Samoa Facts

Samoa Facts and History


Samoa is located in the middle of the southeastern Pacific, west of the date line since the end of 2011.

It is located approximately 2,900 km from Auckland (New Zealand), 8,500 km from Sydney (Australia) and 8,400 km from San Francisco (USA). It belongs to the Polynesian culture and is located in the middle of Polynesia, which also includes the Cook Islands, Easter Island, French Polynesia, Niue, Pitcain, Tokelau, Tonga, as well as Wallis and Futuna.

Samoa consists of two main islands, Upolu and Savaii, and was formerly a German colony. After the First World War, New Zealand took over the government.

In 1962, Samoa became the first island in the Pacific to gain independence.

To the east of Samoa is American Samoa, which is US territory and is accordingly Americanized. Both states have the same language and cultural history. However, since 1900 the islands have developed differently. Anyone looking for the original Samoa should go to Samoa. Samoa is one of the islands in the Pacific whose culture has been able to assert itself to this day against strong European influences.

In Samoa as well as in neighboring Tonga, the Christian Church is deeply rooted in society. Going to church on Sunday mornings and afternoons is a must. The rest of the day is spent with an opulent lunch and the following afternoon nap. The tourist accommodations are often simple beach huts that are located directly on the sea, where you are also guests of the Samoan extended family.

On September 29, 2009, the archipelago was hit by a tsunami – over 120 people lost their lives.

Name of the country Independent State of Samoa
Form of government Parliamentary democracy
Geographical location In the South Pacific; between 13 ° 15 ‘and 14 ° 5’ south latitude and 171 ° 20 ‘to 172 ° 50’ west longitude
National anthem The Banner Of Freedom
Population About 185,000 (Credit: Countryaah: Samoa Population)
Ethnicities 92.6% Samoans, 7% Euronesians, 0.4% Europeans
Religions 99.7% are Christians of the following faiths: Congregation of the Anglican Faith, Catholics, Methodists, Seven Day Adventists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Baha’is
Languages Samoan and English
Capital Apia, with 40,000 residents
Surface 2,842 km²
Highest mountain Mt. Silisili, at an altitude of 1,858 m on the island of Savaií
Longest river Mali’oli’o River
Largest lake in area Lake Lannoto’o
International license plate WS
Currency The tala, also known as WS $ (dollar)
Time difference to CET +13 h (since the end of 2011)
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .ws

Samoa: history

Early history

The first documented settlement in Samoa is Mulifanua on the island of Upolu, which dates back to around 1,000 BC. Is dated. It is believed that the first settlers came from Malaysia, the Philippines or from East India.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, the original home of the Polynesians, Hawaiiki, is believed to be Samoa. There was a lively exchange between Samoa, Tonga and Fiji in the form of trade or marriage. Since women could have a very high cultural status, which was sometimes higher than that of their brothers, they were simply married to the neighboring islands in order to avoid conflicts.

Approx. In 300 AD the Marquesas Islands were settled from Samoa. From these, in turn, the settlement of the outer Polynesian islands such as Hawai, New Zealand and Easter Island, which form the Poynesian triangle, which circumscribes the Polynesian cultural area.

Around 950 AD, Tongan warriors invaded Savaii first and then Upolu, where they dominated until around 1250. After the agreement of a peace treaty, however, these withdrew again.

In the 15th century, Queen Salamasina ruled for 60 peaceful years. It united the four chief tribes.

The Europeans are coming

The first European who verifiably saw Samoa was the Dutch navigator Roggeveen (1659-1729) in 1722. Before this, whalers, pirates and escaped prisoners from the penal colonies were there.

Louis-Antoine de Bourgainville, after whom the beautiful flowers are named, reached the islands in 1768. In 1830 the British missionary John Williams (1796-1839) of the London Missionary Society came to Samoa. He and others succeeded in completely Christianizing the residents in a few years.

In 1857 the German trading company Geoffrey und Sohn from Hamburg settled in Samoa. August Unselm was the founder. He was a successful businessman who also knew how to mediate successfully between the interests of European settlers and those of the native Samoans. After his death, Theodor Weber continued to run the business no less successfully.

In 1889, a treaty between Great Britain, the USA and Germany was signed in Berlin, which provided for a joint government over the islands. The British withdrew, however, and Samoa was partitioned between the US and Germany. West Samoa fell to the Germans, the eastern islands to the USA.

1900 – present

In World War I, the New Zealanders took over Samoa. In 1919 Samoa was subordinated to the New Zealand League of Nations. The Samoans practiced quiet resistance against the New Zealanders in the years 1926-1936.

In 1960 the first own constitution was passed. On January 1, 1962, West Samoa became the first island nation in the Pacific to gain independence. However, universal suffrage was not introduced until 1991. In 1997, West Samoa was renamed Samoa.

Samoa Facts