talk Samoan as their first language. Their language consists of fifteen letters. A, e, f, g, h, i, k l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t, u and v. There are three different letters that are borrowed corresponding to h, k, and r. When hearing the language spoken its very comparable to Hawaiian. Flowing words that appear to roll off the tongue, particularly for the ones who know how to speak it correctly. As for myself, not so much. I did learn how to say my name and tips on how to say howdy.

Even-though the first language isn’t English, this culture is simply like the American culture relating to residence life. There are female and male positions in the home. As my good friend Toalo put it, “They [men) think that they rule the home, however everyone knows that isn’t the case,” Just like in my house “if Momma ain’t joyful ain’t no one happy”. Even although specific chores aren’t recognized that men and women cant do in the house, then males seem to do all the BBQ cooking, and all the other cooking in the home is usually carried out by the women. With cleansing the house and child rearing that is a shared job. Samoan culture, it just isn’t uncommon to have a big family.

It appears that the mother and father develop up with large households, and pass that down with their children. This society appears at it like this “the bigger family that you’ve the better chances that one or all of them will hep care for you when you are old, as Desmond put it. ” Also household dimension comes again to the ceremonies that they have. There are many ceremonies such as a funeral that requires members of the family to pitch in money to assist pay, the more family members, the less of a burden is on you. With these massive households, there has to be meals, a stereotype that some Samoans obtain is that they’re massive folks.

This has to do with the diet, and their gene pool. Not all Samoans are large. I happen to know three that are average dimension. Being told that their food regimen consists of coconut milk, starches, rice, and pork, we can see that any culture that eats this in abundance may be fairly massive. I truly have agree though, it certain is good! Traditional Samoan meals included taro root, yams, bananas, coconuts, breadfruit, fish, turtle, and chicken. Even although pigs are raised, pork is reserved for ceremonial occasions. Samoan meals are at all times accompanied by a salted coconut cream condiment called pe’epe’e.

It is poured over boiled taro root and heated before serving. For many rural Samoans, this could be a staple food and is served on the two daily meals. Another is Palusami – baked parcels of taro leaves enclosing a coconut cream, onion and meat filling is a well-known Samoan dish which has turn into frequent in several different Pacific Islands. I’m informed that the taste is exclusive, significantly if cooked in a standard earth oven. Not solely is there wonderful sounding meals, there happens to be a Samoan beer named Vailima. At one time Western Samoa was occupied by Germany for fourteen years. This could also be the place this beer originated from.

Other than beer there could be Kava. Kava is an age-old natural drink created from the kava root, that was the beverage of selection for the royal households of the South Pacific. Believed to originate from Melanesia, kava grows abundantly within the sun-drenched islands of Polynesia. Another age old custom of Samoa is faith. The two primary religions in Samoa are Mormon and Catholicism. There are others corresponding to Protestant and different Christianity. Religion is probably certainly one of the most important elements of Samoan culture, to the extent that it’s incorporated in Samoa’s motto: “Samoa is founded on God. Like most of the other Pacific Islands, it was the churches in search of to introduce Western philosophies and requirements of morality for the good factor about indigenous peoples.

Before the arrival of the missionaries Samoa had a posh religion, that can be compared with some Native American religions. They differentiated between non-human and human gods, and which additionally included elements of ancestor worship. The Samoan religion had a war goddess, Nafanua who prophesied that there would come a brand new religion which might end the rule of the old gods made the Samoans straightforward pickings for the primary missionaries that arrived. Samoan Sensation. 008 Samoan Sensation Online 14 May 2008. Not solely was there a goddess, there were stunning stories and superstitions. My private favourite that was advised to my by Desmond and Toalo is the story of Kelesa and the story of The turtle and shark. “Kelesa will get jealous of ladies which have longer hair that she thinks is longer than hers. So if girls walk around with their hair down at night time, they get slapped within the face. Once that occurs they believed that they may have a deformity in their mouth, or a mark that wont go away. ” Another is called Turtle and Shark, “Which is a blind mom and daughter from the village of Iliili.

The household treated them so badly that they decided to give up their life in order that they moved to the village of Vaitogi. There they have been treated well. The mother and daughter have been so grateful to feel liked by the villagers that they sacrificed their life by leaping into the ocean off these cliffs by the village, when they did that their our bodies modified, the old lady was turned into a turtle and the daughter turned a shark. that village that they’re from will once a year go to the beach where they jumped and sing a selected music named laumai, that is the one village that may sing this song.

Nobody else is allowed. When they go to the cliffs and sing, the shark and the turtle come in course of the shore, however in addition they tell you to not point at them should you do they may go away thinking that you are going to shoot them. Then they wont come back till the following 12 months when that track is sung again. ” To conclude you possibly can see the culture of Samoa is rich in life, custom and legend. They are a loving household oriented people who I occur to have the privilege to be associates with. This is a society that I would really feel at residence with one who loves each-other and has custom that they aren’t letting go of.

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