Samoan People Culture is totally different culture from all over the world. Their customs and traditions are somewhat strange and amazing. Their strong values and fraternity is quite unique and amazing for people. I lived in different countries and enjoyed their different unique traditions. But the experience of Samoan culture was indifferent and sensational from all.
Samoan island is basically located in South Pacific Ocean. It is divided in two groups, eastern and western islands. The western parts make independent country which is called Samoa. And eastern part is under USA’s territory which is called American Samoa. The people of Polynesian island and Samoan island were quite famous in middle ages because of their exceptional values and navigational abilities.
Fa- amatai (The way of Samoa):
One can never understand their complex cultural values if he never experienced the region’s values by his own self. When I was living there, one word which was quite strange for me was Fa- amatai. After some time I came to know its meaning, actually Matai means head of family, and Fa means way of life. So collectively it deals with rules, values and customs of Samoan families. Actually Matai which is the head of family is all alone responsible for family’s matters. And no one could interrupt him in dealing with them. Previously only Matai’s were allowed to vote. But now suffrage granted this right to masses.
Samoan culture’s population is 99% Christian. Samoa consisted one of the largest Baha’i houses of worship. Hindus and Buddhists are present in extremely low amount. Participation in religious and cultural events is considered obvious in their culture. That’s why their religious places and churches always beautifully decorated with paintings and printed canvases having religious sayings. But their religion provides them full freedom in all matters.
For conferring the Matai title, Samoan people arrange a ceremony and prepare the Ava drinks. Its beverage is made up of Kava plant. The people who serve the drink are called tautuava and the one who make it called Aumega. It is prepared in that bowl which is supported by number of sticks. The seating positions are set by the chief or orator.
Samoan houses are called Fale. These are made up of cone shape or as domes. They contain no walls. Privacy could be achieved by putting blinds. Poor could not afford that luxurious style. Fale are lashed together by a rope which is called Afa. And its construction takes months. The area outside the entrance is called Malai, which always beautifully decorated with landscapes and famous personality’s photos on canvas because this area was reserved for grand celebrations and gatherings. These houses are without doors, but after European arrival people started to make doors. But they still prefer their traditional terms.
Dance & Music:
Their interest in music is not so noticeable. As this is not a part of their cultural and religious obligations. They use music to express emotions or celebration of any particular event. Chorus, pan flutes and conch shells are most prominent musical instruments. Their popular dance is Genre, which is performed by men only. During my stay I saw their fire knife dance, which was quite difficult to perform but interesting to observe.
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