06.01 2019

Discover the Fa'a Samoa : traditional way of life

Image Discover the Fa'a Samoa : traditional way of life

On the Pacific Ocean, there are the Samoa islands. Composed by two main islands Sava'i and Upolu, these islands have a particular tradition: Fa'a Samoa or the traditional Samoan way of life.

Tradition: a mark of belonging to cultures

It's amazing to see how strong traditions are in Samoa. Fa'a Samoa regulates their everyday life. 

  • Fa'a matai is the system of government applied in families, according to Samoan cultures. Actually, in every large family or clan called “aiga”, there is a “Matai” (a chief) chosen by the family members. The village Matais form a council, called the “Fono”, which governs the village's business. Each matai is responsible for the work, activities, well-being and housing of his family. 
  • ‘Ava is well-known as “kava”, it's a Polynesian legend of drink of the color of earth, served to the first man by the Creator himself. Symbol of respect, sociability, communion with others, it's drunk during a ritual or public meetings between Matais , on the occasion of national political ceremonies, religious meetings, or during the visit of a dignitary 
  • Samoan's dance: All occasions are good for dancing in Samoa. There are traditional dances for men and women. For men, the fire knife dance is the most popular, known as “ailao” (or “siva”) “a”fi. On hectic rhythm of drums, they have to juggle with a long stick-knife prolonged with torches at each end, until giving the impression, thanks to the speed reached, of creating a circle of fire. Another men's dance is “fa'ataupati” (Samoan slap dance); without music, they are in a concert of songs made of chanted warrior accents and clapping of hands on the thighs, arms and chest. The women's dance is the “siva”. In this dance, grace is essential; gestures are symbolic: arms, hands, fingers evoke different elements. The only dance where we can see men and women is the “ma'ulu'ulu” where rhythm is given by banging of hands and drums 
  • Tapa (siapo) is a kind of fabric made from wood bark. Worn even today for ceremonial occasions and dances, offered on the occasion of a wedding or burial. It can be tinted or decorated using natural dyes: the bark of Java cedar gives a deep brown, the burnt walnut of the black “Maluku”, the red “roucou” seeds, the root turmeric yellow and purple banana sap 
  • Tattoos is a sign of belonging to a clan, it marks the entrance of young people into adulthood. Entire portions of the drawing are full: to say that the process takes time (from two weeks in general to three months). In fact, it is largely ritualized and accompanied by songs. Men and women can receive the tattoo, but men's tattoos are more detailed most of the time. It really hurts but the endured pain is worth it: that rite of passage symbolizes the attachment to Fa'a Samoa. Unaccomplished tattoos cause shame to the family.

Nice place to visit

Apart from the fact that Samoan people are welcoming and warm, Samoa's tradition is so interesting and worth seeing. From cultural to religious facts (most of them are Christians), visiting this place is an opportunity to discover how others are still attached to traditions. 

Opodo, an online travel agency organizes this kind of travel. Through its 9 airline companies, it offers you a well-organized journey in Samoa islands by its services, well-known over continents.

On Opodo's website, booking plane tickets and hotels is possible. Also, travelers can book custom-made, rent a car to move. It proposes itineraries and experiences through its quality of services practiced for over 15 years.

It's always a great experience to go to fascinating islands like Samoa, not only because of their attachment to culture but also its remarkable hospitality. So, go on Opodo, book your journey and as the Samoans said: “la manuia le malaga”, translated by have a nice trip.