O Le Fale Samoa Archaeological Project
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Erika Radewagen
Archaeological Research Facility
2251 College Ave.
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA 94720
erika@archaeologist.com
Ta'u

O Le Fale Samoa Archaeological Project (OLFSAP)
by Erika Radewagen
(in .pdf format)

O Le Fale Samoa Archaeological Project (OLFSAP) is a dissertation research project that focuses on the spatial organization of the Samoan house or fale and how this physical material patterning may reflect or represent Samoan social organization. OLFSAP is also geared towards complementing the current research in household archaeology throughout the Pacific by testing field methods that have yet to be applied to Pacific household archaeology.

The field site for this project is the village of Faga on the north side of Ta’u Island, in the Manu’a group of American Samoa. The village was abandoned in the mid-1950s but is still actively used as a plantation area by the current residents of the island. Several archaeological surveys have been carried out at Faga, making it a prime area for further archaeological research.

OLFSAP concluded its first six-week field season in mid-December 2001. The data is currently under analysis on the island of Tutuila.

Academic research is not the only goal of OLFSAP. This project aims to educate American Samoan residents about the benefits of archaeological research as a means of preserving a quickly disappearing Samoan cultural heritage. In addition, OLFSAP hopes to provide volunteer and internship positions to interested individuals from the local community to help integrate archaeology as a possible career path choice.

OLFSAP is the first archaeological dissertation project conducted in American Samoa by a Samoan.

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Photo courtesy of Erika Radewagen.