Guiding is mainly centered in Apia where Brownie packs and Guide companies are attached to the three main churches, All Saints, Anglican; St. Mary's Roman Catholic; and Apia Protestant Church.
The most important aspect of community life is the family and church. Traditions and ceremonies are highly respected.
As an individual, the Samoan is content with few possessions. He places the family unit first and things else second.
Most food consumed in Western Samoa grows on small plantations owned and worked communally by extended families.
These families include several generations of people related by birth, marriage or adoption, under the leadership of a Matai who is responsible for the administration of family affairs. His duties include the assignment of work, collection and redistribution of money earned by family members, and, most important, the apportionment of land for residential and farming use and the sharing out of its produce. In return, he is honoured by respectful obedience and the best food, correctly presented according to custom.
Libraries, travel agencies, and embassies are also good places to try for information if you plan far enough ahead. If you have no luck finding a Western Samoan embassy, try the New Zealand one; it is possible that New Zealand represents them in many countries and may be able to help.
This page last updated October 26th, 1999