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In Samoa, its culture embraces an all-encompassing traditional system of behavior and responsibilities that spells out all Samoans' relationships to one another and to persons holding positions of authority.
In addition to the set familial relationships, which extend to one's entire extended family (the aiga) with its familial chief (the Matai), Samoans also show respect to persons in positions of authority, and reverently observe customs of long standing which have rather more force than mere etiquette.
For example, most Samoan villages enforce a period of prayer in the early evening, signified by ringing a bell or by blowing a conch shell. During this brief curfew (the sa) one should not stop in the village if passing through. Appointed guardians, or aumaga, may stand by the road to ensure that travelers do not enter. Likewise, it is extremely disrespectful to eat or drink when walking through a village. Hosts have responsibility for the actions of their guests, and may incur a fine from the village authorities for infractions of local customs.
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