The National Park of American Samoa has expanded its visitor center in Pago Pago, with new exhibits that showcase the cultural heritage and natural history of Samoa.
The centerpiece of the new exhibits is the skull from a Sperm whale carcass that washed up in the park in Ofu in 2015. Park staff spent over three years preparing the bones for display and designing and installing the exhibit which features a seven-foot skull, jaw and teeth. Multiple panels and video screens tell the story of whales and dolphins in Samoa.
Other exhibits include a three by three metre siapo (tapa cloth) created by local community college students and an ‘enu’ fish basket woven with traditional materials by a local craftsman.
Each morning, traditional weavers join park staff in the visitor centre to talk about the importance of weaving to Samoan traditions while giving live demonstrations of their craft. The National Park of American Samoa Visitor Center is open to the public Monday to Friday from 8am to 4:30pm.
(Source: TRAVELink MEMO 12th July 2019; issue 2016)