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(Or Nan^igator Islands).
Reigning King. — Mataafa, recognised as (provisionally) King in succession to Malietoa Laupepa, who died August 22, 1898. The Chief Justice of Samoa had declared Malietoa Tauu elected King, but this claimant was overthrown in battle in January, 1899.
Group of 14 volcanic islands in the South Pacific (about 14° S. and 172° W.), the chief of which areSavaii, Upolu, and Tutuila. At a Samoan conference at Berlin in 1889, at which Great Britain, German}^ and the United States were re- presented, an Act was signed(June 14) guaranteeing the neutrality of the islands in which the citizens of the three signatory Powers have equal rights of residence, trade, and personal protection. The three Powers recognise the independence of the Samoan Government, and the free rights of the natives to elect their chief or king, and choose the form of government according to their own laws and customs. A supreme court is established, consisting of one judge, who is styled Chief Justice of Samoa. To this Court are referred (1) all civil suits concerning real property situated in Samoa ; (2) all civil suits of any kind be- tween natives and foreigners, or betw^een foreigners of different nationalities ; (3) all crimes and offences committed by natives against foreigners, or com- mitted hy such foreigners as are not subject to any consular jurisdiction. All future alienation of lands is prohibited, with certain sj)ecified excep- tions. A local administration is provided for the municij)al district of Apia.
Apia, the only town, in the island of Ui)olu is the capital and centre of government.
Area, 1,701 square miles ; population, about 34,000, of which 16,600 in Upolu, 12,500 in Savaii, 3,750 in Tutuila. The natives are Polynesians. There were in 1895, 203 British subjects, about 120 Germans, 26 Americans, 26 French, 25 of other nationalities. The natives are all nominally Cliristians (Protestant, Roman Catholic, or Mormon), but the belief in the personal agency of devils is almost universal. Schools are attached to the churches. In 1894 the commission appointed to investigate titles to land alleged to have been purchased from the natives completed its labours. The commission confirmed to Germans about 75,000 acres, to British 36,000, and to Americans 21,000, but nuich land has since changed hands. Revenue from taxes and customs duties in 1894 7,076Z. The taxes till recently have bsen all contributed by the white residents. In 1898 an attempt was made to collect the native capitation tax of 4s. per head, with what result is not yet (August, 1898) known. The trade is in the hands of German, British and American firms. Imports, 1896, 60,831/. (37,100/. from British Empire); 1897, 65,926/. (34,754/ from British Empire); exports, 1896, 52,729/.; 1897, 47,839/. (5,405/. to British Empire). Chief imports, haberdashery, kerosene, lumber, galvanised roofing, tinned provisions, and salt beef ; only