8 Interesting Facts About Samoa You need to Know

Curious about this country? Here are some interesting facts about Samoa – the country with only one city! Photo credit: Michal Pechardo

2021-01-27 2 min read

Did you ever dream about living on an island? What is it like to live around nature? The people of Samoa, a country in the Southern Pacific Islands can give you an idea of what it feels like to do so. 

 

Curious about this country? Here are some interesting facts about Samoa – the country with only one city!

 

Samoa only has one city. 

Yes, you read that right. Apia is the capital and the largest city of Samoa with a population of approximately 37,000. It is located on Upolu, Samoa’s second-largest island. Did you know? Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson spent his last four years in Apia while declaring his love for Samoa. He is buried in Mt. Vaea

 

Samoa is made up of volcanic islands. 

Samoa is composed of nine islands believed to be of volcanic origin -- meaning that the land was formed due to strong volcanic activities. Of these, two islands – Savai’i and Upolu make up more than 99% of the land.

 

Having tattoos is part of their culture. 

Similar to other Polynesian cultures, Samoans celebrate their culture by having tattoos. They have specific tattoos for males and females called pe’ a and malu respectively. It’s a hallmark for respect and a symbol of their manhood and womanhood.

 

Boys are in charge of household duties. 

Compared to other cultures where girls are mainly responsible for housekeeping duties, traditional Samoan culture dictates otherwise. Fa’afafine, Samoans who identify themselves as non-binary, raise their male family members to conduct duties such as cooking and cleaning the house.

 

Traditional Samoan houses have no walls. 

Having a close relationship with your neighbors is usual for Samoans. This is why their traditional houses have no walls -- to host many people as much as you can whenever there are gatherings or celebrations.

 

The Samoan Pulemelei is the oldest structure in Polynesia.

The Pulemelei is an ancient pyramid mound built with basalt stones. It’s the largest of its kind with a base measure of 65 meters by 60 meters. It has dimensions of 12 meters high on the southern edge and seven meters on the northern edge. Archaeologists revealed that the mound was built sometime between 1100 AD and 1400 AD. Scientists recorded about 3,000 artifacts including stone pavements, ovens, and pathways.

 

Fa'a Samoa is a way of life. 

Samoans have strong ties with their ancestors. This is evident in their philosophy called  Fa'a Samoa, which means doing things in the way that your ancestors did them. This is why up to this day, some of their traditions are still being practiced every day by Samoans.

 

The ʻie tōga is a cultural emblem.

The ʻie tōga is a woven mat used in many ceremonies of Samoan cultural rituals such as funerals, weddings, or title bestowals. These mats are interlaced by women and form an important cultural role in their skills and identity. The ʻie tōga represents much wealth of a Samoan family.

 

Samoa is a striking country with numerous cultural attractions waiting to be explored. Your little tots will appreciate the history and folk aspects of the land with vivid imaginations.

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