Center for Pacific Islands Studies Newsletter

No. 2 April-June 2006



Pacific Islanders to Face Higher Titions at UH

Playwright Victor Rodger Will Be 2006 Pacific Writer-in-Residence at UHM

CPIS Celebrates "Culture Moves!" Collaboration

UHM to Host Ethnomusicology Conference

CPIS Awarded Foreign Language Fellowships

Heyum Scholarship Awarded

Norman Meller Research Award Competition

A Conversation with Teweiariki Teaero

Pacific Library Training Institute at UHM

Language Training and Diaspora: Topics of CPIS Collaborations

Pacific Studies Developments in the Region

Visitors to Center

Occasional Seminars and Presentations

Faculty Activities

Student and Alumni Activities

Publications and Moving Images


Bulletin Board


At their 15 June 2006 meeting, the UH Board of Regents approved a tuition increase for Pacific Islands students from seventeen Pacific Islands entities. Beginning in August 2007, students from these entities will pay $7, 704 a year or 150 percent of resident tuition, more than double what they currently pay. According to the UH administration, the raise in tuitions will be covered by new financial assistance programs that Pacific Islands students can apply for, and “current students will be grandfathered in to pay resident rates while they continuously pursue their current programs.” Center Director David Hanlon testified against the tuition increase, as did many UH faculty and students.

The tuition increase passed with seven votes from the twelve-member board. According to a 16 June story in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, there is no guarantee that scholarship monies will be enough to offset the 50 percent tuition increase. The center and others will be trying to monitor the impact the change has on Pacific Islands student numbers at UH and will work to promote awareness of the new assistance programs. Pacific Islands students, among others, testified that the tuition increase would limit the number of Pacific Islanders obtaining college degrees.



Samoan-Pālagi playwright Victor Rodger, from Aotearoa New Zealand, will be the 2006 Fulbright–Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer-in-Residence at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies. Rodger will be in residence from mid-September to mid-December. His semiautobiographical first play, Sons, won the Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for Best New New Zealand Play in 1998. In 2001, he was named Bruce Mason Playwright of the Year. Rodger has also been a journalist and an actor and has worked as a writer in film, television, and radio. More information on his residency will be posted on the CPIS website at



Katerina Teaiwa, Neal Smatresk, and David Hanlon

Katerina Teaiwa, Neal Smatresk, and David Hanlon at a May reception at Hawai‘I Theatre with Mid-Pacific Institute. Photo by Coco Needham.

On 7 May CPIS Director David Hanlon and UH Mānoa Vice-Chancellor Neal Smatresk joined with Principal Richard Schaffer and President Joe Rice of Mid-Pacific Institute and guests at a Hawai‘i Theatre reception to celebrate their “Culture Moves!” dance conference collaboration. Twenty-six students of the Mid-Pacific Institute School of the Arts traveled to Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand, with chaperones and parents to take part in the “Culture Moves!” conference in November 2005. The 7 May gathering was made possible by the generous support of the UH Foundation and its director, Donna Vucinich.

The reception preceded “Pikorua,” a dance concert featuring the Mid-Pacific hula students of Pūpūkahi I Ke Alo O Nā Pua and the Wakanesians, a group of twelve students and staff from Victoria University of Wellington. Most of the Wakanesians volunteered as crew for “Culture Moves!” in November. They were generously hosted during their visit to Hawai‘i by Mid-Pacific Institute and its hula students and their families.

Mid-Pacific’s kumu hula Lanakila Casupang initiated the exchange with the Victoria group and also hosted hip-hop choreographer Future, who performed and gave a master class for “Culture Moves!” in Wellington. For “Pikorua” he choreographed a "funk-styles" piece for over 90 Pupukahi students. CPIS faculty member and conference co-convener Katerina Teaiwa was joined by “Culture Moves!” participants Betsy Fisher, Judy Van Zile, Vicky Holt Takamine, Peter Rockford Espiritu, Lanakila Casupang, and Karl Vito Baker onstage at the opening of “Pikorua” as Casupang took the audience through a moving visual journey of his students' experiences at “Culture Moves!” Casupang was assisted in his presentation by East-West Center student and Pan-Pacific Club member Sophronia Smith, who shared her musical talents with the group in a moving finale featuring the song Ma Te Kahukura, composed by Hohepa Tamehana.



The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is pleased to be able to host the 2006 Society for Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting in Honolulu, 16–19 November. The university’s ethnomusicology program has a long-standing reputation of excellence in the study of world music, especially the musics of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The program was founded by Department of Music emeritus faculty member Barbara B Smith in the 1950s. Smith is also a former CPIS affiliate faculty member.

The conference will be preceded by a one-day symposium on 15 November, “‘Whose Asia-Pacific?’ Representation and Presentation in Ethnomusicology.” Taking advantage of the unique geographical and cultural location of Hawai‘i, the symposium will address aspects of representation, cultural rights, advocacy, indigenous cultural politics, and the theory and practice of representation in Asia and the Pacific. For more information on the symposium, contact Frederick Lau at

Some of the special events that are tentatively scheduled for the conference are an international shakuhachi masters’ concert with Riley Lee and others; an evening with Aunty Genoa Keawe, one of Hawai‘i’s best-loved and most-admired musicians; a Solomon Islands music and dance performance; and a hula workshop for ethnomusicologists, taught by kumu hula Vicky Holt Takamine. For the most up-to-date information on the conference, see the website at 



The UHM Center for Pacific Islands Studies has been awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships grant for the coming four years, 2006 through 2009. The grant from the US Department of Education is designed to aid full-time graduate students at UH Mānoa who are involved in programs that combine area studies and foreign language training in Māori, Samoan, or Tahitian. Support for training in other Pacific languages may also be considered. The FLAS grants to university departments are awarded through a national competition. The center received its first FLAS fellowships grant in 2000.

The center intends to award six grants to students for the 2006–2007 school year. So far, four of the six available grants have been awarded. The recipients are

·       Siniva Bennett, an incoming MA student in Pacific Islands studies whose interests include cultural preservation and Samoan language study;

·       Kelley Esh, a PhD student in Pacific archaeology whose interests include conservation ethics, historic preservation, and the Tahitian language;

·       Katherine Higgins, a MA student in Pacific Islands studies whose interests include cultural representation, the role of museums, and the Marshallese language; and

·       Timothy Reith, an MA student in anthropology whose interests include cultural resource management and Samoan language study.

The fellowships are awarded based on merit and include a $15,000 student subsistence allowance for one year as well as an institutional payment to cover tuition and fees. For more information on FLAS fellowships, see the academic programs section on the center website at



The Center for Pacific Islands Studies is pleased to award the 2006–2007 Ren_(c)e Heyum Scholarship to Tutii Ebuchel Ichiro Chilton, of Palau. Chilton is an incoming PhD student in the UHM Department of Political Science, with a particular interest in the Alternative Futures Program. He is currently an associate professor in social science and humanities at Palau Community College. While he is at UH he will be looking at the changing global economy and the implications for the Pacific region and Palau in particular.

The Heyum Endowment Fund was established by the late R Ren_(c)e Heyum, former curator of the Pacific Collection, Hamilton Library, to assist Pacific Islanders pursuing education or training in Hawai‘i. It awards a scholarship of up to $3,000 a year to a student enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i. The annual competition is held during the spring semester. For more information, contact the center directly at or see the center’s website at

The center welcomes contributions to the endowment to honor the memory of Miss Heyum and further her initiative. Donations may be sent to the UH Foundation/Heyum Endowment, University of Hawai‘i, 2444 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822.



The Center for Pacific Islands Studies is pleased to announce the Norman Meller Research Award competition. The award of $250 is given annually to the best MA research paper at UH Mānoa that is in the social sciences or humanities and focuses on the Pacific Islands. Both Plan A theses and Plan B research papers and portfolios are eligible. Submissions may be made by students or by nominations from the faculty, and are not limited to students in the Pacific Islands studies MA program.

Dr Norman Meller, a political scientist and founding director of the center, who passed away in 2000, bequeathed the gift to the center that makes this award possible. To be eligible for the 2006 award, papers completed during the 2005–2006 academic year must be submitted by 29 September 2006 to Prof David Hanlon, Center for Pacific Islands Studies, 1890 East-West Road, Moore Hall 215, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822.



By Katherine Higgins, CPIS MA Student


Teweiariki Teaero with BYUH students

Students at Brigham Young University–Hawai‘i Campus with CPIS Visiting Artist Teweiariki Teaero.

I-Kiribati poet, artist, and educator Teweiariki Teaero was the Center for Pacific Islands Studies Visiting Artist for 2006 during the latter part of April. While he was at the center, in between trips to Brigham Young University–Hawai‘i Campus and University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and various presentations on campus, he sat down to talk at length about his education, his interests, and his work. The following are some excerpts from that conversation.

KH: In one of your presentations, you mentioned your mother’s storytelling as an important influence in your appreciation for creative writing. Do you recall when you first began to record your creative expressions?

TT: The earliest [poem] that I published was called “Blue Gold.” It was my salute to the ocean. . . . I remember the title because my teacher said, “you can’t have ‘Blue Gold’ – blue is blue, gold is gold,” but I wanted to give the idea that the ocean was precious. I also liked the combination of the blue and the gold; our school uniform at that time was blue and gold—blue sulu and a gold top—so there were a lot of connections. But it was about the sea . . . saying the ocean was there when the world was created. It was about the third or the fourth item that our God created, and that puts it in its place in the scheme of things. He lifted the heavens first, he made sure the people were liberated from their stiffness, then the sun and the moon, and then the ocean, so that was important—and all of the things that we get out of it—the ocean as the highway. I used a Kiribati word, okai. Okai is the traditional house where you keep all the coconuts, like a storehouse—the ocean was the okai for our foods and our medicinal things, medicine from seaweeds and things. The second to the last stanza was a warning against abusing [the ocean] and fourth was the possibilities that existed within it. That theme has appeared in a number of my subsequent poems. . . . We are talking about the period when I was about form three, form four. Then I stopped doing it because we got bogged down with other things, and we had to study other people.

The very first art I produced were figures on the beach at home. We used to draw with our fingers or with twigs on the beach. And the other kind of figures that we did was with wet sand—kind of sculpted, if I can use that word. We created figures that way, relief figures—very temporary, because the sea then would come in and wipe those away.
. . . Those were the first images.

KH: You have spoken of inspirational writers such as Konai Helu Thaman and Albert Wendt. I know that you studied the standard Western tradition of art in Australia, but at some point you recognized that this didn’t really speak to your crafts. I was wondering if you might expand on where you find your inspiration?

TT: In my lecture, I mentioned Konai Thaman and Albert Wendt because those were the first two, but subsequently I came across other writers, many of them—Epeli Hau’ofa, Subramani, Vilsoni [Hereniko], a number of other writers— and then, of course, my own contemporaries continue to provide inspiration. In Australia I was happy, but then I realized that increasingly there was something missing. I had these hopes, when I came across Pacific writers’ and Pacific artists’ work that my training would continue in that tradition, but then I realized that it was all about Western [art]. Well, of course, we had to learn the basic skills of art. That is necessary; I accepted that. We studied the works of Western masters and American masters, and we moved right down through the ages—that was part of art history. So over the four years I was doing my training we did that, and we covered major European, American, and Australian artists. But there was nothing of the kind that I had built up my hopes for, you see? But then I realized I did not have a choice, I had to continue studying that in order to get my degree. . . .

I went back to Kiribati feeling very happy because I had my degree, but then I went to this village mwaneaba meeting house, and I found myself totally useless there, you know? I could not understand anything. They thought I was a big man, I had a degree. But then I realized I was not. Maybe I was big in a different kind of field all together, but in that particular place I was totally useless. And that was the dawning of the thing for me. The kind of dream that I had built up when I came across Pacific writers’ and artists’ work, that did not materialize in Australia. I came back home, and that was made manifest, that there was definitely that big something lacking. There was nobody else that could do it except me. I had to make things happen.

So there and then I decided I must learn more about my culture, and as a teacher, I must also teach it. And it was in studying this culture that patterns emerged. So you learned about language, you learned about the symbolism that you use in the oratory. With the symbols, of course, being an arts-trained person, I started translating those into visual images. . . . And the more I started researching into other aspects of culture, particularly oratory at that point and also legends, so that I could teach at secondary school, the more I realized it was actually a “minefield.” I am talking here not about mines that explode, but mines that contain treasures. It was a minefield of wealth and imagery. So that started appearing in my work, and I started accumulating those images—the richness of those, I started fully realizing—and I made that part of my teaching.

Then I [started] attempting to incorporate those kinds of Kiribati images into the curriculum—and then went into other specific art areas like tattooing [and] mat-weaving patterns. So I was revisiting my mother’s craft once again. So it was kind of connected but with very big gaps, you see, that I had to jump back and forth. That was the difficulty. So it was from there, to my mother, that the stories were cut short because I was taken into secondary schools. . . . But that is how it dawned upon me—because I started working at secondary schools. Then I had to leave—I was recruited to university. I applied for a post there, and I got it. And that again gave me opportunities to make more explorations. . . . So it was a journey that I, myself, had to make. I could not wait for institutions, and I could not wait for other people to make it happen. I had to do it. You see the burning issue for me was that if I did not do it, I felt nobody else would do it. If I didn’t do it then, then it will be another gap of a few years—and it may not happen again, nothing might click. So I had to do it, and I created the opportunity, and I started working in that area.

KH: From what I have heard and read, USP seems to really go into the cultures of its students.

TT: It took us more that thirty years to realize that! We initially were focused on things that would land people in jobs. So you could have walked into USP and could have thought that it was a university just transplanted straight from somewhere else. Professor Epeli Hau‘ofa himself called it “a beautiful cemetery.” It was dead in terms of creativity. . . . But then it became very actively involved in putting forward— and this is important—in putting forward the first generation of Pacific writers, including Vilsoni Hereniko and all the others. It started there, but then again there was a kind of a trough there, and nothing happened for awhile. Then they started to resurrect the whole thing again.

So the university took awhile to do it, and then when they did it, they were the first ones in the region, and rightly so, because they were a prestigious institution in the region, poised to make a change. . . . It was kind of a off-on thing, and now, I think, for the first time in its history, they are making concerted efforts to be very active in the Pacific arts and culture program on a number of fronts—writing, visual arts, dancing, music, carving, pottery, and so on. They are still at a very, very early stage, but it is a beginning. In art, for example, we are now teaching undergraduate courses, and we will have the first postgraduate course next semester—and we are hoping we will have some more. So, yeah, the journey has begun. We still have a long way to go, but, you know, we’re moving.

KH: I have a great appreciation for your joining, as you said, your three languages—Kiribatese, English, and art—to create that fourth language. Has this combination of literacies always been a factor in your creative compositions?

TT: No, it hasn’t always been a feature of my work. One, because the original training in writing I had was, “Write in English! Write in English!” So the tendency, at first, was to write in English – even “Blue Gold” was in English, and a few that came after that. Then I started realizing that there are just some things that you cannot write in English. The poem [“Katoka Bau/Garlanding”] that I normally use for opening my books and for starting public presentations, in my first publication, you might notice, I put it in Kiribati and then translated it into English. But when I looked at it in English, although it captures the essence of it, it really was a lackluster version in comparison with [the Kiribati version], because I was using images that were meaningful in that language like “go to the eastern side.” I think some people asked in the last presentation, “What is the significance of the east?” You say that in Kiribati, to the Kiribati people, and automatically they know. You do it in English, “the eastern side,” and it is just a point of the compass. It doesn’t have the connotations that were meant to go with it. And even some of the key words in that poem, . . . we can find the English translation but we have to write a sentence that is as long as halfway around the globe in order to get the same kind of meaning. So what’s the point? So I just say, all right, just use this word.

So I realized there are things that in order to capture the very, very spirit of it, you have to do it in this language. So it started appearing in my work, but of course what happened was, people were reluctant to see the . . . at that stage there were only about 70,000 in Kiribati, and everybody said, “Oh, nobody will read it—we’ve only got 70,000. But if you write it in English a lot more people will read it.” But I still felt that I did not want to put those Kiribati poems in limbo. So I found, eventually, a way out of it, and put them together with the English poems in one volume. So in effect I was giving the Kiribati poems wings to fly, by allowing them to ride piggyback on English poems.

So that is when I started—this was about 1993–1994. . . . Then, of course, other ideas we could not do in either Kiribati or English—so I selected the visual mode of communication. That is how that came into it. I’ve always had the ability to draw and paint, . . . but toward the end of my teaching in secondary schools I started using Kiribati [language] and the very Kiribati images that I have been using to this day. And that coincided with my research into oratory and legends and all that.

“Arora,” by Teweiariki Teaero

“Arora,” by Teweiariki Teaero.

So that was the late 1980s. Then the idea of . . . oh, I can’t remember what one reviewer called it—I think they called it
“visual poetry” or “solid poetry”—but traditionally poetry has always been something that must be read and be heard. You
either read it and just concentrate on the words or you allow somebody else to read it—give it some kind of mood, some kind of physical presence—and then you listen to it. But mine, and primarily because of the influence of my artistic side, adopted this particular form that I showed to you – one following the shape of a pencil [see right], one following the shape of a
rocket, and another a syringe. . . . Then I put my own father-in-law’s handwriting in there, in faded print. . . .

So that kind of poetry where I combined those elements . . . for some of these poems, it’s critically important that they be seen. . . . The important thing is that the message must come across, and if this kind of arrangement helps the message to come across, then I follow it. And I try to keep my work simple so that if the message is communicated in a few words, fine. I try to avoid adding any more complexities. It is only when it is warranted that [I] do that.

KH: Your paintings are in the VIP lounge at the Tarawa airport for all the travelers to see— that’s very significant.

TT: I want my messages, whatever they are—for enjoyment, for pointing out a particular issue or concern, for entertainment—I want them to reach an audience. I have several audiences. Sometimes I speak to little ones, sometimes I talk to my own peers, and sometimes to a general audience. Sometimes I talk to politicians. My first reaction when the Secretary of Foreign Affairs got back to me about this . . . I knew they wanted to show off Kiribati talents, and I thought this was good, finally to be recognized by your people. But my first reaction was, yeah, that is good that they are interested. My second one was, hmmm, it’s only going to be the “big fish” looking at my work, and I’d rather have everybody else looking at my work—not have it secluded for that very elite kind of clientele.

But then I said, hang on, I am sure I have something to say to these people. Then I embraced the idea. Let me fill that room with messages that I think these people should hear. . .  don’t let me be disappointed and not wanting to have my work there. Let my work be there, let my work be everywhere, as long as the right message is being given to the right people at the right level. . . . So now I am in the process of [figuring out] what do I tell these people? Maybe I will translate some of these poems that I have written for politicians into a visual equivalence, so it will be addressing that particular clientele.

KH: In Kiribati, the oratory is through the male line. How would you feel if your daughters wanted to follow in your footsteps and write?

TT: As a parent I believe in giving my children exposure to different opportunities. . . . The older girl wants to write poetry, so that is fine; I encourage her. My intention is that they will grow up, and if they are interested in oratory traditions, I will teach them . . . so that they know. Now, I will also explain to them that when they sit in my village, because they are ladies, they are not expected to speak. I am aware of the feminist movement . . . but they have their places to do that. If they are interested in learning about oratory and using it, then they will not use it in the mwaneaba because that will not be right.

But the advantage for them, even though they are female and have learned it, is that when the old men are speaking, they will understand what is going on. They will be involved in it. They will be able to interpret the events and also help when it comes to implementing those decisions. They will understand the logic of it and what has been going on, and why this man is speaking before this man, and why this man is speaking in this kind of language, and what does he really mean. They will have that advantage. If they find themselves having to speak for their group of women—where there are men in a semiformal kind of  [situation]—they will be equipped; they will be ready.



The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa hosted a Pacific Library Training Institute for three weeks in June 2006. The institute was funded by a grant to Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. UH Mānoa Pacific Curator Karen Peacock was the instructor for the institute, and Jane Barnwell, from PREL, was the facilitator. The librarians attending the institute were Nathaidia Moeai and Pauline Toluao (American Sāmoa); Erlinda Naputi and Gregorio Sablan (Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas); Romeo H Aliksa, Kersweet Eria, Lester H Ezekias, Atarino A Helieisar, Shra K Renton, Bruce E Robert, Isabel Rungrad, Helen Salap, and Lynn Sipenuk (Federated States of Micronesia); Walfrid C Benavente and Jason Datuin (Guam); Grace Merong and Bedebii Sadang (Republic of Palau); and Sistina Elbon and Lisa Jeraan (Republic of the Marshall Islands). The program included training related to collection development, cataloging, reference and instruction, with guest speakers from the university and the community, and some site visits.



The Center for Pacific Islands Studies was pleased to be a cosponsor of two Pacific-related events at UH Mnoa in April 2006. On 7–8 April, CPIS joined with the UHM Department of Linguistics, the National Foreign Language Resource Center, the National Resource Center for East Asia, and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies to host the Language Documentation and Conservation Planning Meeting. The attendees, a group of twenty-seven faculty and students from Hawai‘i, the US continent, Canada, Japan, and Australia, met to consider collaborative ways to support and enhance international language documentation efforts. The focus of the meeting was three projects planned for the next several years:

·       an online refereed journal for language documentation to be launched in 2006

·       an international conference on language documentation to be held in Hawai‘i in 2008

·       a summer institute in 2010 to provide training in language documentation for linguists and native speakers engaged in language documentation

For more information on language documentation efforts at UH Mānoa, contact Ken Rehg, associate professor of linguistics, at The UH Department of Linguistics has a long-standing interest in language documentation and currently has about twenty-five students involved in language documentation efforts in the Pacific and Asia.

On 19–21 April, the Center for South Asian Studies held its twenty-third annual spring symposium, “Margins and Migrations: South Asian Diasporas across the World,” cosponsored by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and several other organizations. The keynote speaker for the symposium was Dr Brij V Lal, Pacific historian at the Australian National University. The international conference included readings, panels, and invited lectures—all on a wide range of topics integral to South Asian diasporas, with a special focus on the Pacific, the Caribbean, and Africa. Along with Lal, featured speakers included Gaurav Desai (Tulane University), Aisha Khan (New York University), Mohit Prasad (University of the South Pacific), Charu Gupta (Delhi University), and Vijay Seshadri (a poet living in Brooklyn). CPIS Director David Hanlon and Assistant Professor Katerina Teaiwa assisted with the conference.



Pacific Studies in Australia

Pacific Studies in Australia received a huge federal boost in 2005 with the four-year funding of the International Centre for Excellence in Asia Pacific Studies (ICEAPS) at Australian National University (ANU) and the subsequent formation of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS). The four-year ICEAPS program will showcase Australian excellence in research and teaching about the Pacific, promote further expansion in universities, and establish networks between colleagues, disciplines, and professional associations.

The first ICEAPS event was an Australia-Pacific conference at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane in January 2006 convened by Dr Max Quanchi. It was followed by an Australian South Sea Islander workshop at the Queensland Museum and seed funding for the ANU Menzies Library Pacific Centre in Canberra. A database of 300 researchers in the arts and humanities has been established by AAAPS. Professor Clive Moore (University of Queensland) and Professor Margaret Jolly (ANU) are the founding president and vice president of the association. Pacific researchers in Australia have also benefited from the concurrent federal funding of an Asia Pacific Futures Research Network (APFRN), led by Professor Louise Edwards (University of Technology, Sydney). A federal government inquiry in 2006 into Australian aid to the Pacific might also lead to further opportunities for research and teaching on the Pacific. (Thanks to Max Quanchi for this update.)

University of the South Pacific

The Pacific Studies Program in the Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Development and Governance (PIASDG) at the University of the South Pacific (USP) has recently hired two new staff members to assist with their new program. Dr Frank Thomas has a PhD from University of Hawai‘i and specializes in the archaeology and human ecology of the Pacific Islands. His main research interest is human adaptation to island ecosystems and includes early settlement and interaction with the environment, as well as contemporary issues pertaining to common property resources, traditional conservation methods, and rural development. He served as the staff archaeologist for the Republic of the Marshall Islands Historic Preservation Office before joining the Pacific Studies Program as a senior lecturer.

Ms Arati Sudhakar, the new program assistant, is from Suva. She has a BA in tourism and information systems and a postgraduate diploma in tourism studies from USP. She is currently writing her MA thesis on labor force requirements in the hotel industry of Fiji. Her research interests focus on managing the forecasted billion-dollar tourism industry in Fiji. Ms Arati will be assisting and advising students as well as assisting with workshops, conferences, the international program, and the Institute of Pacific Studies.

Victoria University of Wellington

In the January-March 2006 issue of Pacific News from
we profiled the launch of Va‘aomanū Pasifika, the newly autonomous Pacific and Samoan studies unit at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). In the article we gave an incorrect beginning date for Samoan studies at VUW. The correct date is 1989. VUW is the only university in New Zealand that offers students the opportunity to major in Samoan. For more information on both the Pacific studies and Samoan studies programs see the Va‘aomanū Pasifika website at



Among the visitors to the center during the period January through June 2006 were

·       Ping-Ann Addo, Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts at Boston

·       Noelani Arista, Department of History, Brandeis University

·       Keith Camacho, Department of History, University of Guam

·       Cherie Chu, Department of Education, Victoria University of Wellington

·       Paula Creech, Program Coordinator for American
Sāmoa and Micronesia, Cultural Resources Division, US National Park Service

·       Greg Fry, Department of International Relations, Australian National University

·       Elfriede Hermann, Institute for Cultural and Social Anthropology, University of Göttingen

·       Brij V Lal, Division of Pacific and Asian History, Australian National University

·       Fepulea‘i Micah Van der Ryn, Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland, and Ethnographic Specialist/Instructor, American Sāmoa Community College



Guido Carlo Pigliasco, a graduate student in the UH Mānoa Department of Anthropology, gave a talk, “Intangible Heritage, Tangible Databases, Visible Debates: The Sawau Project,” on 6 April 2006.  The Sawau Project, in the form of a multimedia story map, aims to telescope Sawau’s heritage. This montage of “documents,” using participatory visual technology, allows for the dynamic and metacultural nature of the intangible cultural heritage it records. Pigliasco is working with the Institute of Fijian Language and Culture, Sawau villagers, and editor Ratu Felix Colatanavanua on this project on the island of Beqa. His presentation was part of the Department of Anthropology Colloquium Series.



Several members of the CPIS faculty and staff will be in Suva, Fiji, for the “Vaka Vuku–Pacific Epistemologies Conference,” 3–7 July 2006. Director David Hanlon, Managing Editor Jan Rensel, and Assistant Professor Katerina Teaiwa will be attending the conference and meeting with faculty and staff from the University of the South Pacific. As mentioned in the previous newsletter, Professor Vilsoni Hereniko will be showing his film The Land Has Eyes and participating in a filmmaker’s panel.

Following the conference, Hanlon and Teaiwa continue on to the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. While he is there, Hanlon will serve as an examiner for a PhD dissertation and meet with staff at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies. Teaiwa will be in residence at the Macmillan Brown Centre as a Pacific Studies research scholar, from July through November 2006. She will be working on a book manuscript on Banaban phosphate, indigenous relations, and the farming industries of Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia.

Heather Young Leslie, assistant professor in the UHM Department of Anthropology, has two new articles—“Bon Baisers De Sāmoa: Les Bonites de Hina et Le Tu‘iha‘angana de Tonga,” in Bulletin De La Soci_(c)t_(c) Des Études Oc_(c)aniennes 304, and “Tongan Doctors and Critical Medical Ethnography,” in Anthropological Forum 15(3). She has accepted an invitation to participate in “Medicine and Literature,” a workshop sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities,” 24–28 June, at Bowdoin College, in Maine.

Department of English Professor Caroline Sinavaiana is the coauthor of a recently published collection of new and translated poems, Mohawk/Samoa: Transmigrations (see Publications).

William Chapman, professor and director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Historic Preservation in the UHM Department of American Studies, was in Majro in January 2006 to present an invited lecture, “What are Cultural Resources? Expanding the Scope of Assessments,” at the “Pacific Preservation Symposium: Resources, Research and Protection,” sponsored by the US National Park Service and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. In May, he made a presentation, “Pressing Issues for Preservation in Hawai‘i,” at the annual “Historic Preservation Week Symposium” in Hawai‘i.

Pacific Curator Karen Peacock is on sabbatical from April through September 2006. Her sabbatical activities include leading the 2–29 June Pacific Librarians Training Institute and attending the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Department of Anthropology Professor and Chair Michael Graves has received a $50,000 Templeton Advanced Research Project Grant to study 130 heiau (Hawaiian places of worship or shrines) on Maui and 100 heiau in the Kohala area on the Big Island. The project involves on-site research, oral histories, and archival study of the sites.



Congratulations to our May 2006 graduates—Yasuko Chiba, Clayton Godbolt, and Kevin Riddle! Yasuko Chiba’s Plan B paper, “Nā Pā‘ani Keiki Ma Hawai‘i Nei: Children’s Plays, Pastimes, Amusements, Recreations in Hawai‘i,” looked at children’s games in Hawai‘i during the early Western contact period and how these pastimes shifted over time. In addition to a literature review, she interviewed kūpuna (elders), and observed children at a local school, creating a “patchwork” (as she calls it) of memories and stories with fragments of written history.

Clayton Godbolt’s thesis, “Noho Ā Kupa: Developing a Hawaiian Sense of Place,” is a proposal for place-based education in Hawai‘i that would allow a Hawaiian sense of place to influence the form as well as the content of learning. His hope is “to encourage a local expertise in learners, to develop people versed in a ‘literacy’ that goes beyond books, to be able to ‘read’ the complexity and profundity of a place.”

Kevin Riddle’s thesis, “The Pulenu‘u in Sāmoa: The Transformation of an Office,” concerns the role that the pulenu‘u (village “mayor” or “government agent”) plays in contemporary village life. Riddle became interested in this nontraditional office when he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Sāmoa in 2001 and 2002. As part of his research he looked at how pulenu‘u are perceived by villagers and by government officials and tried to assess the effectiveness of pulenu‘u in bridging village affairs with central government affairs.

CPIS certificate student and doctoral candidate in anthropology Lahela Perry is part of the archaeology project team led by Michael Graves and funded by a Templeton Advanced Research Project Grant, which will study heiau on Maui and the Big Island (see Faculty Activities). As an archaeologist she will help train the students who are part of the project and as a Hawaiian she, and others, will also help them gain an appreciation for the cultural issues that are involved.

Congratulations to Keith Lujan Camacho (MA 1998), who has been hired in a newly created position, assistant professor in Pacific Islander American studies, in the Asian American Studies Department at UCLA. Camacho will take up his new position at the beginning of 2007. According to the department, his appointment “represents a significant commitment by Asian American Studies at UCLA to expand the study of Pacific Islanders in its curriculum, research mission and community partnerships.” Camacho received his doctorate in history from UH Mānoa in 2005 and has been teaching at the University of Guam. From August to December 2006 he will be in residence as a research scholar at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand, where he will be working on a manuscript on the US Navy war crime trials in Guam, 1945–1949.

Senator J Kalani English (MA 1995) was interviewed recently in Honolulu Weekly. He is one of the sponsors of a bill in the Hawai‘i state legislature, soon to become law, that will allow buildings to be designed using practices, styles, customs, and materials from indigenous Hawaiian architecture. According to English these indigenous structures are economical to build and may lead to the creation of some secondary markets. It will also help people “to feel a greater sense of place.”



Available from UH Press

Strangers in the South Seas: The Idea of the Pacific in Western Thought is an anthology edited by Richard Lansdown, a senior lecturer in English at James Cook University. Using primary texts by explorers, soldiers, naturalists, anthropologists, artists, and writers, he recounts the challenges the Pacific presented for nineteenth-century researchers. 2006, 496 pages. ISBN 0-8242-2902-6, cloth, US$55.00; ISBN 0-8248-3042-7, paper, US$24.00.

The People of the Sea: Environment, Identity, and History in Oceania, by Paul D’Arcy, lecturer in Pacific and environmental history at James Cook University, “combines neglected historical and scientific material to provide the first synthetic study of ocean-people interaction in the region from 1770 to 1870.” The volume emphasizes the flux in the maritime environment and Pacific Islanders’ varied and evolving relationships with the sea. 2005, 304 pages. ISBN 0-8248-2959-X, cloth, US$36.00.

Leaving Paradise: Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest, 1787–1898, by historians Jean Barman and Bruce McIntyre Watson, pieces together what is known about the Native Hawaiian sailors, laborers, and settlers who arrived in the Pacific Northwest beginning in 1787. The authors conducted archival research in British Columbia, Oregon, California, and Hawai‘i. The book includes descriptive biographical entries on 800 Native Hawaiians. 2006, 584 pages. ISBN 0-8248-2943-3, cloth, US$45.00.

Island Ministers: Indigenous Leadership in Nineteenth Century Pacific Islands Christianity, by historian Raeburn Lange, follows the chronological movement of Christianity across the Pacific region, focusing on indigenous Islanders who worked as ministers and pastoral carers. Distributed for Pandanus Books. 2006, 422 pages. ISBN 1-74076-176-6, paper, US$28.00.

Jean-Marie Tjibaou: La Pr�(c)sence Kanak, translated by Helen Fraser and John Trotter, is an edited collection of interviews with and essays by the Kanak leader Jean-Marie Tjibaou (1936–1989). It was originally published in French in 1996. Distributed for Pandanus Books. 2006, 350 pages. ISBN 1-74076-175-8, paper, US$28.00.

UH Press books can be ordered through the Orders Department, University of Hawai‘i Press, 2840 Kolowalu Street, Honolulu, HI 96822-1888; website

Other Publications

Island at the End of the World: The Turbulent History of Easter Island, by Stephen Roger Fischer, director of the Institute of Polynesian Languages and Literatures in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, relates a history of Easter Island from the eighteenth century to the present. Published by Reaktion Books. 2005, 304 pages. ISBN 1861892454, cloth, £14.95.

Mohawk/Smoa: Transmigrations, by poet, and CPIS affiliate faculty member, Caroline Sinavaiana and Native American poet James Thomas Stevens, is a collection of new and translated poems that draws on the songs and stories of the Mohawk and Samoan cultures in a unique poetic collaboration. Published by Subpress. 2006, 70 pages. ISBN 1930068301, paper, US$15.00.

Pocket Hawaiian Grammar: A Reference Grammar in Dictionary Form, by Albert J Schütz, Gary N Kahahoomalu Kanada, and Kenneth William Cook, is a pocket-sized reference guide to the Hawaiian language. Grammatical rules are alphabetized to make it easy to find grammatical terms in English and Hawaiian, and there is a guide to pronunciation. Published by Island Heritage. 2006, 248 pages. ISBN 1-59700-176-7, paper, US$8.99.

Conservation is Our Government Now: The Politics of Ecology in Papua New Guinea, by anthropologist Paige West, is an ethnographic examination of the history and social effects of conservation and development efforts in Papua New Guinea. West focuses on the Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area and describes the interaction between those who ran a biodiversity project there and the Gimi who live on lands surrounding the mountain. Published by Duke University Press. 2006, 352 pages. ISBN 0-8223-3712-6, cloth, US$79.95; ISBN 0-8223-3749-5, paper, US$22.95.

The Sweet Potato in Oceania: A Reappraisal, edited by Chris Ballard, Paula Brown, R Michael Bourke, and Tracy Harwood, contains eighteen papers that span the region from South America to Aotearoa New Zealand, Hawai‘i, and west New Guinea. The authors include agricultural scientists, anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, and palynologists. Published as Ethnology Monographs 19 (University of Pittsburgh) and Oceania Monograph 56 (University of Sydney). 2006, 227 pages. ISBN 0-945428-13-8, US$56.00.

The Pacific Muse: Exotic Femininity and the Colonial Pacific, by historian Patty O’Brien, aims to provide a fresh perspective on the colonial stereotype of the exotic Pacific Island woman, by tracing the evolution of female primitivism from Western antiquity to twentieth-century Hollywood images. Published by University of Washington Press. 2006, 338 pages. ISBN 0-295-98609-3, cloth, US$50.

The Institute of Pacific Studies (IPS) at the University of the South Pacific has announced the release of several new titles:

·       Mocemoce, Na Vanua: The Land Abiding, a first novel by Caitlin Scholl, recreates the simple and complex, mundane and exotic, practical and philosophical realities of the lives of the permanent and passing inhabitants of a tropical island in a global milieu. 2006, 100 pages. ISBN 978-982-02-0376-1, paper, US$18.95.

·       Traditional Medicine of the Marshall Islands, by Irene J Taafaki, Maria Kabua Fowler, and Randolph R Thaman, in collaboration with nine expert Marshallese healers, describes more than 270 traditional medicinal treatments that use Marshall Islands plants. 2006, 322 pages. ISBN 978-982-02-0378-5, paper, US$45.95.

·       Knowing and Learning: An Indigenous Fijian Approach, by Unaisi Nabobo-Baba, explores how the people of Vugalei, in southeastern Viti Levu, acquire and transmit knowledge. 2006, 180 pages. ISBN978-982-02-0379-2, paper, US$25.95.

·       O Tama A‘Aiga: The Politics of Succession to Samoa’s Paramount Titles, by historian A Morgan Tuimaleali‘ifano, looks at how universal custom (aganu‘u) and local practice (aga‘ifanua) mesh in the modernizing, democratic economy of Samoa. 2006, 148 pages. ISBN 978-982-02-0377-8, paper, US$29.95.

·       Doctor in Vanuatu, by Ted Freeman OAM, is a memoir of the seven years he spent working to heal and mend and to improve medical skills and resources in Vanuatu in the 1960s. 2006, 199 pages. ISBN 978-982-02-0380-8, paper, US$25.95.

·       Lalanga Pacifika: Weaving the Pacific, Stories of Empowerment from the South Pacific, by Arlene Griffen (ed), and Lia Maka, Adimaimalaga Tafuna‘i, and Brenda Tohiana, features four women-based nongovernmental organizations working to augment public services, correct social imbalances, and empower the marginalized. 2006, 287 pages. ISBN 978-982-02-0375-478, paper, US$29.95.

IPS books are available from the USP Book Centre, at


Pacific Studies 62 (1 and 2) is now available. It contains articles on fisheries’ development in Kiribati and accounts of fighting and cannibalism in eastern New Guinea during the  early missionary contact period, as well as a book review forum on Cathy A Small’s Voyages: From Tongan Villages to American Suburbs. Pacific Studies is produced by the Pacific Institute, Brigham Young University–Hawai‘i Campus.

Pacific Economic Bulletin 21 (1) is also available. It focuses on Papua New Guinea, with a special feature on land titling issues. Also in the issue are a review of the Tongan economy in 2005 and an article on Tongan remittances from Aotearoa New Zealand. Pacific Economic Bulletin is published by Asia Pacific Press at Australian National University.

Films, Videos, and DVDs

Vincent and the Rain Forest: Global Conversations in Rural Melanesia (2006, 57 minutes), by Rolf Scott and Edvard Hviding, focuses on a conversation between anthropologist Hviding and his long-time friend Vincent Vaguni, a community leader and sometime environmental activist from the village of Tamaneke in northern New Georgia, Solomon Islands. Vaguni’s understanding of the complex factors involved in working with foreign logging and mining companies and international environmental organizations “gives some unique glimpses of local development aspirations in a globally connected ‘out-of-the-way place.’” The film has English subtitles and was produced by SOT-Film in collaboration with the University of Bergen and the Solomon Islands National Museum. For more information contact Hviding at 



Asia-Pacific Missionaries

“Asia-Pacific Missionaries: At Home and Abroad” is the theme for the second biennial ANU Missionary History Conference, to be held 25–27 August 2006 at Australian National University. The focus is on missionaries indigenous to, or permanently resident in, the Asia-Pacific region; it does not include British or American missionaries working with British or American societies in the Asia-Pacific region. For information, contact Dr Ian Welch at

Collaborative Research in Vanuatu

“After 26 Years: Collaborative Research in Vanuatu Since Independence” will bring together local and international researchers of Vanuatu society, language, and history. It will focus on the activities of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and address a number of questions related to the nature and impacts of collaboration between international and indigenous researchers in Vanuatu. The conference will take place in Port Vila, 6–10 November 2006. Presentations may be given in any of Vanuatu’s three official languages. One day will be designated Bislama day, in which presentations will be aimed at a local audience. Registration will begin in September. For more information, see the conference announcement at; or contact Nick Thieberger at

Conferences Announced in Previous Newsletters

·       “Sustainable Islands—Sustainable Strategies,” the ninth conference of the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA), will be held in Kahului, Maui, Hawai‘i, 29 July to 3 August 2006. For information, see the website at

·       “Libraries, Archives, and Museums: Building Knowledge Networks for Vibrant Communities,” is the fifteenth annual conference of the Pacific Islands Association of Libraries and Archives (PIALA). It will be held in Koror, Republic of Palau, 13–17 November 2006.

·       “Pacific Transnationalisms,” a conference to be held 20–22 November 2006 at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, will explore the multiple ties between Pacific diasporic peoples and their homelands in the Islands. Conference convener is Helen Lee at

·       Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa (The Great Ocean of Kiwa—Oceania),” the Pacific History Association’s seventeenth biennial conference, will be held at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, 7–9 December 2006. For more information, see the website at



Papua New Guinea Exhibition at Hood Museum of Art

“Coaxing the Spirits to Dance: Art and Society in the Papuan Gulf of New Guinea” is an exhibition that focuses on one of the most important art-producing regions of Papua New Guinea. It opened on 1 April 2006 and will run through 17 September 2006 at Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art, in Hanover, New Hampshire. The exhibition explores the relationship between social life and artistic expression since the nineteenth century and includes one hundred art objects, most of them from the Hood’s own collection. Among the objects on display are boards, masks, drums, skull racks, and personal items. The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, and will run at the Metropolitan from 24 October 2006 through 2 September 2007. For information, see the website at

Kagoshima Visiting Foreign Professor Program

The Kagoshima University Research Center for the Pacific Islands invites applications for a visiting foreign researcher to be in residence in Japan for six to eleven months between 1 May 2007 and 25 March 2008. The research must be related to Oceania, but the topic areas are quite broad. For more information, see the website at The application deadline is 31 August 2006.

Macmillan Brown Research and Visiting Scholars Program

The Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, at University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand, invites applications from researchers and scholars with active interests in the Pacific, for positions as research or visiting scholars for 2007.

An applicant’s proposed topic of research must be of interest and relevance to the peoples, cultures, and countries of Melanesia, Micronesia, or Polynesia, including Aotearoa New Zealand. The centre is actively seeking, but does not limit positions to, Pacific peoples, including Māori. The application deadline is 15 August 2006. For more information, see the website at

La Vasa: Sea Change—Exhibition by Samoan Artists

“La Vasa: Sea Change,” at the Center Gallery in San Francisco, is an exhibition by Samoan artists Shigeyuki Kihara, of Aotearoa New Zealand, and Dan Taulapapa McMullin, of California. The exhibition of conceptual art, performance, photography, and paintings will run until 1 August 2006. For more information, see







Pacific News from Mānoa is published quarterly by
The Center for Pacific Islands Studies
School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822 USA
Phone: (808) 956-7700
Fax: (808) 956-7053

David Hanlon, Director; Letitia Hickson, Editor


Items in this newsletter may be freely reprinted.  Acknowledgment of the source would be appreciated. To receive the newsletter electronically, contact the editor at the e-mail address above. The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution

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