Fa'a Samoa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Fa'a Samoa in the Samoan language means The Samoan Way, and describes the socio-political and traditional-customary way of life of the Samoan culture.

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.

Central to the organisation of Samoan society is the culture's Fa'amatai traditional system of social organisation.[1]

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.


  1. ^ Fana'afi Le Tagaloa, Aiono (1986). Western Samoa the Sacred Covenant. Land rights of Pacific women. University of the South Pacific;Institute of Pacific Studies. p. 103. ISBN 982-02-0012-1. Retrieved 2 March 2010.