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TALAMU‘AKI Foreword MARKING INDIGENEITY: THE TONGAN ART OF SOCIOSPATIAL RELATIONS critiques ancient Tongan concepts and practices in the broader context of Tongan theory and ethnography. Such refined concepts and practices exist by way of ancient Tongan skills and knowledge. These old skills and knowledge were acquired through Tongan education, organized along the three ha‘a (professional artistic classes): ha‘a faiva (performance artists), ha‘a tufunga (material artists),and ha‘a nimamea‘a (fine artists) as opposed to organization into schools after the European contact. As an intellectual and practical process, Tongan education involved a circular tempospatial, formal-substantial, and functional transformation of the human mind and thinking from ignorance to knowledge to skill in that logical order of precedence over time and space. As tempospatial, formal-substantial, and functional entities, these ancient skills and knowledge acquired through Tongan education are dialectically composed in culture as a receptacle and historically communicated in language as a vehicle in both time and space. In this book, Dr. Tēvita O. Ka‘ili focuses on these aspects of skills and knowledge, creatively examining the interchange of theory and ethnography at the interface of the scientific and the aesthetic. In original ways, Dr. Ka‘ili draws on the ancient concepts and practices of tauhivā and fatongia, approximately translated as ‘maintaining sociospatial relations’ and ‘socioeconomic obligations,’ respectively. Next, he considers the former as a social art involving the mediation of intersecting or connecting and separating sociospatial relations and the latter as an artistic device, largely theorized from the tā-vā (time-space) theory of reality. xii TALAMU‘AKI Dr. Ka‘ili’s unique vision of the mediation of social conflicts as an art is duly inspired in new ways by Tongan artistic and literary concepts and practices. I refer here to tufunga fonua (social engineering), a material art form that is concerned primarily with the reconciliation of social tensions at the interface of human-environmental relationships. All of the Tongan arts across the three genres—faiva, tufunga, and nimamea‘a—have their respective devices for the resolution of conflict,such as hola (insertion of an extra move within two moves) for the mediation of intersecting (that is, connecting and separating) bodily movements in faiva haka (dance), mata‘ihui (eye of the needle) for the mediation of intersecting lines and spaces in tufunga tātatau (tattooing), and fe‘unu (line-marking threads) for the mediation of intersecting leaves in nimamea‘a lālanga (mat weaving). Likewise, the device for the settlement of intersecting human conflicts in tufunga fonua by way of tauhivā is fatongia. Dr. Ka‘ili continues to effectively integrate both analytic and ethnographic concepts and practices by utilizing the so-called internal and external qualities of Tongan art. Internal qualities include tatau (symmetry), potupotutatau (harmony), and mālie/ faka‘ofo‘ofa (beauty), which are distinct but continuous tā-vā entities. Art can therefore be defined as a tā-vā transformation of subject matter under the creative process through sustained tatau and potupotutatau from a condition of felekeu (chaos) to a state of maau (order) to produce mālie/faka‘ofo‘ofa. Mālie/faka‘ofo‘ofa is a function of both tatau and potupotutatau in which the latter is a summation of the former. Similarly , the qualities extrinsic to art include the emotional feelings of māfana (warmth), vela (fieriness), and tauēlangi (climaxed elation) that Dr. Ka‘ili with greater relevance extends to include the social province, in which these emotions are psychologically useful to people as performers and audience. In Tonga, both the quality and utility of art coexist, within all artwork as well as within forms of social activity, made to be both beautiful and useful (that is, the more beautiful the more useful, and by the same token, the more useful the more beautiful). Dr.Ka‘ili is a leading proponent of the tā-vā theory of reality,which is based on the Tongan sense of time and space. He interweaves the subject matter of his investigation—migration—with a number of theoretical strands in which the tā-vā theory of reality plays a pivotal role. From a tā-vā theoretical perspective , Dr. Ka‘ili demonstrates the historical fact that migration is a human concept and practice that takes place in both tā and vā. The movements of people between tā and vā, defined by contradictory tempospatial, formal-substantial, and functional tendencies of some uncompromising physical, emotional, and social nature, are a form of tauhivā resolved by means of...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816537525
Related ISBN
9780816530564
MARC Record
OCLC
1001352219
Pages
200
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-23
Language
English
Open Access
No
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