American Samoa: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...


More interesting facts on American Samoa

Include this on your site/blog:

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American Samoa
Amerika Sāmoa / Sāmoa Amelika
Flag Coat of arms
Motto"Samoa, Muamua Le Atua"  (Samoan)
"Samoa, Let God Be First"
AnthemThe Star-Spangled Banner, Amerika Samoa
Capital Pago Pago1 (de facto), Fagatogo (seat of government)
Official language(s) English, Samoan
Demonym American Samoan
Government
 -  Head of State Barack Obama (D)
 -  Governor Togiola Tulafono (D)
 -  Lieutenant Governor Ipulasi Aitofele Sunia (D)
Unincorporated territory of the United States
 -  Tripartite Convention 1899 
 -  Deed of Cession
of Tutuila

1900 
 -  Deed of Cession
of Manu'a

1904 
 -  Annexation
of Swains Island

1925 
Area
 -  Total 199 km2 (212th)
76.83 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 0
Population
 -  2009 estimate 65,628 (196)
 -  2000 census 57,291 
 -  Density 326/km2 (35th)
914/sq mi
Currency US dollar (USD)
Time zone (UTC-11)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC)
Internet TLD .as
Calling code +1-684
1 Fagatogo is identified as the seat of government.
Map of American Samoa.
Coastline of American Samoa

American Samoa en-us-American Samoa.ogg /əˈmɛrɪkən səˈmoʊə/ (Samoan: Amerika Sāmoa or Sāmoa Amelika) is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa (formerly known as Western Samoa). The main (largest and most populous) island is Tutuila, with the Manuʻa Islands, Rose Atoll, and Swains Island also included in the territory. American Samoa is part of the Samoan Islands chain, located west of the Cook Islands, north of Tonga, and some 300 miles (500 km) south of Tokelau. To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna group. The 2000 census showed a total population of 57,291.[1] The total land area is 200.22 km2 (77 sq mi), slightly more than Washington, D.C. American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the United States.

Contents

History

Advertisements

Pre-Western contact

Black lava rock structures and white sand beaches comprise this part of shoreline.
Ofu, Manu‘a Islands, American Samoa seen from Olosega
FEMA supplied Humanitarian General Purpose Tent Systems (HGPTS) to American Samoa after the 2009 tsunami

It is generally believed that the Samoan Islands were originally inhabited as early as 1000 BC.[2] Samoa was not reached by European explorers until the eighteenth century. The pre-Western history of Eastern Samoa (now American Samoa) is inextricably bound with the history of Western Samoa (now independent Samoa). The Manu'a Islands of American Samoa have one of the oldest histories of Polynesia, in connection with the Tui Manua title, connected with the histories of the archipelagos of Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Tokelau and elsewhere in the Pacific—all of which had once been under Manua's occupation. Tu'i Manu'a from Manu'a ruled most of the Pacific, including Tonga, long before the Tu'i Tonga Empire. While Tu'i Manu'a ruled Tonga, the external influences came in the form of imperial activities, beginning with the Tu’i Pulotu empire in Fiji and followed by the Tu’i Manu’a empire in Samoa. In other words, Tonga was under considerable influence from the imperialism of both Fiji and Samoa. However, Tonga was able to free itself through bitter and bloody wars from the imperial domination of the Tu’i Manu’a — which eventually led to the formation of the Tu’i Tonga empire around AD 950 in the person of ‘Aho’eitu, the first Tu’i Tonga — whose father was a deified Samoan high chief, Tangaloa ‘Eitumâtupu’a, and mother a Tongan woman, Va’epopua, of great noble birth. This double origin entitled the Tu’i Tonga to hold both divine and secular offices.

In principle, the close cultural and historical interlinkages between Fiji, Samoa and Tonga were essentially elitist, involving the intermarriage between regional aristocratic families. Many years later, after Tonga freed itself from Samoa, the Tongans took rule over Samoa until Samoa freed itself. Manu'a was the only island group that remained independent. The islands of Tutuila and Aunu'u were politically connected to 'Upolu island in what is now independent Samoa. It can be said that all the Samoa islands are politically connected today through the faamatai chiefly system and through family connections that are as strong as ever. This system of the faamatai and the customs of faasamoa originated with two of the most famous early chiefs of Samoa, who were both women and related, Nafanua and Salamasina.

Colonization

Early Western contact included a battle in the eighteenth century between French explorers and islanders in Tutuila, for which the Samoans were blamed in the West, giving them a reputation for ferocity. Early nineteenth century Rarotongan missionaries to the Samoa islands were followed by a group of Western missionaries led by John Williams of the Congregationalist London Missionary Society in the 1830s, officially bringing Christianity to Samoa. In the second half of the 20th century, the Samoan Congregationalist Church became the first independent indigenous church of the South Pacific. In March 1889, a German naval force invaded a village in Samoa, and by doing so destroyed some American property. Three American warships then entered the Samoan harbor and were prepared to fire on the three German warships found there. Before guns were fired, a typhoon wrecked both the American and German ships. A compulsory armistice was called because of the lack of warships.

As a U.S. Territory

International rivalries in the latter half of the nineteenth century were settled by the 1899 Tripartite Convention in which Germany and the U.S. divided the Samoan archipelago. The following year, the U.S. formally occupied its portion: a smaller group of eastern islands, one of which surrounds the noted harbor of Pago Pago. Since 1962, the western islands have been an independent nation, adopting the name The Independent State of Samoa in 1997.

After the United States Navy, on behalf of the United States, took possession of eastern Samoa, the existing coaling station at Pago Pago Bay was expanded into a full naval station under the command of a commandant. The Navy secured a Deed of Cession of Tutuila in 1900 and a Deed of Cession of Manuʻa in 1904. The last sovereign of Manuʻa, the Tui Manuʻa Elisala, was forced to sign a Deed of Cession of Manuʻa following a series of U.S. Naval trials, known as the "Trial of the Ipu", in Pago Pago, Taʻu, and aboard a Pacific Squadron gunboat.[3]

After World War I, during the time of the Mau movement in Western Samoa (then a League of Nations mandate governed by New Zealand), there was a corresponding American Samoa Mau movement,[3] led by Samuel Sailele Ripley, who was from Leone village and was a World War I veteran. After meetings in the United States mainland, he was prevented from disembarking from the ship that brought him home to American Samoa and was not allowed to return. The American Samoa Mau movement having been suppressed by the U.S. Navy. In 1930 the U.S. Congress sent a committee to investigate the status of American Samoa, led by Americans who had had a part in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.

In 1938, the noted aviator Ed Musick and his crew died on the Pan American World Airways S-42 Samoan Clipper over Pago Pago, while on a survey flight to Auckland, New Zealand. Sometime after take-off, the aircraft experienced trouble, and Musick turned it back toward Pago Pago. While the crew began dumping fuel in preparation for an emergency landing, a spark in the fuel pump caused an explosion that tore the aircraft apart in mid-air.

During World War II, U.S. Marines in Samoa outnumbered the local population, having a huge cultural influence. Young Samoan men from the age of 14 and above were combat trained by U.S. military personnel. Samoans served in various capacities during World War II, including as combatants, medical personnel, code personnel, and ship repairmen.

After World War II, Organic Act 4500, a U.S. Department of Interior-sponsored attempt to incorporate American Samoa, was defeated in Congress, primarily through the efforts of Samoan chiefs, led by Tuiasosopo Mariota.[4] These chiefs' efforts led to the creation of a local legislature, the American Samoa Fono which meets in the village of Fagatogo, often considered the territory's de facto and de jure capital (the United States regards Pago Pago as the official capital of the territory).

In time, the Navy-appointed governor was replaced by a locally elected one. Although technically considered "unorganized" in that the U.S. Congress has not passed an Organic Act for the territory, American Samoa is self-governing under a constitution that became effective on July 1, 1967. The U.S. Territory of American Samoa is on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, a listing which is disputed by the territorial government officials, who do consider themselves to be self-governing.

Due to economic hardship, military service has been seen as an opportunity in American Samoa and other U.S. Overseas territories,[5] this has meant that based on population there have been a disproportionate number of casualties per population compared to other parts of the United States. As of 23 March 2009 (2009 -03-23) there have been 10 American Samoans who have died in Iraq, and 2 who have died in Afghanistan.[6] American Samoans who enlist in the Army Reserve are assigned to the 100th Infantry Battalion.[7]

September 2009 earthquake and tsunami

On September 29, 2009 at 17:48:11 UTC, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck 120 miles (190 km) off of the coast of American Samoa. The quake struck 11.2 miles (18.0 km) below the ocean floor and generated a tsunami. Four waves with heights from 15 feet (4.6 m) to 20 feet (6.1 m) high were reported to have reached up to one mile (1.6 km) inland on the island of Tutuila.[8] At least 150 people were reported to have been killed in American Samoa and Samoa with hundreds more injured.[9] [10] The Defense Logistics Agency (DSCP) worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide 16’ x 16’ humanitarian tents to the devastated areas of American Samoa.

Politics

First Lady Mary Tulafono and Governor Togiola Tulafono

Politics of American Samoa takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic dependency, whereby the Governor is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. American Samoa is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Its constitution was ratified in 1966 and came into effect in 1967. Executive power is exercised by the governor. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the legislature. The American political parties (Republican and Democratic) exist in American Samoa, but few politicians are aligned with the parties. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

There is also the traditional village politics of the Samoa Islands, the "fa'amatai" and the "fa'asamoa", which continues in American Samoa and in independent Samoa, and which interacts across these current boundaries. The Fa'asamoa is the language and customs, and the Fa'amatai the protocols of the "fono" (council) and the chiefly system. The Fa'amatai and the Fono take place at all levels of the Samoan body politic, from the family, to the village, to the region, to national matters. The "matai" (chiefs) are elected by consensus within the fono of the extended family and village(s) concerned. The matai and the fono (which is itself made of matai) decide on distribution of family exchanges and tenancy of communal lands. The majority of lands in American Samoa and independent Samoa are communal. A matai can represent a small family group or a great extended family that reaches across islands, and to both American Samoa and independent Samoa.

Nationality

People born in American Samoa — including those born on Swains Island — are American nationals,[11] but are not American citizens unless one of their parents is a U.S. citizen. As U.S. nationals, American Samoans may not vote in U.S. presidential elections.[11] However, American Samoans are entitled to free and unrestricted entry into the United States.[11]

Samoans are entitled to elect one non-voting delegate to the United States House of Representatives.[11] Their delegate since 1989 has been Democrat Eni Fa'aua'a Hunkin Faleomavaega, Jr. They also send delegates to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Administrative divisions

American Samoa is administratively divided into three districts and two "unorganized" atolls. The districts and unorganized atolls are subdivided into 74 villages. Pago Pago—the capital of American Samoa [12] -- is one of the largest villages and is located on the eastern side of Tutuila island in Ma'oputasi County district #9. Fagatogo is listed in the Constitution of American Samoa as the official seat of government, but it is not the capital.[13][14][15]

Geography

A view of one of American Samoa's beaches in Ofu-Olosega.

American Samoa, located within the geographical region of Oceania, is one of only two possessions of the United States in the Southern Hemisphere, the other being Jarvis Island. Its total land area is 76.8 square miles (199 km²) -- slightly larger than Washington, D.C. -- consisting of five rugged, volcanic islands and two coral atolls. Due to its positioning in the South Pacific Ocean, it is frequently hit by typhoons between December and March. Rose Atoll, located in American Samoa, is the southernmost point in the territory of the United States. American Samoa is home to the National Park of American Samoa.

Official protest to naming of neighboring Samoa

The US State Department Background Note web page for neighboring Samoa notes that "in July 1997 the Constitution was amended to change the country's name from Western Samoa to Samoa (officially the "Independent State of Samoa"). Western Samoa had been known simply as Samoa in the United Nations since joining the organization in 1976. The neighboring U.S. territory of American Samoa protested the move, feeling that the change diminished its own Samoan identity. American Samoans still use the terms Western Samoa and Western Samoans."[16]

Territorial claim by Tokelau nationalists

Swains Island is claimed by supporters of independence for Tokelau as part of that country. Swains Islanders and Tokelauans enjoy linguistic and cultural affinities. Tokelauans refer to Swains as Olohega. In 2006 and 2007, unsuccessful, United Nations-sponsored referenda on independence for Tokelau, currently administered by New Zealand, revived a dormant source of tension. The American and New Zealand governments are not concerned to pursue any change of territorial status over the Swains Island issue. However, the existence of a clause in a draft independence treaty espoused by United Nations-driven Tokelauan nationalists is a matter which will be a potential source of diplomatic tension.

Economy

Employment on the island falls into three relatively equal-sized categories of approximately 5,000 workers each: the public sector, the single remaining tuna cannery, and the rest of the private sector.

There are only a few federal employees in American Samoa and no active duty military personnel except members of the U.S. Coast Guard, although there is an Army Reserve unit.

The overwhelming majority of public sector employees work for the American Samoa territorial government. The one tuna cannery (StarKist and Samoa Packing (closed in 2009)) export several hundred million dollars worth of canned tuna to the United States each year. In early 2007 the Samoan economy was highlighted in the Congress as it was not mentioned in the minimum wage bill, at the request of the Samoan delegate to the United States House of Representatives, Eni Faleomavaega.

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 has, since inception, contained special provisions for American Samoa, citing its limited economy.[17] American Samoa wages are based on the recommendations of a Special Industry Committee meeting bi-annually.[18] Originally, the Act contained provisions for other territories, provisions which were phased out as those territories developed more diverse economies .[19]

In 2007, the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 was passed, increasing minimum wage in American Samoa by $0.50 per hour in 2007 and another $0.50 per hour each year thereafter until the minimum wage in American Samoa equals that of the fifty states.[20] In response to the minimum wage increase, one of the two major tuna canning plants in American Samoa was shut down in 2009 and 2,041 employees were laid off in the process.[21]

Transportation

The current territorial license plate design, introduced in 1999.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1970 27,159
1980 32,297 18.9%
1990 46,773 44.8%
2000 57,291 22.5%

The population of American Samoa stands at about 65,000, of whom 95% live on the largest island, Tutuila.[11]

91.6% of the population are native Samoans, 2.8% Asian, 1.1% White, 4.2% Mixed, and 0.3% other; 90.6% of the people speak Samoan (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), 2.9% English, 2.4% Tongan, 2.1%, other 2% other Pacific islander, with most people being bilingual. American Samoa is largely Christian (50% Christian Congregationalist, 20% Roman Catholic, 30% Protestant and other).[12]

American Samoa is small enough to have just one ZIP code, 96799, and uses the U.S. Postal Service (state code "AS") for mail delivery.[22][23] The island contains 23 primary schools and six secondary schools, all of which are operated by the American Samoa Department of Education.[24] American Samoa Community College, founded in 1970, provides post-secondary education on the islands.

Culture

The culture in American Samoa is almost the same as that of Western Samoa (Upolu). The U.S. sovereignty distinguishes the civilization of American Samoa from the sovereign Samoa.[25]

Religion

According to the World Christian Database, the population of American Samoa is 98.3% Christian, 0.7% agnostic, 0.4% Chinese Universalist, 0.3% Buddhist and 0.3% Baha'i.[26]

Sports

About 30 ethnic Samoans, many from American Samoa, currently play in the National Football League, and more than 200 play NCAA Division I college football.[27] In recent years, it has been estimated that a Samoan male (either an American Samoan, or a Samoan living in the 50 United States) is anywhere from 40[28] to 56 times[27] more likely to play in the NFL than a non-Samoan American. Nine-time Pro Bowler Junior Seau is one of the most famous Samoans ever to play in the NFL, having been elected to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, though born and raised in the mainland U.S., is perhaps the most famous Samoan currently in the NFL, not having his hair cut since 2000 (and only because a USC coach told him he had to) and wearing it down during games in honor of his heritage. The football culture was featured on 60 Minutes January 17, 2010.

A number have also ventured into professional wrestling (see especially Anoa'i family). World Wrestling Entertainment has employed many members from the Anoa'i family, most famously Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (who is also African American). However, with the recent releases of Eddie Fatu (who has since died) and Sim Snuka, adopted son of Jimmy Snuka, World Wrestling Entertainment does not currently have any Samoan wrestlers on its roster. Also in professional wrestling, a wrestler called Samoa Joe competes in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

American Samoa's national soccer team is one of the newest teams in the world. It also has the distinction of suffering the worst loss in international soccer history: they lost to Australia 31 – 0 in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match on April 11, 2001.

See also

References

  1. ^ Census Bureau News
  2. ^ "American Samoa". Encyclopædia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-54047. Retrieved February 5, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Sovereignty Matters article.
  4. ^ Story of the Legislature of American Samoa. 1988.
  5. ^ James Brooke (1 August 2005). "In South Pacific, U.S. Army has strong appeal". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/31/world/asia/31iht-saipan.html. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  6. ^ Congressman Faleomavaega (23 March 2009). "WASHINGTON, D.C.—AMERICAN SAMOA DEATH RATE IN THE IRAQ WAR IS HIGHEST AMONG ALL STATES AND U.S. TERRITORIES". Press Release. United States House of Representatives. http://www.house.gov/list/press/as00_faleomavaega/asdeathratehighestamongstates.html. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  7. ^ Paul Adams (2004). Army Reserve Magazine (United States Army Reserve) Winter. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0KAB/is_3_50/ai_n13794911/. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  8. ^ Joyce, Stacey (29 September 2009). "8.0 magnitude quake generates tsunami off Samoa islands". Reuters. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090929/ts_nm/us_quake_pacific_2. Retrieved 29 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "Pacific tsunami warning cancelled, Samoa takes brunt". Reuters. 29 September 2009. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090929/ts_nm/us_quake_pacific_7. Retrieved 29 September 2009. 
  10. ^ "Scores Are Killed as Tsunami Hits Samoa Islands". http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/01/world/asia/01tsunami.html?hp. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Profile: The Samoas". BBC News. 2009-09-30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8282826.stm. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  12. ^ a b "American Samoa". The World Factbook. CIA. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/aq.html. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  13. ^ Revised Constitution of American Samoa.
  14. ^ Districts of American Samoa, statoids.com, http://www.statoids.com/uas.html, retrieved 2008-04-26 
  15. ^ Explanation of Listings: Country overview, statoids.com, http://www.statoids.com/info.html#cov, retrieved 2008-04-26  (See the discussion, "What is the capital of X?")
  16. ^ [http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1842.htm US State Department Profile on Samoa
  17. ^ FLSA section 205, "Special industry committees for American Samoa"
  18. ^ Statement by the President Upon Signing the American Samoa Labor Standards Amendments of 1956
  19. ^ Faleomavaega Comments On Minimum Wage Bill Now Before Congress
  20. ^ Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. 29 USC 201. United States Government Printing Office. 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ "Pago Pago, AS". Zip-Codes.com. Datasheer, LLC. http://www.zip-codes.com/city/AS-PAGO-PAGO.asp. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  23. ^ "Official USPS Abbreviations". United States Postal Service. http://www.usps.com/ncsc/lookups/usps_abbreviations.html. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  24. ^ Welcome to ASDOE Website
  25. ^ National Park of American Samoa – climate
  26. ^ American Samoa: Adherents Profile at the Association of Religion Data Archives World Christian Database
  27. ^ a b Pelley, Scott (2010-01-17). "American Samoa: Football Island". 60 Minutes. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/14/60minutes/main6097706.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  28. ^ The Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) – The Dominican Republic of the NFL

Bibliography

  • Ellison, Joseph (1938). Opening and Penetration of Foreign Influence in Samoa to 1880. Corvallis: Oregon State College.
  • Sunia, Fofo (1988). The Story of the Legislature of American Samoa. Pago Pago: American Samoa Legislature.
  • Meti, Lauofo (2002). Samoa: The Making of the Constitution. Apia: Government of Samoa.

External links

Country Data

Coordinates: 14°18′S 170°42′W / 14.3°S 170.7°W / -14.3; -170.7


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Oceania : American Samoa
noframe
Flag
Image:aq-flag.png
Quick Facts
Capital Pago Pago
Government unincorporated territory of the United States
Currency US dollar (USD)
Area 199 sq km
Population 57,794 (July 2006 est.)
Language Samoan (closely related to Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages), English
Religion Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant and other 30%
Electricity 120V/60Hz (North American plug)
Calling Code +684
Internet TLD .as
Time Zone UTC -11

American Samoa [1] is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean that lie about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand and about 100km east of the island country of Samoa, which is part of the same archipelago.

American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States of America. In practical terms, this means very little. The citizens of American Samoa are US "nationals" and not US "citizens," but they are allowed to travel freely between the American Samoa and the US Mainland. They are not required to obtain green cards or visas to stay or work in the United States, and they are allowed to serve in the US armed forces (and often do). There are some ways that American Samoa's special status as an unincorporated territory have interesting legal consequences. The US Constitution is not necessarily the supreme law of the land in American Samoa, and Samoan cultural norms -- in particular, those related to the ownership of property and public displays of religion -- actually trump certain well-settled US constitutional rights in American Samoa.

Map of American Samoa
Map of American Samoa
  • Tutuila - The main island.
  • Ofu - widely regarded as one of the most stunning beaches in the South Pacific, with its high peaks dropping dramatically to sparkling white sand beaches, where the only other footsteps apart from your own are those of crabs
  • Olosega
  • Ta'u
  • Rose Island
  • Swains Island

Cities

Pago Pago (pronounced "Pongo Pongo") - capital city

  • Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary - a tropical reef, filled with all sorts of brightly-colored tropical fish including parrot fish, damselfish and butterfly fish, as well as other sea creatures like lobster, crabs, sharks and octopus
  • National Park of American Samoa - The Samoan village leaders and the U.S. Congress have set aside the finest samples of the islands' land and seascapes as a national park

Understand

Population 57,496 (July 2008 est.)

The islands are frequently referred to as Samoa, which is the name of a separate island, and independent country, that used to be known as Western Samoa, that lies about 100km west of American Samoa. Also the whole island group, including Samoa, are often identified as the Samoan islands.

Settled as early as 1000 BCE by Polynesian navigators, Samoa was reached by European explorers in the 18th century. International rivalries in the latter half of the 19th century were settled by an 1899 treaty in which Germany and the US divided the Samoan archipelago. The US formally occupied its portion - a smaller group of eastern islands with the excellent harbor of Pago Pago - the following year.

American Samoa is warm, humid and rainy year-round, but there is a long, wet summer season (October - May) and a slightly cooler and drier season (June - September). Total annual rainfall is 125 inches at the Tafuna airport and 200+ inches in mountainous areas.

Get in

By plane

There is one international airport, Pago Pago International (IATA: PPG) located at Tafuna.

Hawaiian Airlines [2] operate 2 return flights per week from Honolulu with Boeing 767 aircraft.

There are 3 airlines operating regular daily flights between Pago Pago and Apia, Samoa.

  • Inter Island Airways [3] with 19-seater Dornier 228 aircraft
  • Polynesian Airlines [4] with a 19-seater Twin Otter aircraft
  • South Pacific Express [5]with a 36-seater Shorts 360 aircraft.

Get around

By plane

Inter Island Airways is the only airline providing daily domestic air service between Pago Pago and the Manu'a Islands of Ofu/Olosega and Tau, utilizing a 10-seater Britten-Norman BN2B-26 Islander and 19-seater Dornier 228-212 aircraft. Flight time between Pago Pago and the Manu'a Islands is approximately 30-40 minutes. Due to the short 2,000 ft runway, flights to Ofu/Olosega islands can be sporadic depending on wind and weather conditions as northernly winds pickup during from October to March each year. It is not uncommon for a flight to Ofu to be diverted to Tau or back to Pago Pago due to wind conditions at Ofu airport. The airport at Tau (located in the village of Fitiuta) is able to handle any flight conditions with its 3,500 ft lighted runway. There are generally 3 flights a week to Ofu plus daily flights to Tau. Inter Island Airways will generally add additional flights, sometimes reaching 4-5 per day during the summer and winter holiday season demands. Inter Island Vacations [6] provides reservations and bookings on Inter Island Airways flights.

By bus

Several car rental facilities are available at or near the Tutuila airport. On Tutuila taxis are available at the airport, and near the market in Fagatogo. The island of Tutuila has good public transportation (frequent, but unscheduled) via “aiga” or “family” buses. For 50 cents to a dollar you can be taken around Pago Pago Harbor, and to the more remote parts of the island. Buses originate and terminate at the market in Fagatogo, the village next to Pago Pago. The roads are generally too narrow and the traffic too busy for bicycles.

Little buses run along the roads that follow along the waters edge of the island. Many Samoans carry a quarter or two in their ears for bus fare as the wraparound skirts don't have pockets. You just wave the bus down, climb over the speakers in the walkway and toss the quarter onto the dashboard where it slides around with all the other quarters. When you want off, tap the window a few times and the bus will stop. Be prepared to squeeze in.

Talk

The native language is Samoan, a Polynesian language related to Hawaiian and other Pacific island languages. English is widely spoken, and most people can at least understand it. Most people are bilingual to some degree.

Eat

Tutuila has a wide variety of places to eat--from familiar fast food stops to fine restaurants. The outer islands have far less variety. Restaurants offer a variety of cuisines, including American, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and Polynesian.

Sleep

There is hotel-style lodging on all islands except Olosega.

Work

The tuna industry is very prominent, but about 30% of the population is unemployed.

Stay healthy

American Samoa has few health risks of concern for normally healthy persons visiting the islands. Bring necessary medications with you, for supplies may not be available. Medical care is limited (there is none on the Manu’a Islands). Though the LBJ Tropical Medical Center on Tutuila was once a highly regarded regional health center, now it has fallen on hard times with staffing problems and has only marginal service. Visitors who come down with serious medical needs should get to Hawaii, Australia, or New Zealand.

Respect

Except for perhaps a few thousand individuals--nearly all inhabitants of American Samoa are indigenous Samoans of Polynesian ancestry. More than any other U.S. or Polynesians peoples, Samoans are tradition-oriented and closely follow social customs and hierarchies from long before arrival of the first Europeans. This Samoan way—or fa'asamoa—is still deeply ingrained in American Samoa culture.

The most apparent character is the Samoan matai system of organization and philosophy. In general, each village is made up of a group of aiga, or extended families, which include as many relatives as can be claimed. Each aiga is headed by a chief, or matai, who represents the family on all matters including the village council, or fono. Matais hold title to all assets of the aigas, or families; they represent and are responsible for law enforcement and punishment of infractions occurring in their villages.

The fono consists of the matais of all the aiga associated with the village. The highest chief of the matais of all the village aigas is the highest chief, or the ali’i, and heads the fono. Also, each village has a pulenu’u (somewhat like a police chief or mayor), and one or more talking chiefs, tulafale.

Over the centuries, distinct cultural traits emerged that we now call fa'asamoa (fah-ah-SAH-mo-ah). Whether you are a guest or simply passing through a village, please observe these customs as a sign of respect.

Follow the Samoan Way:

  • Always ask villagers for permission before taking photographs, using the beach, or engaging in other activities, however unobtrusive your actions may seem. Permission will almost certainly be granted.
  • In a traditional home, called a fale (fah-LAY), sit down on the floor before talking, eating, or drinking. Cross your legs or pull a mat over them; it is impolite to stretch out your legs uncovered.
  • Sunday is the day for church, for rest, and especially for quiet around the villages. Activities that are acceptable on other days, such as swimming, may not be permitted on Sunday.
  • Each evening around dusk, villagers observe a time for prayers called Sa. If you are entering a village during Sa, stop and wait quietly until Sa ends. You may even be invited to join in a family prayer. It is not necessary to stop for Sa on the main roads.
  • It is considered an honor to be asked to share ava (a local drink made from the root of the pepper plant). To show respect, spill a few drops on the ground or mat in front of you, then raise your cup and say "manuia" (mahn-ooh-WE-ah) before drinking.
  • Do not eat or drink while walking through a village
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Pronunciation

  • (UK) IPA: /əˈmɛɹ.ɪ.kən səˈməʊ.ə/
  • (US) IPA: /əˈmɛɹ.ɪ.kən səˈmoʊ.ə/
  •  Audio (US)help, file

Proper noun

American Samoa

  1. A US overseas territory in Oceania. Official name: Territory of American Samoa.

Translations

See also


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

Map of American Samoa

American Samoa (Samoan: Amerika Sāmoa

or Sāmoa Amelika) is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa.  The main (largest and most populous) island is Tutuila, with the Manubb;aImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif Islands, Rose Atoll, and Swains Island also included in the territory.  American Samoa is part of the Samoan Islands chain, located west of the Cook Islands, north of Tonga, and some 300 miles (500 km) south of Tokelau. To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna group. The 2000 census showed a total population of 57,291.[1]  The total land area is 200.22 km² (77.305 sq mi).

Contents

History

Pre-Western Contact

Main articles: History of Samoa and History of American Samoa

Although many historians debate it, many believed that the Samoan Islands were originally inhabited as early as 1000 BC. Samoa was not reached by European explorers until the eighteenth century.

The pre-Western history of Eastern Samoa (now American Samoa) is inextricably bound with the history of Western Samoa (now independent Samoa). The Manu'a Islands of American Samoa has one of the oldest histories of Polynesia, in connection with the Tui Manua title, connected with the histories of the archipelagos of Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Tokelau and elsewhere in the Pacific, where Manu'a once had influence. During the Tongan occupation of Samoa, Manu'a was the only island group that remained independent. The islands of Tutuila and Aunu'u were politically connected to 'Upolu island in what is now independent Samoa. It can be said that all the Samoa islands are politically connected today through the faamatai chiefly system and through family connections that are as strong as ever. This system of the faamatai and the customs of faasamoa originated with two of the most famous early chiefs of Samoa, who were both women and related, Nafanua and Salamasina.

Imperialization

Early Western contact included a battle in the eighteenth century between French explorers and islanders in Tutuila, for which the Samoans were blamed in the West, giving them a reputation for ferocity. Early nineteenth century Rarotongan missionaries to the Samoa islands were followed by a group of Western missionaries led by John Williams of the Congregationalist London Missionary Society in the 1830s, officially bringing Christianity to Samoa. Less than a hundred years later, the Samoan Congregationalist Church became the first independent indigenous church of the South Pacific.

In March of 1889, a German naval force invaded a village in Samoa, and by doing so destroyed some American property. Three American warships then entered the Samoan harbor and were prepared to fire on the three German warships found there. Before guns were fired, a typhoon sank both the American and German ships. A compulsory armistice was called because of the lack of warships.

As a U.S. Territory

International rivalries in the latter half of the nineteenth century were settled by the 1899 Treaty of Berlin in which Germany and the U.S. divided the Samoan archipelago. The U.S. formally occupied its portion—a smaller group of eastern islands with the noted harbor of Pago Pago—the following year. The western islands are now the independent state of Samoa.

After the U.S. took possession of Samoa, the U.S. Navy built a coaling station on Pago Pago Bay for its Pacific Squadron and appointed a local Secretary. The navy secured a Deed of Cession of Tutuila in 1900 and a Deed of Cession of Manuʻa in 1904. The last sovereign of Manuʻa, the Tui Manuʻa Elisala, was forced to sign a Deed of Cession of Manuʻa following a series of US Naval trials, known as the "Trial of the Ipu", in Pago Pago, Taʻu, and aboard a Pacific Squadron gunboat.

After World War I, during the time of the Mau movement in Western Samoa (then a New Zealand protectorate), there was a corresponding American Samoa Mau movement, led by Samuel Sailele Ripley, who was from Leone village and was a WWI war veteran. After meetings in America, he was prevented from disembarking from the ship that brought him home to American Samoa and was not allowed to return. The American Samoa Mau movement having been suppressed by the US Navy, in 1930 the US Congress sent a committee to investigate the status of American Samoa, led by Americans who had had a part in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

In 1938, famous aviator Ed Musick and his crew died on the Pan American World Airways S-42 Samoan Clipper over Pago Pago, on a survey flight to Auckland. Sometime after take-off the aircraft experienced trouble and Musick turned it back toward Pago Pago. As the crew began dumping fuel in preparation for an emergency landing a spark in the fuel pump caused an explosion that tore the aircraft apart in mid-air.

During World War II, U.S. Marines in Samoa outnumbered the local population, having a huge cultural influence. Young Samoan men from the age of 14 and above were combat trained by US military personnel. As in WWI, Samoans served in WWII as combatants, medical personnel, code personnel, ship repairs, etc.

After the war, Organic Act 4500, a U.S. Department of Interior-sponsored attempt to incorporate Samoa, was defeated in Congress, primarily through the efforts of Samoan chiefs, led by Tuiasosopo Mariota. These chiefs' efforts led to the creation of a local legislature, the American Samoa Fono which meets in the village of Fagatogo, the territory's de facto and de jure capital. (See the Capital City section below for more information on Fagatogo.)

In time, the Navy-appointed governor was replaced by a locally elected one. Although technically considered "unorganized" in that the U.S. Congress has not passed an Organic Act for the territory, American Samoa is self-governing under a constitution that became effective on July 1, 1967. The U.S. Territory of American Samoa is on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, a listing which is disputed by territorial government officials.

Politics

Main article: Politics of American Samoa
Governor Togiola Tulafono

Politics of American Samoa takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic dependency, whereby the Governor is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. American Samoa is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Its constitution was ratified 1966 and came into effect 1967. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the legislature. The American political parties (Republican and Democratic) exist in American Samoa, but few politicians are aligned with the parties. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

There is also the traditional village politics of the Samoa Islands, the "fa'amatai" and the "fa'asamoa", which continues in American Samoa and in independent Samoa, and which interacts across these current boundaries. The Fa'asamoa is the language and customs, and the Fa'amatai the protocols of the "fono" (council) and the chiefly system. The Fa'amatai and the Fono take place at all levels of the Samoan body politic, from the family, to the village, to the region, to national matters. The "matai" (chiefs) are elected by consensus within the fono of the extended family and village(s) concerned. The matai and the fono (which is itself made of matai) decide on distribution of family exchanges and tenancy of communal lands. The majority of lands in American Samoa and independent Samoa are communal. A matai can represent a small family group or a great extended family that reaches across islands, and to both American Samoa and independent Samoa.

See also: Elections in American Samoa

Nationality

Persons born in American Samoa are American nationals, but not United States citizens. Such status is only conferred on people born in the districts of American Samoa and Swains Island, but not to people born in unorganized atolls.

Samoans are entitled to elect one non-voting delegate to the United States House of Representatives. Their delegate since 1989 has been Democrat Eni Fa'aua'a Hunkin Faleomavaega They also receive delegates to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Geography

Main articles: Geography of American Samoa and Administrative divisions of American Samoa

American Samoa is located within the geographical region of Oceania. With a total land area of 199 km² (123.7 sq miles), it is slightly larger than the District of Columbia. Consisting of five, rugged volcanic islands and two coral atolls, it is frequently hit by typhoons between December and March, due to its positioning in the South Pacific Ocean. In addition, Rose Atoll, located in American Samoa, is the southernmost point in the territory of the United States

American Samoa is administratively divided into three districts and two "unorganized" atolls. The districts and unorganized atolls are subdivided into 74 villages. Pago Pago is the capital of American Samoa.[2] It is one of the largest villages and is located on the eastern side of Tutuila island in Ma'oputasi County district #9. Some have mistakenly cited Fagatogo as the capital due to the fact that is listed in the Constitution of American Samoa as the official seat of government.[1]

Economy

Main article: Economy of American Samoa

Employment on the island basically falls into three relatively equally-sized categories of approximately 5,000 workers each: the public sector, the two tuna canneries, and the rest of the private sector. There are only a few federal employees in American Samoa and no active military personnel (there is an Army Reserve unit, however); the overwhelming majority of public sector employees work for the American Samoa Government. The two tuna canneries (StarKist and Samoa Packing) export several hundred million dollars worth of canned tuna to the United States. In early 2007 the Samoan economy was highlighted in the U.S. Congress as it was not mentioned in the minimum wage bill, at the request of the Samoan delegate to the United States House of Representatives, Eni Faleomavaega.

The Fair Labor Standards Act has, since inception, contained special provisions for American Samoa, citing its limited economy.[3] Since the American set based on the recommendations of a Special Industry Committee meeting bi-annually.[4] Originally, the Act contained provisions for other territories, which were phased out as those territories developed more diverse economies.[5]

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of American Samoa

American Samoa is small enough to have just one ZIP code, 96799. The island contains 23 primary schools and six secondary schools, all of which are operated by the American Samoa Department of Education.[6] American Samoa Community College, founded in 1970, provides post-secondary education on the islands.

  1. REDIRECT Template:SectstubImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif

Culture

Main article: Culture of Samoa

The culture in American Samoa is almost basically the same as in Western Samoa (Upolu). The U.S. military and agricultural occupation distinguishes and civilization of American Samoa from the sovereign Samoa.[7]

  1. REDIRECT Template:SectstubImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif

Sports

See also: Sports in American Samoa

About 30 ethnic Samoans, many from American Samoa, currently play in the National Football League. A 2002 article from ESPN[8] estimated that a Samoan male (either an American Samoan, or a Samoan living in the 50 United States) is 40 times more likely to play in the NFL than a non-Samoan American.

A number have also ventured into professional wrestling (see especially Anoa'i family).

The bloodsport of dog fighting is legal in American Samoa.[9]

American Samoa's national soccer team is considered one of the newest teams in the world. It also has the distinction of suffering the worst loss in international soccer history: they lost to Australia 31-0 in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match on April 11 2001.

See also

References

External links

All wikimedia projects
Articles on this topic in other Wikimedia projects can be found at: American Samoa

Government

Overviews

Other


This article uses material from the "American Samoa" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|240px|American Samoa on a map of the world]] American Samoa is a territory of the United States in Samoan Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean.

International rivalries in the latter half of the 19th century were settled by an 1899 treaty in which Germany and the US divided the Samoan archipelago. The US formally occupied its portion - a smaller group of eastern islands with the noted harbor of Pago Pago - the following year. The western islands are now the independent state of Samoa. Though technically considered "unorganized" in that the US Congress has not passed an Organic Act for the territory, American Samoa is self-governing under a constitution that became effective on July 1, 1967.

The capital is Pago Pago, but the seat of government is Fagatogo.

Error creating thumbnail: sh: convert: command not found
rue:Америцька Самоя

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message