Delegating Denver #3 of 56: American Somoa
Total Number of Delegates: 9 Pledged: 3 Unpledged: 6
How to Recognize an American Samoan Delegate: As Pacific Islanders, American Samoans look like Hawaiians, only a lot more "gangsta." Their traditional nave-to-knee body tattoo (pe'a) is inked with a pig's tooth attached to a drumstick and takes about nine days to complete. The elaborate design looks like nude surfer shorts and is often complimented with trendy silver-capped front teeth "grillz." Cramped living spaces, family tradition and clan rules have always encouraged American Samoans to smile sweetly as they repress their anger and seek out objects on which to focus their rage. Perhaps this explains why so many American Samoans are professional football players. ESPN has estimated that an American Samoan boy is forty times more likely to play on an NFL team than his stateside counterpart. It's true! Traditional Polynesian dances help make these players nimble-footed. All American Samoans love singing and dancing, especially if it comes with a dinner buffet.
Famous American Samoans: Margaret Mead researched Coming of Age in Samoa on the island of Tau; fighter pilot Toa'ale S. Mulitaupele; Legendary Tattoo Sisters Tilafaiga and Taema; warrior princess Lucy Lawless; football players Junior Seau, Joe Salave'a and Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala
Famous American Samoan Democrats: Eni Fa'aua'a Hunkin Falaomavaega Jr., perhaps the United States’ only Democrat who is also a Mormon
Famous American Samoans With Denver Connections: Denver Broncos defensive tackle Ma'a Junior Tanuvasa, the tenth Samoan to play in a Super Bowl. He helped his team defeat Green Bay 31-24 on January 25, 1998.
Territory Motto: In Samoa, God Is First Population: 57,902 Racial Distribution: 2% white, 90% Samoan, 4% Tongan, 5% black, Asian and Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $4,357 Unemployment: 30%
Recommendations for the American Samoan Delegation:
Most American Samoan Denver Neighborhood: Sun Valley
Most American Samoan Bar: Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret 1601 Arapahoe Street Denver's most exotic bar for the convention's most exotic delegates.
Most American Samoan Restaurant: Govinda's Buffet 1400 Cherry Street A restaurant where the food is always fresh and the fee is based on what you can afford is ideally suited to residents of a territory where 61% of the population lives below the U.S. poverty line.
Suggested Colorado Day Trip: Pikes Peak
Click here for a larger image. American Samoa consists of seven tropical islands and two atolls. The steep volcanic slopes of the islands drop into the flat, vast blue of the South Pacific. The trip up to the top of Pikes Peak may seem oddly similar, only the visible flat, vast blue is land, not ocean, and it is teeming with cows and corn, not tuna and coral reefs. The drive up to the top can be made in two hours; however, American Samoans may want to take the cog railway to get to the top. The advantage of taking the rail over an automobile is that it may be done in "Samoan time" -- meaning it will take twice as long as driving. Unlike transportation service back on American Samoa, the train will run on time, and drivers aren't allowed to make unscheduled stops to visit relatives or take naps. --Kenny Be
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Reader: Landlords Are Overcharging Marijuana Businesses Because They Can
Mon., Aug. 31, 7:00pm
Thu., Sep. 3, 6:40pm
Thu., Sep. 3, 7:00pm
Thu., Sep. 3, 7:00pm
- Remembering the Denver Wax Museum and Nine More Long-Gone Local Landmarks
- Dear Mexican: Was Jimi Hendrix Part Mexican?