Representations of Ethnicity in French Polynesia: From Conflictual to Cumulative

October 2, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Mānoa Campus, John Burns Hall room 3121/3125, East-West Center Add to Calendar

Representations of ethnicity in French Polynesia are complex, not only because of the existence of many ethnic communities (the main one being the native population, now called Mā‘ohi), but also because the French Republic discredits any discussion of ethnicity. Advocates of the Mā‘ohi ethnic identity, who claim an identity based on roots, genealogy, or heritage, continually confront the republic dogma that recognizes only the existence of equal individuals but no community as such. Mā‘ohi must also struggle against the idea that in French Polynesia, everybody is ‘’French Polynesian’’ and, on that assumption, that everybody is Polynesian! This presentation will consider the conceptual issues involved here and explore whether there is a way leading from conflictual (or exclusive) identities to cumulative identities in French Polynesia.

Bruno Saura is a Professor of Polynesian Civilization at the University of French Polynesia. His academic background is in anthropology and political science. He is the director of a multidisciplinary research group focused on Pacific societies of the past and the present. Saura has written several books including Les bûchers de Faaite, 1990, La société tahitienne au miroir d’Israël 2004, Tahiti ma’ohi, 2008. His current research focuses on the myths and oral traditions of Polynesian societies.

Ticket Information
Free and open to the public

Event Sponsor
Center for Pacific Islands Studies, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Katherine Higgins, 956-2658,

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