The video clip you will view (see below) is a scene from American Samoa: Paradise Lost? This classic description from the 1960s is typical of Samoan society and its traditional political leadership system. Note the chief was related to the people he governed. The economic exchanges in the Samoan village all were supervised by the chief. In turn, the village chief was responsible for the welfare of his villagers. Displays of economic distribution, such as the feast illustrated in the video clip, were important means for demonstrating the benevolent power of the chief. When the American government sent leaders to oversee this island nation, there were conflict between the traditional village system of distribution and reciprocity and the Western notions of how the government should operate.
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