Yu. M. SOKOLOV
Retired Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
New Zealand Keywords:, Polynesia. Samoa, Cook Islands
The inhabitants of Western Samoa (now the Independent State of Samoa) are similar to Tongans and dress much the same. For some reason, it was here that my attention was first drawn to the feet of men (below the skirts they are open to traditional sandals), often covered with incomprehensible blue spots. It turned out that they were lovers of fishing on coral reefs. Toxic coral pricks cause long-term ulcers that do not heal, after which such spots remain.
INDEPENDENT STATE OF SAMOA
According to Michener, "on the island of Upolu (the main island of the country. - Yu. S.) preserved, perhaps, the most refined Polynesians. Men and women walk like gods with incomparable dignity. In London or Paris, you will never see such beautiful old men as these Samoans. They are politically active and intellectually capable. And their island is an example of calm charm. The road from the airport to Apia is a dream trail, permeated by the sun"1. But the excitement wanes when he adds, "Samoa is a very hot, very wet, sometimes tropical place."2. However, it turns out that it was the islands of Samoa that made the deepest impression on American soldiers during the Oceania War.
Quite a different opinion was held at the end of the XIX century by the English writer R. L. Stevenson (1850-1894) and his wife Fanny in the collection of their letters and diaries "Four years in Samoa", in which they characterized the Samoans as easy, carefree, always ready to rejoice people-the most cheerful, although far from the most capable and not the most the most beautiful (!) people among the Polynesians. And Fanny has traveled extensively in Polynesia, both with her husband and on her own, from Hawaii to Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Tokelau, and Melanesia. Therefore, for my part, I tend to listen more to the opinion of a woman. However, these estimates differ in tim ... Read more