German Samoa

Figure 1
Samoan Fita Fita
Samoa 1910

Figure 2
Samoan Fita Fita
Samoa c1910

Figure 3
German Police Officer
Samoa 1910

Figure 4
Samoan Police
Samoa 1914


Figures 1 and 2 are based on photographs of Samoan Fita Fita ceremonial guards. They wore a white uniform piped in blue consisting of a sarong (known as a "Lava Lava" in Samoan), tunic and matching peakless field cap with a small imperial cockade. Figure 1 has a single large ammunition pouch and rifle of a long outdated style. Figure 2 wears a ceremonial red sash edged with gold with an brass imperial eagle in brass on the chest (see right). Fita Fita NCOs wore a peaked field cap and had two blue stripes around the cuff similar to those on the edge of the sarong. 

Figure 3 is based on a photograph of a German Officer on Samoa on parade with the Fita Fita. He wears a standard white tropical uniform (without Schutztruppe blue piping) and a matching peaked field cap with a hatband and piping in red as common to most German colonial police units with an imperial cockade (black/white/red) on the front of the hatband. A shade of dark pink was authorised as the facing colour for German Samoa in 1912 but was almost certainly not issued before 1914. White tropical helmets were also issued with small imperial eagles and cockades. He is armed with only a ceremonial sword although pistols were issued.

Figure 4 is based on a photograph of a Samoan Policeman taken in Apia in 1914 probably by a member of the New Zealand Advance Force that captured the islands. He wears a white tropical helmet and a khaki uniform. The tunic is of a style seen before by the East Asian Expeditionary Corps, with a standing collar and one left breast pocket. The pockets (including the two hip pockets) appear to have no pocket flaps. Above the breast pocket is a seven pointed star badge (see right). This policeman has a dark coloured band around each cuff (I have guessed the colour to be red although I have no confirmation of this). The original photograph on which this illustration is based shows four policemen. They all wear the same uniforms except that one has no cuff bands, one has one, another has two and the final one has three. Also in the original photograph two wear puttees as seen here while the other two wear their trousers loose around the ankles.

Most of the policemen photographed on Samoa in the early years of German rule show them wearing white naval fatigues or with a dark red sarong like those worn by the New Guinea Polizeitruppe) with the same naval style peakless caps as the Fita Fita or straw hats held up on the right hand side with a large imperial cockade (as originally issued to the East Asian Expeditionary Corps during the Boxer Rebellion).

Samoan Fita Fita Ceremonial Sash
(See Imperial War Museum Collection Page)
IWM Collection

Samoan Police Badge
(Click here for a larger Photo)
Copyright Shaun Aumua

Another Samoan Police Badge
(This one may be privately made for a Polizei-Meister as it is better quality and the inner badge is made of two parts)
Photo from the Warren Collingwood Collection by Barry O'Sullivan.




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