After his success with Nanook of the North (1922), director Robert J. Flaherty was asked by studio chief Jesse L. Lasky (who would soon head Paramount) to make the same kind of film he had in the Artic, except this time in the South Seas. Thus was this "sequel" conceived. The film was a commercial success in Europe, but not in the US.
Director Robert J. Flaherty took both a regular motion picture camera and a Prizma Color camera to Samoa, expecting to shoot some of the film in that color process. However, the color camera malfunctioned, forcing Flaherty to film using only panchromatic B&W film.