ethnic group

American Samoa Flag

Samoa Flag

poptime= c. 880,000
popplace=Samoa, American Samoa, New Zealand, Australia and the United States
rels=Protestantism, Roman Catholicism
langs=Samoan, English
related=Māori, Fijians, other Polynesian peoples

Samoans are a Polynesian ethnic group living in the Samoan Islands. On their home islands they are divided between an independent state — Samoa (also informally known as Western Samoa, its former official name) — and a territory of the United States, American Samoa or commonly known as Eastern Samoa.

The majority of ethnic Samoans (c. 880,000 or 60 per cent) now reside in the Samoan diaspora, primarily in New Zealand (231,000), the United States (333,281) and Australia (48,091). Most Samoans are fluent in both Samoan and English.


American Samoa

American Samoa consists of five high volcanic islands, one coral atoll, one low coral islet, and several seamounts. It is the only United States territory south of the equator.


Migrants from Southeast Asia arrived in the Samoan islands approximately 3,000 years ago settling in Polynesia further to the east. Early contact with Europeans was established in the 1700s and later the Christian missionaries arrived in the 1800s. During the early twentieth century the Samoan Islands were split. The eastern islands became territories of the United States and are known as American Samoa. The western islands became known as Western Samoa (currently known as Samoa). [ [] History of Samoa from the U.S. Embassy web site.]


See also

Some famous Samoans include Troy Polamalu, a famous safety for the professional football team the Pittsburgh Steelers and Mosi Tatupu of the New England Patriots. [ [] Prominent Samoans]


Modern pop and rock have a large audience in Samoa, as do several native bands; these bands have abandoned most elements of Samoan traditional music, though there are folky performers. Recently, the Samoan population has seen a resurgence of old Samoan songs, remixed in the style of Hawaiian reggae, but with some traditional elements, such as the use of the pate and the chord structure still in use. The nearly three decades of Samoan involvement in street dance and rap music in the United States has significantly impacted cultural production in other places where Samoans settled, particularly New Zealand. [ [ Cultural Self-Esteem - The Resource | The Next ] ] Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. hails from Carson, California and have been working with music since 1988. Boo-Yaa came into the hip hop game at the same time as the world renown Ice Cube, and they often resemble the West Coast hip hop style. [ [ Rap News Network - Hip-Hop News: Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. Shows Their 'Angry Samoan' Side ] ] Samoans truly came on to the stage in the U.S. after the migration to Los Angeles.

Initially in Samoan music, “there were just two instruments in use; the pate, a hollowed out log drum that comes in various sizes, and the fala, a rolled up mat beaten with sticks. In addition to this was the human voice. This limited range of instrumentation had no effect on the importance of music in Samoan life. Because there was no written language many stories and legends were propagated through song and the complex rhythmns from the pate are essential in the performance of many Samoan dances. In fact in many dances, the dancers themselves add to the rhythmn by clapping their hands, and dependent upon the way in which the hand is held produce a range of different sounds. Following the arrival of the Europeans the diversity of instrumentation available increased dramatically, but two instruments were developed that are now synonymous with Samoan music, the sielo and the ukele. The sielo is a stringed instrument made from a broomstick, or similar object, attached to a largish box, bucket or other object that acts as a sounding board. A single length of string joins the top of the stick to the box, which plucked to produce a sound similar to that of a bass. The ukele is a small guitar like instrument but with only four strings. It can be found in two forms, one which is like a miniturised guitar, the other where the body is made from half a coconut shell.” [ [] ] Western string instruments such as guitars are also now widely available across the Pacific Islands, with many bands performing and recording both acoustic and amplified music in Samoa since the 1970s. Younger generations continue to perform in string bands as well as gravitate towards genres such as rap, R&B, gospel, and soul. One group that has come onto the scene is the group called 315 “The Samoan Trio” and most of their talents are recorded online in many Acapella songs. [ [] ]


Traditionally, German Samoans have always been very musically inclined and have incorporated dance in their customs. The original Samoan dance form is known to be one of the few areas of their culture which has not been heavily influenced by American tradition. [ Samoa-Dance 4 May 2004 . 11 April 2008 ] .


American Samoa is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the United States. Officials from theU.S. Department of the Interior administer the territory. Through Congressional legislative action, the Samoans drafted their own constitution and from that constitution their government exists.

A non-voting Congressional delegate is sent to represent Samoa. The 2008 Congressional delegate is Eni F.H. Faleomavaega.

The American Samoan constitution was written to incorporate a governor, lieutenant governor and the legislature. Both the governor and lieutenant governor are elected every four years. The legislature, known as the Fono, is bicameral. The Samoan Senate consists of 18 members chosen from the 14 Samoan counties. The House of Representatives consists of 20 members who are elected through popular vote. Swains Island residents select one representative to serve as a non-voting member in the House of Representatives.

Until 1951, the United States Navy selected the governor for American Samoa. In 1956, the U.S. Department of Interior took over that responsibility. In 1977, the governor was elected by popular vote.


External links

* [ Prominent Samoans]
* [ US Embassy Samoa]
* [ Samoa - Samoan culture]
* [ Culture of American Samoa]
* [ American Samoa geography]
* [ American Samoa flag]
* [ Samoan Families and Households New Zealand statistics]
* [ Pacific Islands Benthic Habitat Mapping Center]
* [ US Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs]
* [ US Representative Eni F.H. Faleomavaega]

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