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Old Dec 10, 2007, 2:22 AM   #1
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This photo was taken on one of my mostrecent annual visits to American Samoa (April 2006). So I apologize if it's a bit dated. I try to frequent as manylocal stores as I can when I get there. Fabric shops are a fairly common sight since many Samoan families still sew some of their clothes.

Unfortunately the signs of progress are on the wall. The number of fabric shops is decreasing. The bolt of fabric closest to us displays a traditional tapa design. The geometric pattern is similar to that created by the old dyeing patterns for the tapa bark.

The second fabric shot shows the Great Seal of American Samoa.

According to Wikipedia:

The Seal of American Samoa is based [in] traditional local design.

The fue or the fly switch, represents wisdom, while the To'oto'o or staff represents authority. Both symbols are used by talking chiefs indicating their rank. The Tanoa (ava bowl) represents service to the chief.








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Old Dec 10, 2007, 7:21 AM   #2
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Looking at the different bolts of cloth I like the designs very much. Im glad you included some explanation for the designs as well. I like it when there is a good explanation what we are looking at. AlanT does a good job of explaining too. Thanks Selvin.
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 4:23 PM   #3
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That fabric is lovely. Such wonderful culture and tradition. Thank you for including your explaination.
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 11:11 PM   #4
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Bynx and Vsch1

Thanks for you comments.

Aloha
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Old Dec 11, 2007, 3:38 PM   #5
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I think that would be an interesting place to visit. I'm guessing, about a thirty minute flight from Honolulu? I've flown there in Flight Simulator but there is no scenery, just an airstrip.

The fabric patterns are beautiful. It somewhat reminds me of the Pendleton Woollen Mills here in Oregon. Nice shots.

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Old Dec 12, 2007, 3:20 AM   #6
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Cal,

American Samoa is quite some distance from Hawaii. Remember, Hawaii is quite possibly the most remote island group in the world. The Hawaiian islands are approximately 2000+ miles from any significantly inhabited land mass.

The flight to Pago Pago, AS, takes almost 5 hours about the same as to the US mainland.

The place is primarily rural with Pago being the main urban area. Culturally, they are identical to the Western Samoan group which was given to New Zealand to govern after world war II.

Tapa cloth making from the bark of the mlberry tree isan ancient means of making cloth prior to the introduction of western materials.

Aloha and thanks for stopping by.
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Old Dec 12, 2007, 9:23 PM   #7
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Great photos of beautiful fabric.
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Old Dec 13, 2007, 9:54 PM   #8
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These are beautiful fabrics! I love fabric stores! Your story is awesome too...it's great to know these tidbits of info you offer!

~~StitchBabe~~
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