* Samoan Islands activities

Samoan Islands: Activities

Figure 1.--Here we see children harvesting coconuts near Pago Pago on the main island of American Samoa, Tutuila. Notice the child size outrigger that the children have.

We have some limited information on activites practiced on Samoa and the clothing associated with those activities. The primary activity is school. The first Samoan schools were founded by missionaries (1830s). We have no information at this time on schools during the German (1900-14) and New Zealand (1914-61) period. Independent Samoa has generally followed educatiional trends based on the New Zealand school system. Major improvements were made in the 1990s. The Government made school attendance mandatory for all children from 5 to 14 years of age or until completion of the 8th grade (1994). The public school system administered by the DoE consists of 139 primary schools, 21 junior secondary schools, and 4 senior secondary schools. The Samoan the government instituted a new education plan (1995). There are differences between rural and urban schools. Almost all children attend primary schools. The system generally follows the New Zealand educational system. Many children wear school uniforms. The Samoas are a group of idealically tropical islands. This a range of wonderful activities are available to the children at viurtually ant time they choose, including swimming, diving, fishing, and boating. Here we see children with a child-size outrigger canoe giving them the opportunity to paddle around beaches (figure 1). The beaches are fringed with beautiful palm trees, offering either a refresging treat or possibly for sale to tourists. Another important activity is religion. The Samoans like most Polynesians had polytheistic religion that incorporated both human and non-human gods. Ancestors might enter the pantheon. There was little outward display and formal worship ceremonies. Europeans when they first encountered the Samoans concluded that they did not have a religion. Actually the traditionalm religion paved the way for Christianity. One of the most important Samonan god, the war goddess Nafanua, prophesized that a new religion was coming that woul replace the old religion and wipe out the old gods. The first Europeans to settle in Samoa were missionaries. They had a profound influence on Samoan culture. John Williams and Charles Barf (London Missionary Society) came to Samoa to introduce Christianity (1830). Most today Samoans are Christians divided among several major denominations. Samoans because of their association with New Zealanders and Americans have developed a keen interest in sports. This is an entirely inprted cultural phenomenon. And seems to more active than on other Polynesian islands. Some traditiomnal activies continue such as fishing which now is not only a subsistence activity, but for recreation as well.


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Created: 3:34 PM 10/26/2020
Last updated: 3:34 PM 10/26/2020