Samoa - History and Cultural Relations

Settlement of the Fiji-Tonga-Samoa area by people belonging to the prehistoric Melanesian Lapita culture took place Between about 1500 and 1000 B . C . Genealogical, mythological, and linguistic evidence suggests that relations with both Tonga and Fiji were maintained throughout the prehistoric period, with intermarriage occurring among the upper classes especially of the Samoan and Tongan population. The first European to sight the Samoan Islands in 1722 was the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, though he did not land there. In about 1800 some isolated European sailors and escaped convicts settled on Samoa, bringing with them the first notion of Christianity. In 1830, the missionary John Williams of the London Missionary Society (LMS) landed in Savai'i during a power struggle among factions, bringing with him native Polynesian missionaries from Tahiti and the Cook Islands. The first permanent European missionaries arrived in 1835 (LMS and Methodists), followed by Roman Catholic priests in 1845. During the nineteenth century, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States strove for influence among the diverse Samoan factions. In 1900, Western Samoa became a German colony (until 1914) and Eastern Samoa was claimed by the United States. From 1914 to 1962, New Zealand administered Western Samoa, which became an independent state in 1962, with kings Malietoa Tanumafili II and Tupua Tamasese Mea'ole serving as joint heads of state. Before World War II, administrative policies by the New Zealand administration led to the "Mau," a resistance movement (1926—1936) that mustered the support of about 90 percent of the Samoan population at its height. American Samoa remains a United States territory. After constitutional changes, Peter Tali Coleman became the first elected native Samoan governor in 1977.

Also read article about Samoa from Wikipedia

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: