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Sunday, January 11, 2009

American Samoa

American Samoa, a tropical island paradise in the heart of Polynesia, has succeeded in keeping the traditional values of old Samoa. It is made up of seven islands, including Ta'u, Olosega and Ofu, known as the Manu'a group, which are volcanic in origin and dominated by high peaks.The islands’ volcanoes, inactive since 1911, have left an intriguing land formation, including lava tubes to explore. Most people live in villages along the narrow coastal plains, living off the sea and cultivating agriculture in the plains and nearby hills. Half the island chain is still covered with tropical forests and woodlands that are home to wildlife and birds.Traditional Samoan society is based on a chieftain system of hereditary rank, and is known as the Samoan way or fa'a Samoa. Despite the inroads of modern, Western civilisation, local cultural institutions are the strongest single influence in American Samoa