The Contemporary Pacific

The Contemporary Pacific
Volume 16, Number 2, Fall 2004


About the Artist

The Pacific Islands


    Rodman, Margaret, 1947-
  • Traveling Stories, Colonial Intimacies, and Women's Histories in Vanuatu
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Women -- Vanuatu -- Social conditions.
    • Sex role -- Vanuatu -- History.
    • Kinship -- Vanuatu -- History.
    • Vanuatu -- Race relations -- History.
      The story of the 1937 death of an eighteen-month-old girl named Wilhemina (Mina) Whitford in the care of her ni-Vanuatu nursemaid, Evelyn, frames this article. The Whitford's version of this story was heard in the course of fieldwork with descendants of settler families. They tie Mina's accidental death to an affair Evelyn was having with a male settler. What about Evelyn? How could she be located and her version of events recorded? More generally, how can the unwritten histories of women's experiences be recovered in a Pacific island context? How can indigenous women write their own histories of gender in the contexts of colonial experience? The article offers, first, a theoretically informed descriptive approach, which finds answers in the gendered and racialized content of contemporary descriptions of past experiences, such as the story of the child's death. A second way of finding Evelyn involves methodological detective work using the network of ni-Vanuatu women fieldworkers trained through the Vanuatu Cultural Centre. A 2001 workshop provided a forum for fieldworkers and women who had worked as housegirls in the colonial (pre-1980 ) period to discuss work, violence, gender, race, and history. During the workshop, a fieldworker brought Evelyn's story to light. Conclusions point to new ways of integrating indigenous and expatriate women's voices in historical and anthropological research in the contemporary Pacific.
      Gender, subject locations, race, narrative, indigenous methodologies, settlers, Vanuatu
    Hokowhitu, Brendan.
  • Tackling Maori Masculinity: A Colonial Genealogy of Savagery and Sport
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Masculinity -- New Zealand -- History -- 19th century.
    • Body image in men -- New Zealand -- History -- 19th century.
    • Maori (New Zealand people) -- Sports -- History -- 19th century.
    • Physical education and training -- Social aspects -- New Zealand -- History -- 19th century.
      The primary aim of this paper is to deconstruct one of the dominant discourses surrounding Māori men—a discourse that was constructed to limit, homogenize, and reproduce an acceptable and imagined Māori masculinity, and one that has also gained hegemonic consent from many tāne. I use a genealogical approach to outline the historical underpinnings of the image of the Māori man as naturally physical, and the mechanisms, including the confiscation of land and a racist state education system, that served to propound and perpetuate this construction. The contemporary portrayal of the natural Māori sportsman has evolved from these historical roots in what has become a largely subconscious but no less insidious pattern of subjugation through positively framed sporting images.
      Māori, masculinity, sport
    Horowitz, Leah S.
  • Toward a Viable Independence? The Koniambo Project and the Political Economy of Mining in New Caledonia
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • New Caledonia -- Foreign economic relations.
    • Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited.
    • Joint ventures -- New Caledonia.
    • New Caledonia -- History -- Autonomy and independence movements.
    • New Caledonia -- Foreign relations -- France.
    • France -- Foreign relations -- New Caledonia.
      In New Caledonia, pro-independence leaders perceive economic autonomy as a prerequisite for political independence. The Koniambo Project, a joint venture between a Canadian multinational and a local mining company, is seen by many Kanak as an opportunity to loosen economic ties to metropolitan France. Indeed, unlike cases in which large-scale resource extraction has disadvantaged local groups and intensified demands for political rights, the Koniambo Project resulted from pro-independence activism. This atypical situation can be explained by the French government's strategy in New Caledonia. Violent uprisings in the mid-1980 s ended with accords that promised economic development. Radical activists believed this would pave the way for independence while their opponents hoped to obviate such aspirations. Similarly, the Koniambo Project is viewed either as an opportunity for greater Kanak autonomy or as yet another in a series of actions that have used economic gains to deter pro-independence efforts.
      New Caledonia, Kanak, mining, independence movement, Koniambo Project, Falconbridge, France


    Fountain, Philip M.
    Kindon, Sara Louise.
    Murray, Warwick E.
  • Christianity, Calamity, and Culture: The Involvement of Christian Churches in the 1998 Aitape Tsunami Disaster Relief
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Aitape Tsunami, Papua New Guinea, 1998.
    • Church work with disaster victims -- Papua New Guinea -- Sandaun Province -- History -- 20th century.
    • Combined Churches Organization -- History -- 20th century.
      This paper considers the links between religion and disaster relief through a detailed case study of the activities of Christian churches following the Aitape tsunami of 1998 in northwest Papua New Guinea. Based on primary fieldwork data, we argue that Christian religion was central to the way in which the Combined Churches Organization conducted its relief work and to why it sought to undertake it in the first place. A comparison of the perspectives of this organization and of other religious and governmental organizations as to the causes of this disaster and what remedies they should undertake suggests that greater attention should be paid—both by aid and development researchers and practitioners—to aspects of religious belief and the way they inform theory and practice. Much remains to explore concerning the ways religion informs the theory and practice of aid and development, particularly in the Pacific. Through the detailed case study offered here, this paper adds to the fledgling debate engaging with the links between religion and development and calls for the initiation of an agenda toward that end.
      Christianity, aid and development, disaster relief, Melanesia, Aitape tsunami
    Ihimaera, Witi Tame, 1944-
    Meklin, Margaret.
    Meklin, Andrew.
  • This Magnificent Accident: An Interview with Witi Ihimaera
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Ihimaera, Witi Tame, 1944- -- Interviews.
    • Ihimaera, Witi Tame, 1944- -- Criticism and interpretation.

Political Reviews

Book and Media Reviews

    Wayne, Valerie.
  • Te Tangata Whai Rawa o Weniti, The Maori Merchant of Venice (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Selwyn, Don C., dir. Tangata whai rawa o Weniti, the Maori merchant of Venice [film]
    • Jews -- Italy -- Drama.
    Brunt, Peter William, 1955-
  • Kainga Tahi Kainga Rua: New Work on Banaba (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Graham, Brett. Kainga Tahi Kainga Rua: New Work on Banaba [exhibition]
    • Adam Art Gallery.
    • Graham, Brett -- Exhibitions.
    Leach, James, 1969-
  • Handle With Care: Ownership and Control of Ethnographic Materials (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Jaarsma, S. R., ed. Handle with care: ownership and control of ethnographic materials.
    • Ethnology -- Research.
    Carucci, Laurence Marshall, 1949-
  • Bravo for the Marshallese: Regaining Control in a Post-Nuclear, Post-Colonial World (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Barker, Holly M. Bravo for the Marshallese: regaining control in a post-nuclear, post-colonial world.
    • Marshall Islands -- History.
    Kroeker, Julianne Walsh.
  • The Marshall Islands--Living Atolls Amidst the Living Sea: The National Biodiversity Report of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and: The Republic of the Marshall Islands' Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • National Biodiversity Team of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Marshall Islands--living atolls amidst the living sea.
    • National Biodiversity Team of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Republic of the Marshall Islands' Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.
    • Biological diversity -- Marshall Islands.
    • Biological diversity conservation -- Marshall Islands.
    Lederman, Rena.
  • People and Things: Social Mediations in Oceania (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Jeudy-Ballini, Monique, 1955- People and things: social mediations in Oceania.
    • Juillerat, Bernard.
    • Exchange -- Oceania.
    Macpherson, Cluny.
  • Tongans Overseas: Between Two Shores, and: Saili Matagi: Samoan Migrants in Australia (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Lee, Helen Morton, 1960- Tongans overseas: between two shores.
    • Va'a, Leulu Felise. Saili matagi: Samoan migrants in Australia.
    • Tongans -- Foreign countries.
    • Samoans -- Australia.
    Dussy, Dorotheé.
  • La Saga du kava, du Vanuatu à, la Nouvelle-Calédonie (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Chanteraud, Annabel R. Saga du kava, du Vanuatu à la Nouvelle-Calédonie.
    • Kava plant -- Social aspects -- Vanuatu.
    Summerhayes, Glenn, 1954-
  • Edward W Gifford and Richard Shutler Jr's Archaeological Expedition to New Caledonia in 1952 (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Sand, Christophe. Edward W Gifford and Richard Shutler Jr's archaeological expedition to New Caledonia in 1952.
    • Kirch, Patrick Vinton.
    • New Caledonia -- Antiquities.
    D'Arcy, Paul.
  • Pacific Lives, Pacific Places: Bursting Boundaries in Pacific History (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Lal, Brij V., ed. Pacific lives, Pacific places: bursting boundaries in Pacific history.
    • Hempenstall, Peter J., ed.
    • Oceania -- History -- Congresses.
    Reilly, Michael (Michael Patrick Joseph)
  • Exploration & Exchange: A South Seas Anthology, 1680-1900, and: Preserving the Self in the South Seas, 1680-1840 (review)
    [Access article in HTML] [Access article in PDF]
    Subject Headings:
    • Lamb, Jonathan, 1945-, ed. Exploration & exchange: a South Seas anthology, 1680-1900.
    • Smith, Vanessa, ed.
    • Thomas, Nicholas, ed.
    • Lamb, Jonathan, 1945- Preserving the self in the south seas, 1680-1840.
    • Oceania -- Discovery and exploration.
    • Travelers' writings, English -- Oceania -- History and criticism.



[Project MUSE] [Search Page] [Journals] [Journal Directory] [Top]