Swains Island


Swains Island was discovered for the first time in the 1600’s by a Portuguese sailor under the direction of the Spanish fleet. He called the island Hermosa or island of the beautiful people. The Spanish left the island and never used it for any kind of purpose as the location was not what they were looking for. Some years later the Fakaofo attacked the island and murdered all of the native men and took the women with them as slaves. To this day the island is said to have a curse of infertility because of this injustice done to the people.

An American by the name of Jennings started a community on Swains Island and established a coconut grove and helped the slave ship owners that he knew to capture the inhabitants of the other islands for sale on the market. Jennings eventually married a Samoan woman and fathered a son who would take over the operations of the grove. Despite being half Samoan, the younger Jennings was still part of the slave trade. This would end with his own children who would soften their stance on the slavery and take on more of the responsibility. They would become the owners of the island and their ancestors still maintain control and ownership.

Water Sports
Swains Island is in private hands and does not allow guests so there is no information on water sports available.

Island Diversity
Outside of the Samoans and the Jennings family that is American there is little in the way of diversity.

The main function of the island is to grow coconuts that are exported for profit to other countries, so one of the main things to see on Swain’s Island is the coconut plantation.

Swains Island a Small Wonder In the Pacific

Swains Island a Small Wonder In the Pacific

Swains Island, part of the American Samoa, is part of the Tokelau island chain and is part of the United States of America. The island is approximately some 372 acres in size. The whole area has a unique structure as it has a freshwater lagoon that is enclosed within the island. This is the islands source of water as well. It is also surrounded by a ring of sand and corals, and a lot of coconut palm tree vegetation. Swains only has a population of 37 people.
The small isle was first discovered by a Portuguese navigator under the Spanish flag [...]