American Samoa

By: Alec D. Marcum

Landforms

Islands- Aunu'u, Manu'a, Ofu-Olosega, Swains Island, Tutuila, Rose, & Ta'u

Mountains- Lata & Rainmaker

Volcano- Vailulu'u

Plains- Emu Plains


Bodies of Water

Springs of American Samoa & South Pacific


Climate

Tropical, warm/hot, & high humidity

Plants

Orchids & Taro

Animals

Fruit bats, bulbuls, mynas, petrels, nautilus, honeyeaters, tropical doves, tropical pigeons, Samoan starling, corals, clownfish, damselfish, surgeonfish, wrasse, & parrotfish


Natural Resources

Fish, forests, hydropower, & petroleum


History

The islands of American Samoa have a total land area of 76 square miles. Tutuila contains about two thirds of the total area and is home to 95% of the 65,000 islanders. American Samoa is located 14 degrees south of the equator, and 172 degrees meridian west, and is the center of Polynesia. Located 2,300 miles southwest of Hawaii and 1,600 miles northeast of New Zealand, it forms a strategic midpoint on vital shipping and air routes


People

Samoan 89%, Tongan 4%, Caucasian 2%, & other 5%


Languages

Samoan & English

Land Use

Arabic land 10%, permanent crops 15%, & other 75%


Religion

Christian Congregationalist 50%, Roman Catholic 20%, Protestant & other 30%

Education

22 early childhood education schools, 23 elementary schools, & 6 high schools

Customs/Traditions

Women belonging to village or church societies use gatherings to converse. Sandals or shoes are removed before one enters a home and although most people sit on chairs, in traditional homes, people often sit cross-legged on floor mats. When seated in this way, pointing one’s feet at each other is avoided. The host family always presents guests with refreshments without being asked. In a formal setting, refreshments might include fresh coconut with biscuits, butter and jam. For an informal gathering, soda, cookies or other store-bought snack foods are served. As guests are not required to eat all the food and drink they are served, it is impolite not to take a small amount to show appreciation to the host for their efforts.

Food

taro, papayas, mangoes, pineapple, coconut, durian, banana, breadfruit, yams, manioc, & onions

Current issues/Challenges

Tsunamis & deforestation