Le Api | The Notebook

A collection of thoughts and stories – mostly from a Hamo Geek Girl – exploring the language and culture of Samoan people.

Matai: A Complicated System of Chiefs

Matai: A Complicated System of Chiefs

Matai is the Samoan word for leader, or chief, or even (in the poetic sense) father. Samoan society is organized by family, and each family has its own matai titles, which are connected to certain districts, villages and plots of family land. And that was the short...

Matai – How to become a Samoan Chief [Part 2]

Matai – How to become a Samoan Chief [Part 2]

This is the second part of our series on The Path to Becoming a Samoan Chief. Please read Part 1 first, if you haven't already. Part 1 gives you a bit of background - where do matai titles come from? Who decides how your family's titles are distributed? How do you...

How Samoans treat their elders

How Samoans treat their elders

In general, the Samoan attitude towards aging is pretty similar to other cultures. To us, old age is wisdom and accomplishment. It's a time to sit back and enjoy the spoils of life. But how do younger Samoans treat our elders?  Samoan culture emphasizes alofa (love)...

Ie Sina – a lost Samoan art

Ie Sina – a lost Samoan art

I was back of house at the Melbourne Museum, browsing their hidden Pasifika collection, when I first saw one of these. This is Samoan? I asked. Yes, came the reply... and apparently, when a group of Samoan community elders visited a few weeks earlier, they gasped and...

Village One Samoana

Were you once a One Samoana ‘Native’? If you were a member of the One Samoana social network (which ran from 2008 – 2012), then a you may recognize some of these Native-written blogs from a heartbeat and a lifetime ago.

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