Catching the Dragon's Tail: The Impact of the Chinese in Samoa
Thesis DisciplinePacific Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Contemporary Samoan society is a reflection of a number of different cultures and influences. As a result of several attempts at colonisation by the British, German and New Zealand Administrations the cultural landscape of Samoa has been influenced by many different groups and peoples. As a result of integration and assimilation into the Samoan way of life the Chinese have been accepted into Samoan society and have contributed to the development of Samoan culture and identity. This thesis explores the history of the Chinese in Samoa as a method of uncovering the true extent of the influence played by the Chinese, both as a people and as a nation, in the make-up of Samoan society. It uncovers the roles and impacts of the Chinese in the island nation from the first Chinese arrivals in the late 19th century, through various political administrations and into the present day. The thesis will illustrate the importance of the Chinese in Samoa and how they have contributed to, and helped to shape, the Samoan people, politics, culture, identity and economy. This thesis explains the importance of the Chinese in Samoa by examining important events in Samoan history in the past 150 years. Such events include the forbidding of Chinese settlement in Samoa through the Malietoa Laupepa Law of 1880, the establishment of the Chinese indentured scheme, and the ‘new wave’ of Chinese aid being poured into the Pacific, including Samoa, in recent times.
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