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Ta'u Island
« on: January 26, 2009, 07:34:45 AM »
Ta'u Island   

The island of Ta'u is believed by many to be the birthplace of Polynesia and is rich in  legend and oral history. The Manu’a Islands were considered the spiritual center of  Polynesia and Ta’u was the ‘capital’ of Manu’a. Some believe that this island is the  ancient Hawaiki, or place of origin of the second great migration to the Hawaiian Islands. 

It is also here that the last of the great chiefs, or Tu’i Manu’a, was buried.  It is also the  place where Margaret Mead wrote her tantalizing (and controversial) novel Coming of  Age in Samoa in 1925.  Located near the center of the island is Mt. Lata.  At 966 meters  (3,170 ft.), it is the highest peak in American Samoa.

The National Park in Ta'u includes the beaches and forests in the south-eastern half of  the island. When given advance notice, Park Service staff can arrange guided hikes,  including a six hour hike from Ta’u Village to Judds Crater, a large volcanic crater that  includes the beaches and forests in the south-eastern half of the island.   

Other places of interest to visit while on Ta’u include:

The Tomb of the Tui Manu'a on the island of Ta'u.  This is the tomb of the last reigning  great chief of Samoa.     

Laufuti Falls  This 450-meter high waterfall is located a few kilometers southwest of Saua, which is the  legendary birthplace of Polynesia.  Depending on terrain conditions, the waterfalls may  be difficult to access.   


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