13 Jul 2011

Children lack basic knowledge of Samoan culture - American Samoa Arts Council

6:56 am on 13 July 2011

The Director of the American Samoa Arts Council is concerned children lack basic knowledge of Samoan culture and traditions.

Leala Pili says participants in an annual cultural enrichment programme that the Arts Council sponsors don't have good Samoan language skills and don't understand some of the mostly basic tenets of the culture.

The programme teaches students tapa making, carving, mat weaving, handicraft making, Samoan dancing and about the history of the Samoan people.

Mrs Pili observes that every year, more and more students come in with little basic knowledge about faa-Samoa, which makes both teaching and learning challenging.

"It is very hard for them because they have nothing to do with the Samoan culture. They do not understand any of all these categories. So we are trying our best to teach them well. Give them a true Samoan culture, even dance or siapo, carving or weaving. We try to tell them exactly what [is] the importance of their Samoan culture and their work."

The Director of the American Samoa Arts Council, Leala Pili.