Volume 76 1967 > Volume 76, No. 3 > Additional petroglyphs from American Samoa, by William K. Kikuchi, p 372 - 373
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In an earlier Shorter Communication 1 the first petroglyphs found in Samoa were noted. In April 1966 I revisited site ST128 (lagoon at Leone village). Additional petroglyphs were found and this short note is appended to complete the record. Low tide exposed nearly a foot of rock which was quite free of the usual green algae and allowed an opportunity to examine the eroded tuff beds for signs of more petroglyphs.

FIGURE 1:Petroglyphs at Leone, American Samoa.
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Where previously only one form was distinct enough to describe, four forms were now distinguishable. The first two were representations of octopus, fe'e, having an oval body with two (Fig. 1a) and three (Fig. 1b) short projecting tentacles. Both look more like jelly fish but because of the importance of the octopus in Samoan folklore 2 it is assumed that these are representations of octopus.

The third petroglyph is that of a turtle, laumei, with a distinct rounded body, sharp beaked head, two curved upper flippers and two straight bottom fins (Fig. 1c). A fourth figure seems to represent an incomplete human figure the body of which is pecked out in a rectangular form, with arms projecting outwards (Fig. 1d).

Representations of turtles and human figures are quite common in Polynesia where petroglyphs are found. Octopus forms are less common although a similar motif was found in Hawaii.

  • KIKUCHI, William K., 1964. “Petroglyphs in American Samoa.” Journal of the Polynesian Society, 73:163-166.
  • FREEMAN, J. D., 1945. “'O le Fale o le Fe'e.” Journal of the Polynesian Society, 53:121-133.
1   Kikuchi 1964:165.
2   See for example Freeman 1945:131.