Names Upon the Land
With so many myths and stories, some have conflicting details. This old tale has a slightly different twist on the island names than the creation story recorded by Holmes.
In an ancient war between Papatea and Puloto some of the Papateans found refuge from attacking Pulota warriors on islands that are now Samoa. Four of the couples settled there-Sava and I'i on Savai'i, U and Polu on Upolo, Tutu and Ila on Tutuila. The other couple went to the eastern islands where they briefly laid their newborn child on the beach while they looked for food. Returning, they found their baby's back was wounded (manu'a) by rocks on the shore. And so, they named the place Manu'a.
Did You Know?
The are two fruit bat species in American Samoa--the only native mammals. They are important pollinators and seed distributors in the tropical rainforests.