Tag: Samoa

The Matai Handbook Samoan Culture

How to Serve Tea to a Samoan Chief – and Why it Matters

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 […]

Samoan Culture Samoan People Samoan Language The Samoan Islands

20 Most Asked Questions About Samoa – Answered by Samoans

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 […]

Samoan People Samoan Language Thoughts on Life

Why the word hamo is offensive… but it’s okay! I’ve taken it back.

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 […]

Samoan Manners Samoan Culture

Samoan Tradition: Ifoga

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 […]

Samoan History Samoan People

Samoan Independence Day – Memories and Contemplation

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 […]


The Samoan Visiting Gift Etiquette Pt. 1

Visiting family is always a great thing – catching up on the stories, updates on family members, sharing food and sometimes sharing tears, all in the name of ‘being together’ is no doubt one of life’s simple pleasures (if you are close to your family lol)

And then there leaves the question of etiquette. Sure, most families would have some type of give and take, the token of love can be in a simple plate of food, a nice chocolate cake and even just a bucket of KFC! But what is the procedure and requirements when you visit a family in Samoa? What amount of gifts or monetary ‘mea alofa’ is required?

…from Screaming Tree

Life in Samoa

Samoans and Bingo

Because someone beat me to the punch of “Checkers” lol, I moved on to Bingo. What a game. I actually have no idea to play the darn thing. lol Even when I yelled out “BINGO” because obviously I had bingo’d, thanks to Aunty Fuala’au who marked my paper along with her eight. Can we say […]

Life in Samoa

The Art of Mu

The nimble fingers dance across the board with hands showing wear and tear of a hardworking life, a dedication to working the family plantation, building the family home, the hand of a bible holding childhood, disciplinary cuts of a hand upon a child – once strong and useful to the Aiga these hands are reduced to the competition of a quick thinking mind and the reasoning of veteran conscience that dictates the outcome of this simple game.

To the naked eye of an outsider, the old men playing Mu is an equivalent of a bunch of alcoholics, but if you look deeper it is more than just a game that these souls play to fade away the lazy hot Samoan afternoon, but a last element of competition to show superiority and being a man in this culture of hierarchy and duty bound soldiers of a village, family, country.

…from Screaming Tree

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