Samoa, officially the Independent State of Samoa and, until 4 July 1997, known as Western Samoa, is a unitary parliamentary democracy with eleven administrative divisions. The two main islands are Savai'i and Upolu with four smaller islands surrounding the landmasses. The capital city is Apia. The Lapita people discovered and settled the Samoan Islands around 3,500 years ago. They developed a unique Samoan language and Samoan cultural identity.