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American Sāmoan Land Tenure—Apportionment Of Communal Lands And The Road To Individually Owned Land Rights

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Title:American Sāmoan Land Tenure—Apportionment Of Communal Lands And The Road To Individually Owned Land Rights
Date Issued:Aug 2019
Publisher:Brigham Young University–Hawaii
Citation:Kruse, L.-N. M. (2019). American Sāmoan Land Tenure—Apportionment Of Communal Lands And The Road To Individually Owned Land Rights. Pacific Studies, 42(1/2), 75–98.
Abstract:Prior to 1800, all lands in American Sāmoa were native lands (Crocombe 1987; 14-18). Native (communal) lands were identified not by boundary markers or survey pegs but as specific tracts of large, medium, and small lands collectively owned and controlled by the āiga (family) within a nu'u (village) and demarcated by settlement, cultivation, and virgin bush lands where the natural features of rivers and hills were understood as boundary land markers (Meleisea 1987: 1-6). Family clans, descendants of family lines, and successors to the mātai (chief) title have a direct interest in the communal lands, because they are what would be considered in the Western context “part-owners” of communal lands. The powers and authority vested in mātai leadership over communal lands were (and are still currently) balanced between the state and local governance in the villages and districts. The senior mātai are stewards of the communal lands and serve the families by protecting the assets of the āiga.
Pages/Duration:25 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10790/6772
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/
Journal:Pacific Studies
Volume:42
Issue/Number:1/2
Appears in Collections: Kruse, Line-Noue Memea


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