Alaskan Samoans


We were eating at Village Inn in Anchorage. The staff was alerted to clear a large area for a large group of "Samoans." I wouldn't know if they were Samoans, Hawaiians, from Guam, or whatever. It turns out that Anchorage is home for several groups of Pacific islanders (don't know why that seems strange to me).

At any rate, I was amazed at the clothes. They were dressed up - perhaps for church or a wedding,  Now, the beautiful ladies were wearing full-length dresses in large, vibrant prints. But that's not what amazed me. Most of the men - four or five - were wearing what I have since researched to be a tupenu, or lava-lava. At the time, it amazed me that they were wearing 100% Western suit jackets, white shirts, ties - on the top half, and on the bottom, folded and wrapped sarongs of the SAME FABRIC as the suit jacket. It seemed a radical combination of cultures to me. I have tried to find pictures on the Net - but haven't been able to. I don't know if this is unique to Alaska, or common dress for modern-day Pacific Island businessmen. It intrigues me.

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