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KH8W Pago Pago Tutuila Island American Samoa

KH8W Team will be active from Pago Pago, Tutuila Island, IOTA OC - 045, American Samoa, in CQ WW WPX CW Contest, 27 - 28 May 2023.
Team - W6NV, KH6LC.
QSL via W6NV.
Ads for direct QSL:
Oliver Sweningsen, PO Box 90, Orinda, CA, 94563, USA.

Tutuila Island
Cradle of Polynesian culture

In the central Pacific Ocean, slightly south of the equator, lies the vast volcanic archipelago of Samoa. The largest islands form an independent state with the same name, while seven small eastern stretches of land still remain dependent on the United States. Eastern, or American Samoa, whose main island was known as Mauna (modern name - Tutuila) until the 19th century, has a total area of 199 square kilometers and a population of 55.5 thousand people. Scientists believe that the development of the numerous islands of Samoa began as early as a thousand years BC, and the first settlers were the inhabitants of Southeast Asia. Subsequently, the ancient inhabitants of these lands were displaced by other tribes who migrated from Fiji and Tonga.

Before the arrival of Europeans, a distinctive culture of Polynesia was formed here for a long time, entire empires were created, leaders were replaced and there was an active struggle for power and territory, although in their social development the native states remained at the level of primitive communal system up to the 18th-19th centuries. The hot climate of the equator did not require much effort to create a warm dwelling and complex tools, and the abundance of fruits, edible plants and abundant marine resources were reliable sources of food. Polynesians were engaged in simple crafts, fishing, agriculture, but they were good seafarers and traveled significant distances across the ocean in primitive wooden canoes.

Tutuila Island, American Samoa. Authors - Chris and Steve.

Maoun - the paradise island of militant cannibals

But the wonderful tropical nature was a stark contrast to the aggressive and militant population. The exceptionally beautiful evergreen Maoun was notorious among European sailors after the 1787 tragic conflict between the sailors of the French frigate Astrolabe and the local natives: then the ship's captain and twelve sailors were killed in a clash. Since then, it has been said that the Maouns are wild and utterly intractable cannibals.

Later, in 1824, the Russian navigator Otto Eustafievich Kotzebue visited Tutuila Island during his round-the-world voyage. The brave captain tried to establish friendly relations with the islanders, offering a mutually beneficial exchange of goods, but all was in vain. In the travel journals of the Russian explorer near the geographical notes there is a mention of the extreme hostility of the natives to the white "aliens". At the same time, Otto Kotzebue noted that on many other islands of Oceania, the natives were much more peaceful and friendly.

Tutuila Island, American Samoa. Author - Larry Myhre.

Pago Pago - the best harbor in the Pacific

The administrative center of American Samoa, the city of Pago Pago, is located on the southeast side of Tutuila Island near a magnificent natural harbor. The deep curve of the shoreline creates a cozy bay protected on three sides and suitable for ships. The bay is so comfortable and beautiful that it was honored by the literary description in one of the stories of the famous English writer Somerset Maugham. Near the capital stretches National Park - the main attraction of Tutuila, where you can climb to the summit of Mount Alava (height 491 m) and admire the colorful city and port from above. Geologists believe that Alava is part of a large ancient volcano, and the destroyed and flooded caldera is just what forms the most picturesque maritime harbor in the world. The nature park has preserved almost untouched dense rainforests, which have almost disappeared or thinned considerably on many neighboring islands.

The history of the city of Pago Pago began in the late 19th century, when a seaport for U.S. warships was built on the shores of the bay. Today, it is a bustling agglomeration of several settlements and the town has administrative and residential buildings, museums, tourist hotels, stores and a fish cannery of great importance in the island's economy. The number of inhabitants of Pago Pago is about 5 thousand.

Tuna from Tutuila

The main export industry of the small state is food, or rather, fish processing. More than 90% of the goods exported abroad from American Samoa are canned tuna, and the processing of the valuable fish employs one-third of the entire population of Pago Pago Pago. Tourism is another source of income for Tutuila. Today's Samoans treat visiting visitors with friendliness and great respect; fortunately, animosity and intransigence are a thing of the distant past. The secluded fairy-tale island offers the perfect place to relax on the beach, go diving, fishing or take leisurely walks in the surrounding countryside, enjoying the unparalleled scenery and the magical air of the tropics.

KH8W. Where is Tutuila Island located. Map.

KH8W Pago Pago Tutuila Island American Samoa. Sunrise 07-21-2024 at 17:46 GMT sunset at 05:12 GMT