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More books about Samoa



Samoa: mapping the diversity by R Gerard Ward and Paul Ashcroft. Recommended retail price $18, our price $16.50.

In maps and related texts this book provides a basis for building an understanding of the Samoan environment and the uses made of it by Samoans. It stresses the great variations within the country in environment, population characteristics, agriculture, fishing and other activities. The authors argue that recognition of these variations is one key to successful planning and social policies.

Gerard Ward is Professor of Human Geography, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra. He has been involved in Pacific Island studies since 1956 when he made his first research visit to Samoa. Books of which he is the author or co-author include Land Use and Population in Fiji; Man in the Pacific Islands; The Settlement of Polynesia: a Computer Simulation; South Pacific Agriculture; Choices and Constraints; Land, Custom and Practice in the South Pacific.

Paul Ashcroft is Senior Manager for Information Systems, in COMS21, a ‘smart card’ technology company based in Canberra. He is a graduate of the Department of Geography, The Australian National University, and has worked as a senior Information Technology professional on Geographical Information Systems in the Australain Department of Health and the Bureau of Statistics. He was formerly Research Assistant in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra. Soft cover, 145 pages.


Samoan Archipelago, Field Guide to the : Fish Wildlife and Protected Areas by Meryl Rose Goldin. ISBN 1573061115. Published by Bess Press. Recommended retail price $14.95.

This field guide is a wonderful achievement and an invaluable companion for any foray into the wonders of the Samoan Islands. Everyone who visits or cares about the Samoan Archipelago will want a copy.

Paddy comments: "I was lucky enough to spend six weeks taking photographs for a lowland ecosystem survey in Samoa. This guide would have been a wonderfully useful addition to my field equipment. Meryl is to be congratulated on such a useful addition to the popular biological works on the South Pacific."

Marine biologist Meryl Rose Goldin received a B.S. degree in Biology from the State Univerisity of New York and an M.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Massachusetts. She wrote and illustrated the Field Guide when she was a volunteer with the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources in American Samoa. Soft cover, 330 pages. Published in 2002.


Samoan Rainforest, The: A Guide to the Vegetation of the Samoan Archipelago by Art Whistler. Published by Isle Botanica. ISBN 0964542633. Recommended retail price $27.50.

The Samoan Rainforest is based on numerous visits to Samoa by the author during the last thirty years to study the vegetation of Samoa. Most vegetation studies are not correlated with the flora, but in this book every effort is made to tie in the flora of Samoa with the Vegetation. This book is directed at students from Samoa or overseas at the university, community college, or high school level wishing to study the vegetation of the archipelago. It should be particularly useful for biologists and teachers in Samoa wanting to know more about their own local tropical environment (as well as about the world tropics). It is meant as a beginning – to give an overall view of the vegetation and its associated species. Hopefully, it will stimulate or facilitate others to continue the quest. Soft cover, 169 pages. Published in 2002.


Samoans, The: A Global Family by Frederic Koehler Sutter.  ISBN 0-8248-1238-7.  Published by University of Hawai'i Press.  Recommended retail price $29.95.

"Gathered together into one flock from different parts of the forest"

The beauty of this Samoan proverb poetically describes The Samoans: A Global Family. From the tea estates of Sri Lanka to the deserts of the Sudan, from the Himalayas of Bhutan to the jungles of Brazil, and from the People's Republic ... well you get the idea.

Each person recounts his or her autobiography: a cardinal in Rome, a cowboy in the outback of Australia, a champion sumo wrestler in Japan, a jet pilot in northern Alaska, an NFL player at the Super Bowl, a nun in the slums of Lima, Peru. Each brings a story from his or her part of the forest.

This book is the result of a two-and-a-half year odyssey around the world, through 45 countries and 20 states and into the lives of over 125 Samoans documenting what it means to be Samoan not only in Samoa but in the furthest reaches of the globe. Hard cover, 221 pages. Published in 1989.


Samoan Herbal Medicine by Dr. W. Arthur Whistler. Published by Isle Botanica. ISBN 0964542625. Recommended retail price $.

This book, published for the O le Sisosiomaga Society Inc. of Western Samoa (an NGO for conservation of Samoa's natural heritage), covers much of what is known about the use of herbal medicine. As such it is ideal for the ethnobiographer, botanist or naturalist and is highly recommended for any biologist visiting Samoa. The author, Art Whsitler, has spent many years visiting Samoa and has amassed a vast body of knowledge about the botany of this archipelago. Soft cover, 120 pages. Published in 1996.

Samoans in Fiji by Morgan Tuimaleali’ifano. ISBN 9820203171. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies.  Recommended retail price $14.

Islanders of Samoan ancestry living in Fiji belong more to Fiji than to Samoa.  They think of Fiji and its many cultures as home.  But as a mixed-race minority, this is not always easy.  Their status and options both at home and abroad are the focus of this book.

Their future, and that of many other ‘expatriate’ Islander communities in the South Pacific nations, is important, and likely to become more so as Pacific Islands set out into new forms of association.

The author, scion of one of Samoa’s great chiefly lines, has since 1985, taught Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific.  He is married to Eileen Tuimaleali’ifano, a Fiji citizen of multi-ethnic ancestry, and USP’s Co-ordinator of Extension Studies.  Their children are typical of the ‘fruit-salad’ people about whom the book is written – a fact which lends not only authority to the study, but also a sense of immediacy and interest. Soft cover, 247 pages. Published in 1990.


Samoan Word Book and tape by Aumua Mataitusi Simanu and Luafata Simanu Klutz, illustrated by Regina Meredith Malala. ISBN 1573060607. Published by Bess Press. Recommended retail price $19.95.

Features beautifully illustrated vocabulary words, a pronunciation guide, and a glossary. Word categories include family, home, school, the body, opposites, numbers, nature, and time. Illustrations by Regina Meredith Malala bring terms to life. A cassette tape recorded by a native speaker is included. Soft cover and tape, 128 pages. Published in 1999.


Tamaitai Samoa: Their Stories by Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop. Recommended retail price $30, our price $27.

 This is the story of Samoan women written in their own words. Sometimes sad, often exhilarating and always interesting, this is a fascinating insight into an ancient culture viewed from the perspective of women. In an often male dominated society the book tells us much that we may have already suspected. ... that even in overtly male societies women are powerful. Profusely illustrated with powerful black and white pictures and beautifully produced this work is a gem. Soft cover, 202 pages.

Click here for photo from Tamaitai Samoa: Their Stories by Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop (47.04K)


Western Samoa. Map. Recommended retail price $7.95

Western Samoa is a South Pacific gem. Inhabited by physically rugged, friendly people and possessing beautiful coastal scenery it should be on the travel itinerary of any Pacificophile. This 1:195,000 full color map includes much useful information about the islands and a 1:15,000 scale map of the capital Apia. I was pleased to see it contains some photos by my friend Guy Edwards.

Click on links below for these books.

2002 American Samoa Phone Book

2002 - 2003 Samoa Phone Book

Beginnings and endings with LIFETIMES in between by Brian Mellonie with illustrations by Robert Ingpen and Dineke Kay.

Blue Rain by Ruperake Petaia

Looking Down at Waves: A Collection of Poetry by Sano Malifa

Lost Reality by Fepai F.S. Kolia

Navigating the Future by Eni Faleomavaega.

South Pacific Islands by Joan Beard

South Pacific Islands, Nelles Guide by Michael Brillat

They Who Do Not Grieve by Sia Figiel

To a Young Artist in Contemplation by Sia Figiel

Tonga~Samoa Handbook by David Stanley

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Last modified on Saturday, February 03, 2007