Samoa History

Samoa in the heart of Polynesia is an idyllic South Pacific Island, where life is slow and the Samoan people are as warm and friendly as the weather. Samoa’s history started with the Polynesians who settled on the Islands about 1000BC. Samoa’s largest ancient structure is the pyramid-shaped Tia Seu Ancient Mound on Savaii.

In about 950AD warriors from Tonga (a nearby island group) took over Samoa in the South Pacific and ruled until about 1200AD.

In the 1800’s German traders visited the islands and, in 1900 Samoa became a colony of Germany. During this time Reverend John Williams moved to Samoa and converted all of the islanders to Christianity.

One of the more welcome visitors to the island was the author Robert Louis Stevenson who spent the last few years of his life in Vailima just outside Apia, the capital of Samoa.

In 1914 Germany surrendered Samoa during World War 1 to New Zealand who administered the islands until 1962 when independence was declared. Between 1962 and 1997 the islands were known as Western Samoa. The neighbouring islands (see map of Samoa) were “owned” by the United States and known as American Samoa.

The Samoan Islands were an integral part of the War in the Pacific during World War 2 where Aggie Grey’s hotel was a major R&R site for American GIs where they enjoyed Samoan food and friendliness during the war.

Today people from around the world travel to Samoa on vacation to enjoy the beautiful scenery and warm hospitality.