Samoan House

1.   The Samoan House

2.   Geodesic Dome


The Samoan guest house is where chiefs are bestowed titles, where orators recount the past and tell the future, where families gather to celebrate, to mourn and joyously unite.

The builders leave their marks; craftwise, artistically and spiritually.

Their powers remain beyond the ages, the wisdom flowing out, around and through all who enter the Samoan house.


The Geodesic Dome

The American Samoa visitor's experience will be heightened soon in a cultural way.

Construction of the large guest house along the beach front in the village of Utulei is nearly complete.

The "Maota" is built according to traditional Samoan design. The domed roof, sometimes elongated, is an incredibly strong structure that can withstand hurricane force winds. During ancient times residents would lower the roof structure down from the supporting posts when a tropical cyclone struck.

The strength of the building derives from the geometrical interlacing of horizontal and vertical wood members in triangulated segments. The whole edifice is held together by coconut woven sennit. It gives the structure a flexibility that bends but does not break.

The right hand image is a modern geodesic dome. In 1954 F. Buckminster Fuller "discovered " the geodesic dome and proclaimed to the world the utility of such a structure.

Upon closer inspection of the 3,000 year old Samoan design, professional architects and engineers, not familiar with Pacific design, might legitimately wonder whether "Bucky Fuller" borrowed his technology from Samoan culture.

Or simply "rediscovered" a technology thousands of years old!