"Samoa" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus,
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure,
which enables searching at various levels of specificity.
A group of islands in the southwest central Pacific, divided into AMERICAN SAMOA and the INDEPENDENT STATE OF SAMOA (Western Samoa). First European contact was made in 1722 by Jacob Roggeveen, a Dutchman. In 1768 they were named Navigators Islands by Louis de Bougainville. The present name may derive from that of a local chieftain or from a local word meaning place of the moa, a now-extinct island bird. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p1061 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p481)
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