Center for Pacific Islands Studies Newsletter

No. 2 April-June 1996


Pacific History Association Conference
Pacific Festival of Arts
News in Brief
Alumni and Faculty News
Pacific Clubs on UH Manoa Campus
Occasional Seminars
The Contemporary Pacific
New Publications and Resources
Bulletin Board


Approximately 300 humanities scholars, teachers, students, and community members from the Pacific, Hawai'i and the US mainland gathered at the University of Hawai'i, Hilo for "History, Culture, and Power in the Pacific," a joint conference of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the Pacific History Association. The largest Pacific History Association conference to date, the program consisted of more than 100 papers delivered in twenty-three sessions over three days, 10-12 July. The conference opened with a keynote address by Dr Lilikala KAME'ELEIHIWA, Center for Hawaiian Studies, UH Manoa, and closed with an address by Professor Greg DENING, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Melbourne.

One of the high points of the conference for many was a rousing presentation of hula by the renowned Halau 'O Kekuhi. The performance in UH Hilo Theatre before a capacity crowd of conferees and community members was introduced by Pua Kanaka'ole Kanahele, kumu hula of the halau, and her husband Ed Kanahele, both of whom teach at Hawai'i Community College. Among the items presented were dances from the repertoire of the Kalakaua period which are seldom performed. Members and friends of Halau 'O Kekuhi also led the cultural tour of Volcanoes National Park which concluded the conference on Saturday morning.

At the closing banquet, the conference participants offered special thanks to David HANLON, associate professor of history at UH Manoa and convenor of the conference, and Craig SEVERANCE, professor of anthropology at UH Hilo, whose behind the scenes and on the ground assistance with the conference was crucial to its success. Conference members also honored Greg Dening with a standing ovation, for his closing address and for his contributions to Pacific scholarship and to the association over the years. At the general meeting of the Pacific History Association, the membership voted to hold the 1998 PHA meeting in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Lurline McGregor, 
 and Prof. Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa Diaz and Dening
Lurline McGregor, executive director, Pacific Islanders in Communications, and Prof. Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa, Center of Hawaiian Studies, UH Manoa and opening keynote speaker. Vicente Diaz, University of Guam, and Greg Dening, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Melbourne and closing keynote speaker at the PHA-CPIS conference.
Malama Meleisea Waitere, Hviding, 
Malama Meleisea, president of the Pacific History Association and director of the Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland. Tom Waitere, Curriculum Development Centre, Solomon Islands, Edvard Hviding, University of Bergen, and Geoff White, East-West Center, catch up on activities in the Solomon Islands at the conference.
Hattori and Hanlon
Matahaere and 
Anne Perez Hattori and David Hanlon, both of UH Manoa, and Max Quanchi, Queensland University of Technology, share a light moment at the conference in Hilo.
Donna Matahaere, University of Otago, and Naomi Losch, UH Manoa, relax at the conference closing banquet.


The seventh Pacific Festival of Arts will be held in Apia, Western Samoa, 8-23 September 1996. Twenty-six different island nations and entities are expected to be represented at this year's festival which is held under the auspices of the The Pacific Arts Council. The purpose of the festival is to bring together peoples of the Pacific for mutual understanding and appreciation of one another's cultures. For further information about the festival, contact the Office of Pacific Festival of Arts '96, Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Cultural Affairs, level One, Government Building, Apia, Western Samoa. Tel (685) 23315 or 20434; fax (685) 23639.

In addition to arts displays, there will be a series of seminars, workshops, and symposia. Themes for these sessions include Contemporary Pacific Arts and the Search for Identity, Preservation of the Natural Environment, Traditional Healing, Body Ornaments: Pacific Style, Chiefs in Pacific Societies Today, Globalism in the Pacific: Ideal or Reality? and Histories and Genealogies: How Reliable are They?


Dr Roland Force Dies

Dr Roland FORCE, director of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu from 1962 to 1977, died in Honolulu in May after a short illness. Force was the fifth director of the museum since its founding in 1889 and was recognized for his attempts to expand the role and programs of the museum. Following his directorship of the museum, Force was appointed director, and later president, of the Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation in New York City.


Ralph WARI (MA 1983) has been named Director of the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies. Wari was formerly with UNESCO in Western Samoa and had also served as planning officer for the University of Papua New Guinea.

An exhibit of Melanesian art from the collection of Caroline YACOE (MA 1981) and her husband, Donald, is being held in the East-West Center Gallery, John A Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road, Honolulu. Spirits, Status & Society will be at the gallery through 20 September 1996. The Yacoes have been collecting Oceanic art for several decades and are the co-producers with Chess Productions of San Francisco of The Drum and the Mask, a video series on art of the South Pacific.

Dr Jack WARD, associate professor in the Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific Languages Department and teacher of Tahitian was recently honored by the Polynesian Cultural Center at its Tahitian and Marquesan cultural day festivities at the cultural center. Ward was honored for his contributions to perpetuating the Tahitian language and culture.


Two Pacific Island students clubs, the Fealofani Club and the Marianas Club, have been particularly active on campus this year, providing students with social activities as well as an opportunity to strengthen their cultural skills and to serve the community.

The Samoa Fealofani Club, which is an affiliate of the YMCA, was organized in 1987 to perpetuate and represent the Samoan culture as well as to serve the multicultural communities in Hawai'i. The club, whose faculty advisor is Aumua Mata'itusi SIMANU, an instructor in Samoan oratory in the Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific Languages Department, has about 50 members, mostly undergraduate students.

In addition to social get-togethers like picnics at Ala Moana Beach Park, the club members this year put a great deal of energy into teaching and learning the dances of Samoa. These sessions not only brought Samoan students of varied backgrounds together but instilled in the members pride in their ability to perform these dances. The dance sessions culminated in an hour-long performance before an enthusiastic audience of students and faculty during the university's culture week in April. Highlights of the performance included female, as well as male, fire dancing and a performance by art student Steve TOGAFAU, who performed on a magnificent pate (drum) which he had carved. As one of the few dance groups included in culture week, the club strove to include other island dances in their performance to make it a Polynesian, rather than a strictly Samoan performance.

The Samoa Fealofani Club was also asked by the Student Activities Council to host a special day on campus for Samoan students from five local high schools. The high school students toured the university, spent time with the club members, learned about financial aid and scholarships they might apply for, and heard presentations by Samoan leaders and professionals about the opportunities at the university. The club has also been approached by local high schools to take part in ethnic studies curricula. Barry DANIELSON, from American Samoa, was club president this year, and Eveline WOO was secretary and the creator of the Fealofani home page, which can be visited at

The Marianas Club, which was founded several years ago, is also made up largely of undergraduate students. Approximately two-thirds of the members are from Guam and one-third are from the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. The club also draws members from other educational institutions in Honolulu such as Hawaii Pacific University and Chaminade University. Originally organized as a social club, it has become more politically active thanks to the efforts of Vern PEREZ, chairman of its Political Issues Committee. The club has also made the perpetuation of the Chamorro language a priority.

Faye UNTALAN, a professor in the School of Public Health, is the club's faculty advisor and Chamorro language instructor. Untalan first got involved with the Department of Hawaiian and Indo-Pacific Languages in helping certify students in language proficiency. She quickly determined that a more organized, and supportive, instructional approach to Chamorro needed to be taken. Most of the students grew up hearing the language, she said, but not necessarily speaking it. One by one students approached her to tutor them in the language until the demands on her time became so great that she approached Indo-Pacific Languages to sponsor a course, even though there were no funds to pay her or a volunteer teaching assistant. The course currently has 17 students enrolled. Untalan provides instruction and a supportive atmosphere in class and in club activities to help students overcome their inhibitions as beginning speakers.

The club also tries to keep members in touch with what is going on in the Northern Mariana Islands, particularly with regard to political issues. Elizabeth CLARK, from Guam, organized a voter registration drive and a political issues forum in Honolulu to discuss the candidates. In March, members celebrated Chamorro Week at UH Manoa with displays and activities including a film festival, a cooking class, and a fiesta, in conjunction with the celebration of Chamorro Week in Guam.

In February of this year, Club members met with well-known Chamorro photographer Manny CRISOSTOMO. Crisostomo was warmly received in Honolulu at the opening of his Legacy of Guam: Images of the Chamoru, an exhibition of black-and-white photography at the East-West Center Gallery. The exhibit, which was also sponsored by the Consortium for Pacific Arts and Cultures, was a celebration of i kustumbren Chamoru (Chamorro customs). The photographs were taken from his book Legacy of Guam. Crisostomo teaches at the University of Guam and is the publisher of the Guam monthly magazine Latte.


Ms Amanda ELLIS, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, spoke on New Zealand's relations with the French Pacific territories on 14 April in a seminar cosponsored by the Pacific Islands Development Program. Ellis is a former New Zealand consul to the French Pacific territories.She talked about the role of consul and her experiences in this position during the resumption of French nuclear testing.

Dr David HYNDMAN, Reader in Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Queensland, Australia, gave a talk titled The Ok Tedi Project: Wiping Out a Socioecological Region and the Struggle to Protect Ancestral Domain. Hyndman has published widely on the clash between indigenous systems of subsistence production and the expanded production and private accumulation system of mining in Australasia. In his talk on 18 April, he reviewed the history of the Ok Tedi Project including the recent class action suit in Australia brought by uncompensated villagers down river from the project. He also outlined another planned mine project and its potential impacts.


The fall 1996 issue of The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs is now available. It features the following articles:

"Structural Adjustment in Fiji under the Interim Government", by A Haroon AKRAM-LODHI;

"The Dream of Joseph: Practices of Identity in Pacific Art", by Nicholas THOMAS;

"From Exhibit to Exhibitionism: Recent Polynesian Presentations of 'Otherness'" by Nicholas THOMAS;

"The Asaro Mudmen: Local Property, Public Culture?" by Ton OTTO and Robert J VERLOOP.

In addition, the journal contains a dialogue piece, "Entangled in Maori History: A Report on Experience", by Michael P J REILLY, as well as political reviews of Melanesia and the region as a whole, a resources article on the Pacific Manuscipts Bureau, by Adrian CUNNINGHAM and Ewan MAIDMENT, and book reviews.


Guardians of Marovo Lagoon: Practice, Place, and Politics in Maritime Melanesia, by Edvard Hviding, is now available from UH Press. It is volume 14 in the center's Pacific Islands Monograph Series. A flyer for the book is included in this issue of the newsletter.

Becoming Tongan: An Ethnography of Childhood, by Helen MORTON, also published by University of Hawai'i Press, is a detailed account of growing up in Tonga. Morton, a research fellow at the University of Melbourne, draws on recent work in sociology, linguistics, and developmental psychology for her ethnography which was based on research conducted in Tonga over several years. Cloth, $45; paper, $22.95.

UH Press is also the distributor for several other Pacific-related publications. Pasifika Press books available outside the Pacific through UH Press are A Footnote to History: Eight Years of Trouble in Samoa, by Robert Louis STEVENSON, with an introduction by Malama MELEISEA (paper, US$19.95), and Shirley Baker and The King of Tonga, by Noel RUTHERFORD, first published in 1971 (paper, US$19.95). The press is also distributing Samoan Herbal Medicine: 'O La'au ma Vai Fofo o Samoa, by W Arthur WHISTLER, adjunct professor in the Department of Botany, UH Manoa (paper, $13). All UH Press books are available from the Orders Department, 2840 Kolowalu Press, Honolulu, HI 96822-1888; fax (808) 988-6052.

Oxford University Press Australia is taking orders for a planned December 1996 publication, Rabaul Yu Swit Moa Yet: Surviving the 1994 Volcanic Eruption, by Klaus NEUMANN. Produced particularly for students in grades 9 through 12, the book is an account of the 1994 Rabaul volcanic eruption and its effect on the local population as well as historical background to the eruption. It contains personal accounts from a wide cross section of the community, including children. Dr Neumann is a senior research associate at the Australian National University and author of Not the Way It Really Was: Constructing the Tolai Past, volume 10 in the Center for Pacific Islands Studies Pacific Islands Monograph Series. The approximate price is $15.95; order from Oxford University Press, GPO Box 2784Y, Melbourne 3001, Victoria, Australia; fax 61-3-9646-3251.

The rainy season issue of ISLA: A Journal of Micronesian Studies, published by the University of Guam, is now available, with articles on Demystifying the Sawei, a Traditional Interisland Exchange System; Epidemiology as Labeling: Neurological Diseases and Stigma on Guam; and Miklouho-Maclay in Palau, 1876. This issue also contains a forum with pieces on Guam's Agenda in Washington by the Honorable Robert UNDERWOOD; An Inaugural Message (Federated States of Micronesia) by the Honorable Bailey OLTER, and a State of the Republic Address (Palau) by the Honorable Kuniwo NAKAMURA.

Pacifica -- A Cultural Voyage, dubbed an "edutainment" interactive CD-ROM by its creators, is available for both Windows and Macintosh platforms from Juniper Films. According to the developers, the CD-ROM presents information through photographs, text, video, animation, sound, and music. Curriculum support materials are also available. The package was designed to appeal to students in areas such as society and its environment, technology, the arts, English, science, and halth and physical education. For more information contact Juniper Films Pty Ltd, Box R55 PO Royal Exchange, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia. Fax 61-2-9569-8810; e-mail


Pacific Region Educational Lab Resources

The Pacific Region Education Laboratory has an updated list of its publications and products that includes research and development publications on a wide variety of topics having to do with innovating programs, school structure and change, and math and science. They also have videotapes on navigation, clean water in the Pacific, the moon, and the culture, arts, values, and beliefs of Hawaiian children. To obtain information on these resources, contact PREL Publications, Pacific Region Educational Laboratory, 828 Fort Street Mall, Suite 500, Honolulu, HI 96813-4321, or e-mail PREL's WEBsite is

Committee of Concerned Pacific Scholars

The first edition of the Committee of Concerned Pacific Scholars (CCPS) directory is now available. The CCPS was formed in 1993 to promote collaboration between anthropologists and other scholars working in the Pacific Islands and organizations seeking sustainable alternatives to industrial logging and other socially and environmentally destructive forms of development in the Pacific. The directory lists scholars with their geographical and topical areas of expertise. For information contact Michael French SMITH, 8331 16th Street, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA, e-mail; or Kathleen BARLOW, Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA, email:

Pan Pacific Books on the WEB

James V DI GIAMBATTISTA's Pan Pacifica Publications in Honolulu is now accessible via e-mail at and is also on the WEB at The home page features the most current biannual Pan Pacifica catalogue. Pan Pacifica supplies government and private publications containing statistical, social, and scientific information from the Pacific Islands. The mailing address is 4662 Sierra Drive, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA.


The fifth conference of the Pacific Islands Political Studies Association will be held 8-11 December 1996 in the Republic of Palau. The theme for this year's conference is Leadership and Political Change in the Pacific. For information about PIPSA and the conference contact the convenors, Dirk BALLENDORF and Don SHUSTER, Micronesian Area Research Center, University of Guam, UOG Station, Guam, 96923; fax (671) 734-7403.

Pacific Islands Historians at ANU

Getting Out? Decolonization in the Pacific Islands is the theme of this year's Pacific Islands historians' annual December workshop at The Australian National University. The Division of Pacific and Asian History, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, provides modest funding to bring in speakers. Organizers hope to bring together researchers with expertise across the region. For information, contact Donald DENOON, Division of Pacific and Asian History, RSPAS, Australian National University, GPO 4, Canberra 0200, Australia; e-mail

Architecture of the Island Pacific

The Architecture of the Island Pacific and Its Transformations under the Impact of the West is one of the sessions planned for the Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, 16-20 April 1997. The islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Island Southeast Asia are the focus of the session. The official deadline for proposals is 3 September, but the session chair, Christopher L Yip, will entertain proposals that reach him after the deadline. His address is Architecture Department, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA 93407, USA; fax (805) 756-1500.

Published by
The Center for Pacific Islands Studies
School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822 USA
Phone: (808) 956-7700
Fax: (808) 956-7053
You can always find us at our web site:

Robert C. Kiste, 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 email address above.

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