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Samoan Material Culture


page 321

On first passing through a Samoan village, the impression is formed that the Samoans went in for a good deal of stonework. This is especially true where the villages are situated on rocky ground. On coming to details, however, it is seen that the impression is largely due to stones being extensively used as house platforms. On rocky sites, nature has provided the abundant supply of stones, but the Samoans for their own convenience have been forced to arrange them in some sort of order about their houses. Pig walls and paved roads also add to the false impression that the Samoans were stone workers of considerable ability. The quantity of stone that influences the observer is unworked stone. When it conies to worked stone, as exemplified by stone adzes, the Samoans lag far behind their fellow Polynesians to the east, in stone technique.