2009 American Samoa Territory Quarters
The obverse will continue to bear the familiar restored 1932 John Flannagan image of George Washington.
American Samoa known as the heart of Polynesia is a group of five islands and two coral atolls in the South Pacific, approximately 2,300 miles southwest of Hawaii and 2,700 miles northeast of Australia. Contacts with Europeans began in the early 1700s and intensified with the arrival of English missionaries and traders in the 1830s. Under the Treaty of Berlin in 1899, the United Kingdom and Germany gave the United States rights and claims over the area, and it officially became a United States territory in 1929 when Congress ratified deeds of cession dating back to 1900 and 1904. The ava bowl is used to make the special ceremonial drink for island chiefs and guests during important events. The ava ceremony is considered the most significant traditional event in Samoan culture. The whisk and staff symbolize the rank of the Samoan orator delivering speeches during these gatherings. The ava bowl, whisk and staff also appear on the Official Seal of American Samoa.