American Samoa is a chain of seven islands between New Zealand and Hawaii. Though it is an American owned unincorporated territory, American Samoan enjoys a very unique culture based on the Fa’a Samoa, a term describing the socio-political creed practiced by those in the Samoan Islands. It translates to ‘The Samoan Way’ and revolves around three central elements: religion, family, and matai (village elders).
The country enjoys pleasant summer weather throughout the entire year. The island experiences high humidity, but from June to September, American Samoa experiences a much drier climate. The ideal weather makes it an ideal tourist spot for those in the Southern Hemisphere. It is said that the American Samoan volcanic island of Ofu is home to one of the Pacific’s most stunning coastlines.
- One-third of employment in the territory is accounted for by the StarKist tuna cannery. The other two-thirds is split between the public sector and the rest of the private sector.
- American Samoa is made up of five volcanic islands and two coral atolls, Rose Island and Swains Island. The volcanic islands have very few coastal plains and jagged peaks.
- Apia, the capital, is on the northern shore of Upolu Island. It is the country’s main port.
- Falealupo Village in Samoa has the latest sunset in the world.
- American Samoa has a very communal culture. The people of the community make decisions together and often pool and share their resources.
- Like other U.S. territories, American Samoa uses the American dollar.
- The speed limit across all of American Samoa is 25 mph. In communities, it is even lower at 15 mph.
- The second Sundays of May and October are called White Sunday. The days are meant to celebrate the beauty of youth and the joy of children. All children and women wear white.
- The culture has extensive religious mythology dating back thousands of years, but Christianity is currently the largest religion. Almost 100 percent of residents identify as Christian.