Le Penina o Lenei Vasa

Story time!

So Hanalei took this gorgeous photo (on her Blackberry!) of the Niu Aveve in Leone, American Samoa.

Niu Aveve in Leone, American Samoa

I’m not sure what the history is behind this scene – the single coconut tree standing alone in the sea – but its significance is clear in a couple of very moving posts Hanalei has written about her love for her home village:

I first saw the image and fell in love with its beautiful, crisp shades of deep to light grey. Then I thought ‘One’. As in One Samoa… and of course One Samoana. It was too perfect – I had to steal this photo. (Hana knows I owe her big! 🙂 )

The little island in the middle of the ocean reminded me of a phrase I’d heard in a lot of classic Samoan songs, especially the ones expressing love for our homeland. It refers to Samoa as the ‘penina‘ or pearl, and echoes the sentiment we all learned as children – only because it’s the truth – that Samoa is the heart of the Pacific.

Molimau mai se tasi tusitala
O Samoa o le penina o lenei vasa

It means: “A certain storyteller professes that Samoa is the pearl of this great ocean“.

This storyteller referred to here is most likely renowned novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, who was known in Samoa as ‘Tusitala’. The ocean, of course, is the Pacific.

Samoan T-Shirts

So I played around a little bit with those ideas and came up with this T-shirt (right) that I hope you all think is as great as I think it is lol.

The quote is printed over the horizon on the left of Hana’s Niu Aveve, and the ‘One Samoana’ logo below it is a mask of the bottom part of the photo.

You can buy this T-Shirt, from as low as USD$14.60, over at our Zazzle shop.

But here’s the big news >> This T-Shirt is the prize in our very first, monthly One Samoana draw (“le se’i”, for short). The draw is only open to Natives of our One Samoana Village so go sign up if you haven’t already. Then click here to find out what you’ve got to do to get your name in our se’i.


* from the traditional song, “Samoa e lo’u atunu’u pele i le loto

0 thoughts on “Le Penina o Lenei Vasa

  1. you know it was a gloomy day wen i took it. so that helped a lot wen i played with it, but not too much. in fact, i just made it a little darker, and cropped it a bit, cause there were two guys on the left side, soooo trying to get in the pic. ew! lmao

  2. OMG…@DC…i thought it was an animated pic..like you know a computer pic..LOL..im so dense…aga le faikau faalelei aku le kala ma koe kilokilo maka i le aka e le iloa o le original..LOL..sorry bout my mistake.. but dangg that pic is soo damn good. My eyes almost cant believe it its a real pic..and after all this time..sheez..i need new glasses..lol…Good one Lei. 🙂

  3. That so symbolises One Samoana everytime I see an image similar to it reminds me of the site straight away haha LMAO@ HANA cropping the guys out that were tryna get their ins on the pic dahaha too funny is it me or do ALL HAMO guys do that? buahaha

  4. im new at this sooo… at first i was googling for samoan quotes and that’s how i ended up here..
    lmao. um. I’m really interested in T-shirt designing.. i’ve been wanting to do this since i’ve gotten here, in hawaii! i would love to have that shirt in my closet along with all the other samoan T’z! Niu aveve! Leone… hm. memories.. lmao. missin the Leone Lionaz ther!

  5. Would love to use this photo as a backdrop /background for our Leone Village Council invitation for the upcoming grand opening of our Leone Healing Garden. The opening ceremony is tentively scheduled on Feb 25, 2012-Sat.

    Thanks for sharing this photo of Niu aveve, reminds me of the good old days @ Auma/Leone chasing after the crabs underneath the famous bridge taken down by the tsunami……

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