The three sides of this pole represent the Samoan way of life. The first side is for the family, the second for culture and traditions and the third, religious beliefs. These sides of the pole bring respect and admiration to the important aspects of the Samoan way of life.
Family is important to the Samoan people with many families and extended families living together. Aiga stands for the extended family, each village consists of several aiga. An aiga larger in size indicates its power and importance in that village, this leads to competition between the different aiga of the village. Families tend to be large in size, and it is not uncommon for families to have upwards of twelve children. This side of the artwork depicts the importance of family in Samoan culture.
Samoan people value their culture. Performing acts such as dancing, music and singing are an important aspect of this culture. Some of the popular dances include siva and the sa sa. Another important aspect of this culture is tattooing, this is a significant rite of passage for males. At the young age of 12 or 13 males are to get tattooed from the waist to the knee. This tattooing is representative of the man's heart and the strength and spirituality of it. Also it shows a man's strength if they can endure the tattooing process they can handle anything.
Food is also very important to the Samoan culture, every Sunday a traditional meal is cooked for the family in an umu'. An umu is a traditional Samoan above ground oven.
'Samoa is founded on God' - Religion is extremely important to Samoan people, and the Samoan culture is based around its religious beliefs. Close to 100% of its people are Christian. Similar to other surrounding pacific islands, Samoa's early contact was through churches. Through these churches western philosophies were introduced to the Samoan people. There continues to be a constant stream of new churches appearing in Samoa to the present day. Villages can have up to four churches, and more in some cases. Church attendance is high among its people and on Sundays you will see the streets filled with people on their way to church, of course in their Sunday best. This artwork aims to representing this important aspect of the Samoan culture.
|Tanalised ply (painted with artwork), mounted on three tanalised posts
|Definition of Name
|Samoan - a person, object or item that belongs to Samoan culture or country.
Pole - a wooden or metal pole carved, or otherwise; that is either free standing or part of a whole
|This can be taken literally, as a piece of artwork depicting Samoan cultures and beliefs.