Contemporary Change in Sāmoan Indigenous Village Architecture: Sociocultural Dynamics and Implications

  • Micah Van der Ryn


This chapter highlights the integral role that Indigenous Sāmoan architecture plays within Sāmoan culture and the dynamics and implications of change. From high dome shaped thatch roofs to lower sloped, straight corrugated iron roofs, from open sides to partial or total walls, from round ends to square ends, the author examines the material, economic, and sociocultural factors of how and why these changes through a half century of globalization in the Sāmoan Islands. Sāmoans interpretations and ethnographic observations of the impacts these changes, as well as structural and phenomenological forms of analysis inform the exegesis, which overall aim to strengthen the view of how architecture both reflects and shapes sociocultural processes.



This chapter was written with support from The Wenner-Gren Foundation Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship. [Grant #9320. Approved 10/4/2016].


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American Samoa Community CollegeMapusagaUSA

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