Are Samoans Hawaiian

Are Samoans Hawaiian?

The question of whether Samoans and Hawaiians are the same or different people is a common one among those who are not familiar with the cultures of these two Pacific Island groups. While Samoans and Hawaiians may share some similarities, they are actually two distinct ethnic groups with unique characteristics, cultures, and languages.

Samoans are a Polynesian people who reside in the Samoan Islands, which are located about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. The Samoan population is divided into two countries – the Independent State of Samoa and American Samoa, which is a U.S. territory.

On the other hand, Hawaiians are the native people of the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaiian archipelago is located to the east of the Samoan Islands and is an American state.

While Samoans and Hawaiians may share some cultural traditions, such as dance and music, they differ significantly in language, history, and cultural practices.

Language Differences

One of the most significant differences between Samoans and Hawaiians is their language. Samoan language is a Polynesian language that is spoken by Samoan people in Samoa, American Samoa, and the diaspora community around the world. In contrast, Hawaiian language is a Polynesian language that is spoken by Hawaiians and has been recognized as an official language of the state of Hawaii.

History Differences

Another considerable difference between the two groups is their history. Samoan people have a rich cultural history that dates back more than 3,000 years. They have a traditional system of governance that is based on chiefs and matai (extended family leaders), and their culture revolves around respect, loyalty, and family.

In contrast, Hawaiian people’s history began about 1,500 years ago. The Hawaiian archipelago was originally settled by Polynesians who arrived in Hawaii in double-hulled canoes. Over the years, the Hawaiian people developed their culture and society, which was also based on a system of chiefs and family leaders.

Cultural Differences

Furthermore, Samoan and Hawaiian people’s cultural practices differ, including their clothing, music, and dance. Samoan people have unique tattoos, which are usually located on their arms, legs or faces. Samoan tattoos are known as tatau and are traditional markings that symbolize status and family history.

On the other hand, Hawaiians have a distinct form of dance and music called hula. Hula is a dance that tells a story through movement and is accompanied by music played on a ukulele, guitar, or drums. Hawaiians also have a unique flower garland called lei that is worn around the neck or head.


1. Are Samoans and Hawaiians related?
Yes. Samoans and Hawaiians are both Polynesian people who share ancestral heritage from the region of the Pacific Ocean known as Polynesia.

2. Is Samoan food similar to Hawaiian food?
Samoan and Hawaiian cuisine differ. Samoan food is based on starchy foods such as taro, yams and breadfruit and is usually in the form of a huge feast where people gather to enjoy traditional dishes. Hawaiian food is influenced by several cultures and features ingredients such as rice, pineapple, and seafood.

3. Is the culture of Samoa and Hawaii similar?
While there may be some similarities between Samoan and Hawaiian culture such as dance, music and respect for extended family, there are many distinct differences between the two cultures.

4. Can Samoans and Hawaiians understand each other?
While Samoans and Hawaiians share some language and cultural similarities, they speak different languages, which means they may have a hard time communicating with each other without a translator.