American Samoa

north of Tonga, and some 300 miles (500 km) south of Tokelau

Roggeveen happened upon the islands in 1722
and traded a few nails for coconuts

La Perouse did not offer nails or coconuts
and 11 Frenchmen were killed

Now dubbed savages
John Williams brought Christianity in 1830

No one told him the French shot a Samoan attempting to steal an iron bolt
He didn't need to know

Warfare as an instrument of political change was discarded, as was polygamy, abortion, "indecent" dances, and certain common articles of clothing (such as the titi, a skirt made from Cordyline terminalis leaves)

Later, other papalagi (foreigners) visited Samoa for its proximity to whaling grounds and the harbor of Pago Pago

Coconut milk, fresh fish, breadfruit, and tinned or fresh meat were dropped in favor of Western foods, a sedentary life, and higher risks of obesity and diabetes

People stopped fishing and the USA took control of its allotted region on June 7, 1900 with the Deed of Cession

Now Samoa is known to have only two distinct seasons: the hot and rainy season and the cooler evenings from May to November

No comments: