In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant

This object that resonates with me and my family is called a lavalava. A lavalava is a piece of fabric that Polynesians tie around their waists that gets worn like a skirt. Both men and women wear this type of garment in Samoa and is considered to be a traditional daily outfit used for school uniforms to work attire paired with a jacket and tie. Lavalavas are very adjustable and depending on what the occasion or event this piece is being worn to, determines how long the end of the lavalava should hit on the legs. My dad, his siblings, and his parents were all born in American Samoa and moved to the states when my dad was starting high school. His dad / my grandpa, decided that he wanted a better life for him and his children which is why they settled in the United States, just like how some of the pull factors for Chinese emigration to come to America was for employment opportunities and for land / property ownership. Some push factors for Chinese emigration were flooding, starvation, and harsh economic conditions caused by high taxes. Everyone in my family owns at least one lavalava and we wear this garment for casual use now, such as going to the beach or running errands on a hot day. Lavalavas can also be passed down from generation to generation. For example, my dad gave me one of his lavalavas so that I can have a real traditional lavalava from the islands and be proud of my cultural identity.

Place(s): American Samoa

– Jazzy Tagaloa

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant