Samoa,an island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about 2,500 miles (4,000 km) southwest of Hawaii. The islands west of 171° West longitude make up the independent country of Samoa; those east of the 171st meridian are a possession of the United States—American Samoa. Samoa is made up of mountainous, volcanic islands, reaching heights of more than 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above sea level on Savai'i Island. Total area of the group is 1,176 square miles (3,046 km 2 ).
The first European to visit Samoa was Jacob Roggeveen, a Dutch navigator, in 1722. The islands have been divided since 1899.