• Traditional dances are an important Samoan tradition.

    National Park of American Samoa

    American Samoa


Samoan Tulafale or Talking Chiefs, are great story tellers.
Samoan Tulafale or Talking Chiefs, are great story tellers.

A High Talking Chief's fly whisk, or fue (foo-ay) for their speeches. This whisk is used with a wooden staff called a to'oto'o (toe-oh-toe-oh)


Because the Samoans did not have a written language before the arrival and teaching of modern missionaries they relied upon elaborate recital of legends, genealogies, and myths to remember their history. These were saved over long spans of time in the form of stories. Most formal public gatherings still began with a traditional recounting of relevant stories.

Other stories are in W. Somerset Maugham's The Trembling of a Leaf--a collection of his classic short stories of the South Pacific. Rain, Mackintosh, Red, and The Pool all take place in the Samoas. Today, many folks in Pago Pago regard Sadie Thompson, the main subject in Rain, as a true historic character.

Did You Know?

Pacific golden plover in breeding plumage—soon to be flying 5,500 miles to the Alaskan Arctic

During northern summers, three shorebirds--plover, turnstone, and tattler--nest in Alaska and northern Canada. After nesting, they fly non-stop over 3,000 miles of open ocean to Hawaii. After briefly resting there, they continue another 2,500 miles to American Samoa. The round-trip journey each year is 11,000 miles!