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Samoa /səˈmoʊə/  ( listen), officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa and German Samoa, is a country governing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in Polynesia, Savai'i. The capital city Apia and Faleolo International Airport are situated on the island of Upolu.

Samoa was admitted to the United Nations on 15 December 1976.[4] The entire island group, inclusive of American Samoa, was called Navigators Islands by European explorers before the 20th century because of the Samoans' seafaring skills.[5]



The Samoans originated from Austronesian predecessors during the terminal eastward Lapita expansion period from Southeast Asia and Melanesia between 2,500 and 1,500 BCE.[6] The Samoan origins are currently being reassessed due to new scientific evidence and carbon dating findings from 2003 and onwards.

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