• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    Tonga
    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Vanuatu
    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Palau
    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Samoa
    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

SāmoaNearly everyone in Samoa has a different story on the name's origin. One of the more popular beliefs is that the name comes from Sa-ia-Moa, meaning "Sacred-for-Moa," Moa being the son of the high god, Tagaloa.

Introduction:

Samoan culture is heavily rooted in Polynesian culture as Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia. Over time this culture and lifestyle developed with changes that originated in Samoa as well as from changes elsewhere that later arrived to Samoa. Due to Polynesian communication and transportation networks, the Samoans maintain many cultural aspects that are now synonymous with Polynesia, although the modern age has also played a significant role in the culture and lifestyle today.

Samoa and Samoan culture is well-known in many parts of the world due to the large Samoan immigrant populations, who tend to maintain aspects of their historic culture no matter where they live. Many of these things are rather obvious, such as their traditional tattoos, however the foods, mentality, and lifestyle are often times less obvious, although most Samoans cling to these aspects of life as well.

The Samoan people have lived off the land for hundreds of years, primarily as hunters, gatherers, farmers, and fishers. This lifestyle remains somewhat true even today as the people are at least partially reliant on the land and seas. However, more important to the people in the past and today are community and family as many people live in rural areas where most people know each other.

Although many aspects of the traditional culture and way of life survive, many other aspects have changed. The Germans and other foreign power set up farms as the lands became a sourcing point for many goods. These foreigners also opened the door for missionaries, who converted most of the Samoan people to Christianity, which changed their culture and dress. Sadly, these powers also divided the people as local leaders worked with varying foreign powers, leading to wars.

Although the wars have ended, today the Samoan people have a different political system as Samoa is independent, but American Samoa is a dependence of the United States. None-the-less, the people of both these island chains, as well as Samoan immigrants, share a past as cultures and traditions remain alive. However, modern technology and changes have vastly altered the people's lifestyle and daily routine.

Samoa's flag has five stars that represent the Southern Cross constellation. The color red represents courage, the blue symbolizes freedom, and white is for purity.

Name: Independent State of Samoa
Independence: January 1, 1962
Capital: Apia
Currency: Tala
Population: 195,476 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Samoan & Euronesians
Language: Samoan & English
Religion: Christian

Information for Samoa was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks