You may have noticed. Many Samoan families have a preference for arranging their living rooms in a large, inward-facing oblong or oval formation, with the backs of all the couches and armchairs pushed up against the walls. If you know anything about life in Samoa, you might guess that this practice is just a remnant […]
We’ve all seen it. You’re Googling something to do with Samoa and you see from the search results that others have been asking questions about Samoan people, too – but they’re really basic questions that you thought everybody knew the answers to by now. Surely! But then you realize the world is a big place […]
When I started calling myself Hamo Geek Girl (omg, almost 10 years ago) it made some people uncomfortable. “Do you know the history of the word ‘hamo’?” some asked. “Isn’t that offensive to Samoans?” asked others. Yes I know. Hamo was not my most favourite word, either, but I took it back! For a number […]
It’s a fact of life: humans are attracted to drama… which makes me – and apparently, Samoans in general – oh so very human. I don’t remember when I first heard about the Samoan tradition of ‘ifoga’, but I do remember thinking wow. How tragically beautiful.. how poignantly dramatic. Ifoga is a grand, theatrical, mother […]
Today marks the 51st year since (Western) Samoa gained independence. (Well, it actually happened on the first of January, 1962, but we celebrate it in June). For a relatively young island nation, Samoa has a rich and spirited history, and every year on this day we remember with gratitude the long and painful protests our […]
She is colourful, this lady, from her photos to her words to the imagery she paints in her lyricism. She’s one to blow up our village blog feed with her wild and prolific postings, but spend some time in her poetry and you’ll discover a woman who is overcoming loss and tragedy through the flow […]
When I was in high school my family moved to New Zealand so we could live close to my ageing grandmother. An added bonus was that just about all my mother’s 8 siblings (and their children, and their children’s children) lived in the same neighbourhood, and for as long as my grandmother was still with […]
Samoa’s history is peppered with skirmishes over land and even a civil war or two. It was customary back then for those who were defeated in battle to retreat into the mountains.
This is why, after the tragic events of Samoa’s Black Saturday, the men of the Mau scattered to find refuge in villages far away from Upolu’s troubled coastline.
The women, however, didn’t….