Saturday, May 16, 2015

Some Samoan Culture

This week, we took a few hours and attended the Samoan Cultural Village.  It's good for us to learn about the culture and learn how to communicate and learn respect for this wonderful people and their culture.

When we arrived, we sat down and made our dinner plates.  They are made from palm fronds that you weave together.  Note the woven leaf baskets.

After the plates are ready, the men prepare the food that we will eat.  They have prepared river rocks and lit a fire under them so they are extremely hot.  Then, they start making the palusami (pal- u-sam-e) which is taro leaves wrapped and tied to form a ball filled with coconut milk.  You can't imagine how good this is until you eat it.  Then, they clean the taro root (this is their main starch and it is rather dry and plain tasting.)
Making the pulusami

Forming the pulusami ball

Next, the fish is wrapped in woven palm fronds.  All of this is placed on the river rocks then covered with layers of banana leaves and left to cook for about an hour.

While the food is cooking, we enjoyed learning about traditional singing and dancing, tapa cloth making (pictures made on special tree bark).

We then move to watch a man getting a traditional Samoa tattoo.  I must say he looked rather pale after getting up from being tattooed.  It is a very painful process which is pretty evident from watching the procedure and looking the the condition of the young man under the needles.  The tattoo is created by holding a stick with a bone "comb" (attached to the side of the the stick) being tapped by a second stick to drive the ink covered comb into the skin.

Then, we watched some traditional wood carving and finally, we go back to eat.  The taro, fish, and pulsami are placed on a leaf laying in our woven bowls. There are no utensils, we eat with our fingers.  It was fresh tuna and it tasted very much like salmon.  A great meal.

The taro is the white, the palusami is green and the fish is at the top.

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