Vailima is the name of a village about four miles south of Apia, the capital of Samoa, the island nation in the Pacific Ocean. The population is 769.[1] Vailima is part of the electoral political district Tuamasaga.

Vailima
Village
Villa Vailima
Villa Vailima
Vailima is located in Samoa
Vailima
Vailima
Coordinates: 13°51.59′S 171°45.56′W / 13.85983°S 171.75933°W / -13.85983; -171.75933
Country Samoa
DistrictTuamasaga
Population
 (2016)
 • Total769
Time zone-11

Origins edit

The name Vailima means "water in the hand", according to an old Samoan tale. A woman gave some water (vai) in her hand (lima) to help her thirsty companion. A widely quoted misinterpretation states that the name means "five waters", as the word "lima" means both "hand" and "five" in Samoan.[2]

Connections with Robert Louis Stevenson edit

 
Stevenson family and friends, Vailima

The village is most known as the location of the last residence of Robert Louis Stevenson, named "Villa Vailima", which is now the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum.[3] The estate has had a varied past with it functioning further as the residence for the governor of German Samoa, the administrator of the New Zealand mandatory authority and the Samoan head of state. It is now a museum in honour of Stevenson and has been substantially restored.[4]

Stevenson is buried in a tomb on Mount Vaea overlooking Vailima.[4] He had two wishes for his burial, to be buried on the top of Mount Vaea and to be buried with his boots on as he used those boots to walk on the Samoan lands.[5]

References edit

  1. ^ "Census 2016 Preliminary count" (PDF). Samoa Bureau of Statistics. p. 7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 March 2022. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  2. ^ Theroux, Joseph (1981). "Some Misconceptions about RLS". The Journal of Pacific History. 16 (3): 164–166. doi:10.1080/00223348108572422. JSTOR 25168472.
  3. ^ Bennett, E.M. (1 January 2017). "Representations and belonging: a brief study of the social contexts of museums in Samoa and Fiji". Senior Capstone Projects. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 3 June 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Robert Louis Stevenson Museum". Atlas Obscura. Archived from the original on 2021-05-16. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  5. ^ "IN THE WAKE OF ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON". Tara Expeditions. 2 December 2016. Archived from the original on 29 August 2021. Retrieved 29 August 2021.