Know More About Samoan Culture and its People

Fa'a Samoa. This is the spirit and the way of life of the Samoan people. In this article, we will discuss the Samoan culture and people. Photo credit: Mareko Tamaleaa


Jfresh Photography

1/27/2021 2 min read

Happy People of Polynesia

The Samoan people are known as happy and joyful that they earned the moniker, “The Happy People of Polynesia.” They embody warmth, kindness, and generosity that capture the hearts of everyone.


Fa'a matai and the community

This is how they call their collective system of governance. In this kind of governance, their leaders are expected to show the virtue of selflessness. This means that they have to put the needs of the village and their families before their own interests.

The village leaders are called the "matais" and the residents who they serve to pay a lot of respect to them because of the virtue that they show. 


Respect for family and elders

At the heart of the Fa'a Samoa lies the "aiga" which means family in Samoan. This only shows that you should put your family above everything else, maintain closeness, and most especially, show love to them.

In conclusion, the Fa'a Samoa is the "spirit of family" and you will see and feel that this is very much embedded in everything that they do. 


Kind children and their kinship

Children are set to be polite, obedient, and respectful towards aganu'u fa'a Samoa or customs. It’s also about respecting the elders and the cultural heritage which keeps the spirit of Samoa alive.

These qualities are grounded over both Samoan and Christian beliefs. Young people are also expected to obey their parents until it’s time for them to marry.


Know the Samoan Culture

It’s impossible not to be in awe with the Samoan culture. Everything they do embed mystique, magic, and lore. Their laid-back vibe and love for traditions are infectious. Samoans are tight-knit and uphold much of their traditions with respect.



This is also known as the Samoan Tattooing. For Western Culture, tattoos symbolize self-adornment and expression. But, for the Samoans, it means more than that for the Tatau has rich historical significance. 

Samoan tattoo symbolizes two things that are very important to their culture: faith and family ties. Moreover, getting a tatau is a long and painful process which is believed to make a person reflect on how deep is his or her devotion to the community. 



Couples in Samoa do not expect gifts from the people who will attend their weddings. For them, presence, warm smiles and hugs, and words of praises and encouragement are already enough. Actually, the couples are the ones giving gifts to their guests to thank them for these things.

Also, this means that they are already establishing themselves as a new family in the community.


Siva Afi or fire knife dance

The Siva Afi is the most popular Samoan dance and is often implemented in ceremonies. Tribal performers dance and do acrobatic stunts while the blade (wrapped in cloth and oiled) is on fire. The dance is based on a legend between the King of Tonga and Samoa, until the Birth of Siva Afi.

Other dances such as the slap dance, Fa'ataupati, are also well-loved for its rhythmic motions to the beat of the drums. The Maulu'ulu, an all-female dance, is elegantly displayed in many ceremonies, too.