Samoa: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About Samoa, information, history size, location, population, people, culture, and government.


Western Samoa: Size--1,097 sq. mi. (2,841 sq. km.). Population--180,000. American Samoa: Size--76 sq. mi. (197 sq. km.). Population--30,000. There are also at least 20,000 American Samoans living in California and Hawaii.

These 15 islands in the South Pacific, 2,300 mi. southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, were probably the cradle of Polynesian civilization. It was from here that the other islands, including Hawaii, were settled. Samoa 1st came under foreign sway in the 1860s. As a result of Germany's defeat in W.W. I, the western part of Samoa became a League of Nations mandate under New Zealand's control and in 1962 it became independent although New Zealand continued to supply financial support. Eastern Samoa came under U.S. control in 1899. Since then, the U.S. has refused to consider granting independence, preferring to maintain power through a paternalistic U.S.-appointed governor. Samoan society is organized around the village, which is a group of related households or extended families headed by a chief, whose title is inherited.

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