A group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Fiji. The native kingdom of Samoa was under the influence of the United States, Britain and Germany until 1899 when the islands were partitioned between the United States and Germany with Great Britain withdrawing its claims. The eastern islands were ceded to the United States by the local chiefs from 1900-04. American Samoa has since been administered by the United States, using regular U.S. stamps. Western Samoa was seized from Germany by New Zealand forces in 1914, and New Zealand subsequently administered the western islands under a mandate from the League of Nations (later the United Nations). Western Samoa became independent on Jan. 1, 1962. In 1977 the country's name was changed to Samoa. Ties to New Zealand remain strong.
PARTITIONED BETWEEN GERMANY AND UNITED STATES