National Geographic : 1962 Oct
His name was Taua'a, and he was in charge of shipping copra, bananas, and cacao from his part of Savai'i. His waist, I noticed, bore the traditional Samoan tattoo. This way of marking the arrival of manhood fell from use for many years. But the custom revived, sur prisingly, with-the approach of independence. I saw many young men limping after painful knee-to-waist tattooing (page 587). Sunset flamed, and sea and lagoon took vivid, flashing colors from the sky. Dusk fell quickly as we dived into the calm, lukewarm water and returned, dripping, to the house. Before dinner I took a stroll outside. Moon 598 light and shadow, silence and stillness took a grip on me. I supposed it was such warm, tropical nights as this that bred Samoa's eerie ghost stories-tales of beautiful dead women, cold to the touch, who wander forever in grief and discontent. Even sophisticated Samoans will not always laugh off these stories. And after a while, walking the night, I was in no mood to laugh them off either. Pisupo Came to Samoa in Cans We feasted upon succulent Samoan pigeon. "And try some pisupo," Taua'a said, push ing a plate toward me. "A very special Sa moan delicacy." "Pisupo?" I said. "You mean pea soup?