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The Tree and the Canoe: History and Ethnogeography of Tanna


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November 1994

Beschreibung

Beschreibung

Swooping down on the world like a scythe, westernization has devastated local cultures and made uniformity commonplace. The Pacific islands sustained the shock with a force perhaps unequaled anywhere else in the world. Their limited size and small population, coupled with the violent epidemics that took thousands of lives, lowered Islanders' ability to resist. To keep the external world at bay, they had to create a world of their own. This personal observation of Tanna, an island in the southern part of the Vanuatu archipelago, presents an extraordinary case study of cultural resistance. Based on interviews, myths and stories collected in the field, and archival research, The Tree and the Canoe analyzes the resilience of the people of Tanna, who, when faced with an intense form of cultural contact that threatened to engulf them, liberated themselves by re-creating, and sometimes reinventing, their own kastom. Following a lengthy history of Tanna from European contact, the author discusses in detail original creation myths and how Tanna people revived them in response to changes brought by missionaries and foreign governments. The final chapters of the book deal with the violent opposition of part of the island population to the newly established National Unity government. Ultimately Tanna's story may well be a living symbol of resistance for people throughout Oceania. Are they truly convinced that the roads constructed by the west are the right ones? Do they not persist in dreaming about their own paths? The study of world cultures can still surprise us, for the tide may be changing.
EAN: 9780824815257
ISBN: 0824815254
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: UNIV OF HAWAII PR
Erscheinungsdatum: November 1994
Seitenanzahl: 368 Seiten
Übersetzer/Sprecher: Übersetzt von Josee Penot-Demetry
Format: gebunden
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