3 Samoan History

3.1. Appolo 13 and America Samoa: A brief moment in History
15 min. ASCC Samoan Studies Inst. © 2000
Depicts the historic visit of Apollo 13 astronauts in American Samoa after their splash down a hundred miles South of American Samoa in 1970 after their near catastrophe in outer space. Based on silent archival footage, newly produced sound track and a narration. Produced in collaboration with Feleti Barstow Public Library and A.S Historic Preservation Office.

3.2. Malae: Sacred Ground
21 min. ASCC CNR Forestry Division & Samoan Studies Inst. © 1999
Using historical and contemporary footage, interviews with Samoan chiefs and scholars, and a narration by Monica Miller, this documentary examines the historical and cultural significance of village malae in American Samoa and their current physical and cultural demise due to modern influences. This informative program gives a strong and stimulating message that “we must preserve our village malae in American Samoa,” an important physical and spiritual feature of Samoan cultural life.


3.3. American Samoan Oral History Project
20 min. ASCC Samoan Studies Inst © 1999
Produced as part of The American Samoa Oral History Project, funded by an American Samoa Humanities Council 1999 Mini Grant. This program highlights the project, and defines the purpose and methods of doing oral history in American Samoa. Useful video for introducing students to oral history and its methods.

3.4. Archaeological Evidence in American Samoa
7 min. ASCC Samoan Studies Inst © 2005
(Tafuna High School History Day Documentary Project) Produced by Tafuna High School Students with technical assistance from ASCC Samoan Studies Institute, this prize winning student documentary highlights the kinds of archaeological evidence that can be found in American Samoa and what this evidence communicates to us about Samoa's more ancient past.

Samoan History

3.5. Oral History - Aunu'u
14 min. ASCC Samoan Studies Inst. © 1999
Vaiao Togiva, seventy two years old, took ASCC students with Anthropology Instructor, Micah Van der Ryn, to different sites in Aunu’u island including Manu Faatagi, Folauga a Sina ma Tigilau, Mutia Faase’e, Oneone Mimiti and others. He explains the importance of these places within their lives and history of Aunu’u Island.

3.6. Samoana
56 min. Australia and National University of Samoa. © 2005
(History of Samoa from settlement up to 2000) This well shot, well-scripted documentary provides a historical overview of the Samoan islands, focusing on the major developments that occurred in the Western islands of the archipelago (Western Samoa). From Samoan settlement, cultural and political development, Christianity, European colonization and conflict, and eventual independence of Western Samoa. This film provides a useful overview understanding of Samoa through the use of a scripted narration. (Samoan and English version)

3.7. American Samoa Commission's Visit to American Samoa in 1930
7 min. United States National Archives © 1930.
Silent B & W footage of the Commission’s Visit to American Samoa in 1930. Scenes of arrival on the ship, sailor’s band, women dancing, village scenes, display of fine mats, and commissions visit and meetings with chiefs of different villages in different fale tele. .

Samoan Art

3.8. Sa'iliiliga o Tala o le Vavau - Series
10-15 min. each video ASCC Samoan Studies Inst. © 2007
(Legendary Sites, Oral History of Samoa) Each video (10 – 20 min) in the series features a different Samoan legend as it was recorded on site from elders of the associated village. Each legend tells a separate illustrated story providing significant points of historical, cultural, ecological, moral and spiritual interest. Also evident in the series are techniques and issues of conducting oral history research in Samoa. In Samoan with English subtitles.
a) Laumei ma le Malie (Shark and Turtle)- Fagafau, Savaii & Vaitogi, Tutuila

3.9. Chiefs
27 min. Summer Bonner. Pachyderm Productions © 1983
This film provides an overview of the culture and society of Western Samoa, including scenes of ‘ava ceremony, fishing, tatau, fono o matai, dances, Samoan independence celebrations, fautasi and daily life activities in contemporary villages.

3.11. "Toe Sasa'a Le Faafao"
48 min. © Televise Samoa (TV Samoa).
A weekly program of Samoan chiefs (matai) who come together to share their knowldge and discuss the origin and meaning of Samoan proverbs.

Edited Video Programs