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Tamaitai Samoa
Their Stories
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Tamaitai Samoa
Their Stories

By Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop
1996, 202 pages, Paperback.
Book Description
About the Author

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Book Description

Samoan women's interviews and stories are recorded in this anthology. The interviews and stories recount the life histories of a wide variety of Samoan women. The in-depth stories help to illustrate the life changes and stages that these woman have gone through over the ages.

Book Description from Front Cover

In times of adversity, they literally shrugged their shoulders and kept going, adapting to every life event...

Book Description from the Forward

These stories are a moving account of women's perceptions of their roles and responsibilities, aspirations and expectations, and what women hold dear. But woman cannot be studied in isolation. So these stories present an invaluable historical account of family life in Samoa through almost 100 years. They show the influence of the ideas introduced by missionaries, traders, administrators and educators, on women, their families and communities and the institutional structures of the emerging nation, but most of all, on the faaSamoa. While each chapter is a personal story, often these experiences interweave, so bringing different perspectives of the same event. For example, Emele Moa describes the tragic 1918 pandemic from the point of view of her father as he works each night to bury the dead, while Netina relates her mother's recollections of this terrible time. Taken together, the stories form a comprehensive and powerful picture of women's lives through the life cycle and the factors influencing women's lives.

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Although it has been long overdue, yet how opportune it is for these stories of our women to be written as we draw nigh to the close of the twentieth century.

We need to tell our stories. The recollections shared by the contributors to this collection remind us of the richness of values and faith of our women. But much more, these written records also add to our history and heritage to be passed from generation to generation.

Each of these stories unfolds like the blending and distinctiveness of the motif and decorative patterns of a siapo.

Faamalo tala malie! Aue!

-L. Fetauimalemau Mata'afa

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Background on Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop

Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop has been researching and writing about Pacific development issues and Pacific women for many years, and many of her short stories featuring life in Samoa are published in New Zealand School journals. Peggy attended Tanugamanono Village School, Miramar South, Wellington Technical College, and Wellington Teachers College. She holds a Masters Degree from Victoria University, Wellington, and a Ph.D. from Macquarie University, Sydney. She and her husband, Jim taught at Maori schools (in Te Teko and Te Reinga) and Porirua schools before returning with their five daughters to Samoa to live in the early 1908s. Peggy has taught for over 15 years at the USP School of Agriculture (Alafua Campus), latterly as Head of Social Sciences and Assistant Head of School. Since 1995 she has been Sustainable Human Development Adviser with the ESHDP UNDP, Suva.

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