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American Samoa Travel Guide

Ottoville

At Ottoville on the Tafuna plain is Holy Family Catholic Cathedral (1993), just a seven-minute walk from the Tradewinds Hotel back through the subdivision, containing a wonderful picture of the Holy Family on a Samoan beach painted by Duffy Sheridan in 1991.

Samoan carver Sven Ortquist did the 14 deep-relief Stations of the Cross and other woodcarvings in the cathedral and designed the stained glass windows.

Near the cathedral and adjacent to the Fatuoaiga Catholic Church Center is a small historical park with restored tia seu lupe (pigeon-catching mound) that in many ways resembles the later marae of Eastern Polynesia.Similar (if usually smaller) tia are found on ridgelines and in jungles in many parts of Tutuila.

The park is well laid out and sits next to the only swatch of lowland rainforest still extant on Tutuila. It's accessible on the Tafuna bus and well worth a visit, especially around twilight if you're a birder.

Legends of Samoa

Storytellers relate how once, at a time when food was scarce, a blind old woman took her granddaughter to a bluff at Vaitogi, and, holding hands, they leapt to the sea below. The young girl was transformed into a shark, while the old woman became a turtle. Villagers are still able to call the shark and the turtle to the shore with a certain chant (and for a fee they'll happily perform the rite).

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