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The Leaders of Samoan Culture

May 12, 2014

Matai or chief speaking a local celebration.

Samoan culture, customs, and traditions emphasize the importance of the extended family, the aiga (ah-ING-ah). Each aiga‘s lands are managed by its chief, or matai (mah-TIE), for the common good. Matai play an integral role in the Samoan culture, as they are the appointed leaders for family clans and village councils. They make the daily decisions that benefit their families and villages, which can sometimes be a daunting task but can be just as equally rewarding.

Seen here is a Talking Chief or an orator, making a traditional speech for a local celebration. Learn more about Samoan culture right here as part of National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

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