header Notes Collection

1 Pound 1957, Samoa

in Krause book Number: 8a
Years of issue: 24.05.1957
Signatures: Minister for Island Territories for New Zealand: Mr. Thomas Lachlan Macdonald, For the Secretary to the New Zealand Treasury: Mr. Leicester Mitchell Cook
Serie: 1948 - 1959 Issue
Specimen of: 06.08.1948
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 175 x 108
Printer: Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company Limited Engravers, London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

1 Pound 1957




I only saw the £ 1 symbol next to the left signature. Maybe I haven't seen something yet.

I did not found any official info about watermark on such 1 Pound Western Samoa.


1 Pound 1957


2 cocoa palm trees on left side of Fale. People are in front of Fale.

The coconut palms playing an important role in the architecture of the islands.

Sina and the Eel is a myth of origins in Samoan mythology which explains the origins of the first coconut tree.

In the Samoan language the legend is called Sina ma le Tuna. Tuna is the Samoan word for "eel".

The story is also well known throughout Polynesia including Tonga, Fiji and Māori in New Zealand.

Different versions of the legend are told in different countries in Oceania. The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) has many uses and is an important source of food. It is also used for making coconut oil, baskets, sennit rope used in traditional Samoan house building, weaving and for the building of small traditional houses or fale. The dried meat of the coconut or copra has been an important export product and a source of income throughout the Pacific.

The legend of Sina and the Eel is associated with other figures in Polynesian mythology such as Hina, Tinilau, Tagaloa and Nafanua.

Sina is also the name of various female figures in Polynesian mythology. The word sina also means "white" or silver haired (grey haired in age) in the Samoan language. There is also an old Samoan song called Soufuna Sina based on a Sina legend.

"On the island of Savai'i in Samoa, one version of the legend tells of a beautiful girl called Sina who had a small pet eel. When the eel grew, it fell in love with Sina. This made the girl afraid. She tried to run away, but the fish followed her. Sina finally sought refuge in a village, and thinking that she had escaped, went to the village pool to get water.

However, when Sina looked into the pool, she saw the eel staring up at her.

Angry, she cried "You stare at me, with eyes like a demon!" (Samoan: E pupula mai, ou mata o le alelo!). Village chiefs came and killed the eel. As the fish was dying, it asked Sina to plant its head in the ground. Sina followed the eel's request, and planted its head in the ground. A coconut tree grew from the ground.

Fale Fale

On banknote is traditional Samoan hut - Fale.

These are popular as "grass huts" or "beach fale" in village tourism. Many are raised about a meter off the ground on stilts, sometimes with an iron roof. In a village, families build a faleo'o beside the main house or by the sea for resting during the heat of the day or as an extra sleeping space at night if there are guests.

Fale Fale

In general, traditional Samoan design of fale is characterised by an oval or circular shape with wooden posts holding up a domed roof. There are no walls. The base of the design is a skeleton frame.

Before European arrival and the availability of Western materials, a Samoan fale did not use one piece of metal in its construction but a Samoan string called "afa". Afa is made up of small coconut strands, weaved together to form a strong Samoan robe called "afa". (Samoa Hideaway beach)

Not to be confused with Fale tele (House of Assembly). Such halyard always standing in front of other buildings, as a continuation of a family complex.

More about Samoan Fale and their construction you can read here (The Samoan Fale)

In Samoan mythology, an explanation of why Samoan houses are round is explained in a story about the god Tagaloa, also known as Tagaloalagi (Tagaloa of the Heavens).

Following is the story, as told by Samoan historian Te'o Tuvale in an account of Samoan History up to 1918.

"During the time of Tagaloalagi, the houses in Samoa varied in shape, and this led to many difficulties for those who wished to have a house built in a certain manner. Each carpenter was proficient in building a house of one particular shape only, and it was sometimes impossible to obtain the services of the carpenter desired. A meeting of all the carpenters in the country was held to try to decide on some uniform shape. The discussion waxed enthusiastic, and as there seemed no prospect of a decision being arrived at, it was decided to call in the services of Tagaloalagi. After considering the matter, he pointed to the dome of Heaven and to the horizon and he decreed that in future, all houses built would be of that shape, and this explains why all the ends of Samoan houses are as the shape of the heavens extending down to the horizon."

Denominations in numerals are in all corners. In words centered.


1 Pound 1957

Denomination and pound symbol.

Stylized acanthus leaves.


Numerous legends have been created about the first people who populated the islands, and the origin of the name Samoa. These legends, with several versions of each, have been handed down through the generations.

Apparently, the legends were concocted to establish the claims of different islands, or the names were made up to fit each contradictory legend. Evidently Samoans have never agreed, do not agree now, and never will agree on this point. However, all of these legends, regardless of their origin, are fantastic and very amusing.

For example, some claim that the islands of Samoa were rolled down from heaven by the Great God Tagaloa. Others contend that the islands were drawn up from the bottom of the ocean by means of fish hooks, while others are equally as positive that the islands were pushed up from the ocean bed by the cuttlefish, Feepo, who exclusively own the lower region of the sea, which was known as Sa-le-Fe'e (region of the cuttlefish).

They are all very interesting, though not scientific. However, they serve well to indicate the primitive mentality of many of the people. As to the origin of the Manu's Group, there seems to be special version that is popular among their own group of chiefs. They believe in the legend that Tagaloa, the Heavenly Being and god of the universe had two children, a son named Moa and a daughter named Lu. Having married, Lu had a son who was also named Lu, after herself. One night while Tagaloa was asleep, he heard his grandson Lu singing a chant, "Moa-Lu, Moa-Lu." After a while he would change the names, chanting, "Lu-Moa, Lu-Moa" putting his own name first and "Moa," his uncle, last. Tagaloa hearing this became very angry. He considered the lad very presumptuous. The idea of his grandson trying to make himself more important than his uncle Moa moved Tagaloa to make the correction. Tagaloa at once ordered his grandson to do a favour for him and scratch his back. As Lu was starting to do this, Tagaloa seized the boy and started to beat him with the handle of his fue (flapper).

Young Lu was frightened, and escaped and came down to earth. Tagaloa sternly warned Lu when he was with him for the last time to always remember to honour Moa in all he did. Whatever he did or owned should be kept sacred for Moa. On earth Lu remembered his grandfather's stern warning and named his new abode "Sa-ia-Moa," which means Sacred-for-Moa. Sa-ia-Moa was condensed to Samoa.

The people of Manu'a contend that this legend is absolutely true. As proof of its veracity, they point to the fact that "Moa" usually means center or chicken but it is never used in Manu'a to mean this. Chicken to them is "manu," not "moa." Furthermore, the word "Moa" is the family name carried by the holders of the king's title, Tuimanu'a. (SAMOA)