Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities make our nation more vibrant through a diversity of cultures, languages and religions. National Park of American Samoa National Park of American Samoa Caption National Park of American Samoa The National Park of American Samoa is located approximately 2,600 miles southwest of Hawai'i. It is one of the most remote national parks in the United States. The Samoan culture is Polynesia's oldest. It is believed that, the first people on the Samoan Islands came by sea from southwest Asia some 3,000 years ago. Over the centuries, distinct cultural traits emerged that we now call fa'asamoa. The ʻŌhiʻa The lehua (flower) of the ʻōhiʻa is the official flower of the island of Hawai’i. ʻŌhiʻa lehua is an important part of Hawai’i’s forests and provides food and shelter for native birds. Caption The ʻŌhiʻa ʻŌhiʻa lehua is an important part of Hawai’i’s forests and provides food and shelter for native birds. The lehua (flower) of the ʻōhiʻa is the official flower of the island of Hawai’i. ʻŌhiʻa is the keystone species in Hawaiian forests; however, a fungal disease called Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death is currently attacking and killing thousands of trees. Wildlife Refuges Photo by Jim Maragos, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Caption Wildlife Refuges Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and six other national wildlife refuges are seemingly just dots near the equator of the Pacific Ocean, but upon a closer look these islands, reefs, and atolls are at the epicenter of Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. These refuges host terrestrial and marine life in numbers and unique and specialized life forms beyond our imagination and they provide a safe haven for millions of birds and marine life that swarm to shallow areas and islands to rest, to feed, to mate, and to give life to their offspring. Kosrae Island Mahkontowe Conservation Area Picture courtesy of KIRMA. Caption Kosrae Island Mahkontowe Conservation Area Using Compact of Free Association funding provided through OIA, the Kosrae Government built several traditional resting houses in the Kosrae Mahkontowe Conservation Area in the Federated States of Micronesia using traditional knowledge and local resources to support both eco-heritage tourism and local agriforesters. Kili Bag from the Marshall Islands U.S. Department of the Interior Museum, INTR 07106 Caption Kili Bag from the Marshall Islands Kili bags are woven by women from Kili Island in the Marshall Islands from pandanus and coconut fibers. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy popularized them as fashion accessories in the U.S. in the early 1960s. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was gifted this Kili bag while attending the Pacific Islands Forum in the Marshall Islands in 2013. Yap Stone Money U.S. Department of the Interior Museum, INTR 00025 Caption Yap Stone Money Stone money found only in Yap — once part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands until 1986 and now a state within the Federated States of Micronesia — holds significant cultural and historic value and is still used for ceremonial exchanges. Men risked their lives crossing the ocean to transport the stone money quarried in Palau, over 200 miles away. Palauan Storyboard and Samoan Fue U.S. Department of the Interior Museum, INTR 02158 and INTR 03536 Caption Palauan Storyboard and Samoan Fue Palauan Storyboard (top) Similar to motifs appearing on a “bai” or the traditional men’s meeting houses in Palau, carved wooden storyboards depict scenes from Palauan parables and legends. This storyboard depicts the story of Yapese men who transported stone money disks quarried from Palau limestone quarry sites and risked the dangerous journey back to Yap by canoe. Samoan Fue (bottom) A “fue” or orator’s whisk is a piece of regalia signifying a talking chief’s status in Samoan society. This one was presented to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt during his 1997 visit to the U.S. territory to dedicate the National Park of American Samoa.