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.
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.
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.
"First Contacts" in Polynesia: The Samoan Case (1722-1848); Western Misunderstandings about Sexuality and Divinity.(Book review)
Mar 22, 2007; "First Contacts" in Polynesia: The Samoan Case (1722-1848); Western Misunderstandings about Sexuality and Divinity, by Serge...