Numerous Samoan legends and proverbial sayings relate to wildlife and to the natural world and for millennia Samoans have lived in close harmony with nature whose bounty has sustained us.
On the right side of the logo we have a noddy (gogo) flying confidently over the clear blue sea (moana). Samoan fishermen traditionally follow flocks of gogo to find fish as well as to find their way home when they are far from land.
The noddy and other sea birds also bring the fertility of the ocean to the land by fertilizing the forests. The banyan tree (aoa) and its roots on the left represent the green forests and land of Samoa and all the plants that are important in Samoan culture. The massive aoa itself is a “tree of life” – a host to a myriad other species of plants and animals including food and habitat for our native birds, flying foxes, reptiles and insects. Underneath, and cradling the biodiversity, we have a thin strip that includes traditional symbols from the Samoan tattoo (tatau)- one of Samoa’s great cultural icons.
The tatau symbols come from nature, just as Samoan culture evolved from nature. The triangular shaped zigzag design at the bottom depicts the sharp edges of the pandanus (fala) leaf used for mats and other traditional handicrafts. The square shaped symbols above depict the suckers of the octopus (fe’e), a favourite food of Samoans. Finally, we have the symbol of the gogo again, this time flying towards the ocean in-between the pandanus and the octopus. We have now completed the circle of life and demonstrated the intimacy of land, sea, animals, plants and people…We as Samoans need to continue to respect nature for we come from nature and we are part of nature. Our culture and way of life can only survive and flourish if we show more love (alofa) for the natural world that we are indivisibly part of.
*The logo was designed by one of our members: Makiko Sherley