A group of islands of SAMOA, in the southwest central Pacific. Its capital is Pago Pago. The islands were ruled by native chiefs until about 1869. An object of American interest beginning in 1839, Pago Pago and trading and extraterritorial rights were granted to the United States in 1878. The United States, Germany, and England administered the islands jointly 1889-99, but in 1899 they were granted to the United States by treaty. The Department of the Interior has administered American Samoa since 1951. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p44)
An island group and constitutional monarchy in the southwest central Pacific Ocean. The capital is Apia. The islands were jointly administered by England, the United States, and Germany 1889-99, with the chief islands of Savai'i and Upolu recognized as German until 1919. Western Samoa gained independence in 1962 and assumed its present formal name in 1997.
A group of islands in the southwest central Pacific, divided into AMERICAN SAMOA and the INDEPENDENT STATE OF SAMOA (Western Samoa). First European contact was made in 1722 by Jacob Roggeveen, a Dutchman. In 1768 they were named Navigators Islands by Louis de Bougainville. The present name may derive from that of a local chieftain or from a local word meaning place of the moa, a now-extinct island bird. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p1061 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p481)
The collective name for the islands of the central Pacific Ocean, including the Austral Islands, Cook Islands, Easter Island, HAWAII; NEW ZEALAND; Phoenix Islands, PITCAIRN ISLAND; SAMOA; TONGA; Tuamotu Archipelago, Wake Island, and Wallis and Futuna Islands. Polynesians are of the Caucasoid race, but many are of mixed origin. Polynesia is from the Greek poly, many + nesos, island, with reference to the many islands in the group. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p966 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p426)
A group of islands in Polynesia, in the north central Pacific Ocean, comprising eight major and 114 minor islands, largely volcanic and coral. Its capital is Honolulu. It was first reached by Polynesians about 500 A.D. It was discovered and named the Sandwich Islands in 1778 by Captain Cook. The islands were united under the rule of King Kamehameha 1795-1819 and requested annexation to the United States in 1893 when a provisional government was set up. Hawaii was established as a territory in 1900 and admitted as a state in 1959. The name is from the Polynesian Owhyhii, place of the gods, with reference to the two volcanoes Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, regarded as the abode of the gods. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p493 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p2330)