The Samoan Islands are an archipelago covering 3030 km² in the central South Pacific, forming part of Polynesia and the wider region of Oceania. Administratively, the archipelago comprises all of Samoa and most of American Samoa (apart from Swains Island, which is part of the Tokelau Islands). The two Samoan jurisdictions are separated by 64 km of ocean.
The population of the Samoan Islands is approximately 250,000, sharing a common language, Samoan, a culture, known as fa'a Samoa and an indigenous form of governance called fa'amatai. Most Samoans are full-blooded and are one of the largest Polynesian populations in the world.
The oldest evidence of human activity in the Samoan Islands dates to around 1050 BCE. This comes from a Lapita site at Mulifanua wharf on Upolu island. In 1768, the eastern islands were visited by French explorer Bougainville, who named them the Navigator Islands, a name used by missionaries until about 1845 and in official European dispatches until about 1870.
Politically the two jurisdictions of the Samoa Islands are;
* 🇼🇸 samoa, an independent nation, situated at the western half of the islands, gained political independence in 1962 (2831 km2 and 185,000 inhabitants). Formerly known as German Samoa (1900–1914) and Western Samoa (up to 1997).
* Capital Apia, currency Samoan tala.
* undefined, an unincorporated territory of the United States consisting of the islands to the east (199 km2 and 65,000 inhabitants).
* Capital Pago Pago, currency US dollar