So Hanalei took this gorgeous photo (on her Blackberry!) of the 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.
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.