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Literature Relating to Samoa
We are in the process of collecting out-of-copyright texts about, or of relevance to, Samoa and making them available of the Internet. This is a time consuming and tedious task, so please don't expect to see frequent changes to this page. Click on the links below to access them.
My Consulate in Samoa: Willam B. Churchward spent 4 years in Samoa from 1881-1885 as British consul. He documented incidents of everyday Samoan life as well as the diplomatic situation that was unfolding between Britain, Germany and the US.
Samoa A Hundred Years And Long Before: George Turner, the missionary who was based in Samoa in the last half of the 19th century wrote this book detailing his observations of Samoan culture.
Prayers Written at Vailima: Whilst living in Samoa Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a number of prayers for use in their family worship. After his death, his wife Fanny collected them.
A Brief Footnote to History: Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a detailed account of the Samoan civil war at the end of the last century. His information is based on accounts of incidents from eye witnesses and key protagonists
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the following, gruesome in places, account of the Samoan Civil War in 1893.
In the South Seas: Many people are unaware of just how widely travelled Robert Louis Stevenson was. He recorded his observations of several trips around the Pacific in this book. It provides an excellent insight into life in the Micronesian countries at the end of the last century.
Sailing Alone Around the World: Joshua Slocum sailed single handedly around the world at the end of the last century; the first person to do so. Two chapters from his book detail his stay in Samoa. This electronic copy was kindly sent to us by Glenn Myers, who recently arranged an exhibition about the voyages of Captain Slocum.
Ati's Printshop: A supplier of Samoan specific literature.
Because of the absence of a written script,
Samoa had a very strong oral tradition with songs, poems and familiy histories being
passed by word of mouth from generation to generation. Every member of a family would
start to learn the family genealogy from a very early age since this generally related to
the claims to land titles as well. Because everyone learned the same histories it was very
difficult for one person to alter, or for errors to occur without them being detected.
However, as time passed the earliest ancestors appear to have acquired mythical status. Because navigation and boats were integral to the Samoan
and Polynesian way of life stories we told of the great journeys undertaken and even of
the history of boats.
Because navigation and boats were integral to the Samoan and Polynesian way of life stories we told of the great journeys undertaken and even of the history of boats.
If you are looking for books on any aspect of Samoa or its culture then our bibliography might be a good place for you to start.