The Samoan Dance of Life: An Anthropological Narrative

The Samoan Dance of Life: An Anthropological Narrative

The Samoan Dance of Life: An Anthropological Narrative

The Samoan Dance of Life: An Anthropological Narrative

Excerpt

Throughout human history the fate of mankind has been entrusted to the keeping of many diverse peoples. Failures in the mountains have been compensated for by successes in the valleys; where one people have gone down before too many enemies, or because they were too easily receptive to alien ways, another have stiffened their backs or bent flexibly and survived. But today we are entering a new period in the history of the world, where no people are isolated, none can live to themselves alone, and where each carries, in some measure, the fate of all. Millions of individuals are wandering from place to place, carrying with them shattered fragments of old ways of life; other millions, still standing on ancestral soil, are attempting to understand the new ways which are brought to them. Now, now as never before in history, we need to understand what happens to individuals who must live between two worlds.

In this story of a modern Samoan boy, who combines in his single ingenuous personality a puzzled respect for the old and a groping, unhostile relationship to the new, we have such a record of the impact of social change. Mr. Copp has worked over his material with affection and respect. He has written down a record which can be read in Samoa as well as in the United States. It is a record which has meaning not only to Faafouina whose story in part it is, and to those of us who have known Samoa intimately, but also to Americans whose own forebears have struggled in city and on western plain with the problem of . . .

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