Center for Pacific Islands Studies Newsletter

No. 3 July-September 2007


April 2008 Conference on Micronesians in Hawai‘i
Two Heyum Scholarships Awarded for 2007–2008
Albert Wendt: An Interview
Janet Bell Prize at UHM
Two CPIS Graduates Awarded NZ Scholarships
Alumni Profiles: Margo Vitarelli
Visitors to the Center
Center Occasional Seminars
Faculty Activities
Student and Alumni Activities
Songs from the Second Float: New PIMS Volume
Indigenous Encounters: New Occasional Paper
The Contemporary Pacific: 19:2
Publications, Moving Images, and CDs
Conferences and Meetings
Bulletin Board


The Center for Pacific Islands Studies is sponsoring a conference on Micronesians in Hawai‘i, 3–4 April 2008, in Honolulu. The conference will examine some of the challenges that migrants from the freely associated states of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau face as they move to Hawai‘i and other parts of the United States. The conference will focus on the innovative programs that Micronesians are developing in Hawai‘i to help ease the transition and some of the needs that remain. With this conference, the center hopes to build on the very successful Micronesian Cultural Festival of last October, which brought together members of the different Micronesian communities to share their experiences and talk about the opportunities as well as the challenges of relocating.

A number of Micronesian community organizations, such as Micronesian Community Network and Micronesians United, as well as the public health nurses’ initiative, Nations of Micronesia, are engaged in program development and advocacy on behalf of Micronesians locally. The number of people moving to Hawai‘i from the freely associated states has grown since the last census in 2000 and an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 people from the islands currently reside in Hawai‘i, having moved here to take advantage of educational and health services and to seek employment. The Hawai‘i State Legislature has expressed an interest in identifying and addressing the needs of Micronesians and other Pacific Islanders in Hawai‘i, and the center plans to use the conference as a forum for Micronesian community leaders, professionals, and students to respond to this request for guidance.

Those interested in receiving updates about the conference should send their e-mail or mailing addresses to Tisha Hickson at or call the center at 808-956-7700. A conference website will be available closer to the date of the conference.


Two outstanding students from Yap, Federated States of Micronesia, were chosen to receive Renée Heyum Endowment Fund Scholarships of $3,000 for the 2007–2008 academic year. Arlynne Shof Chugen is a freshman economics major at University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. An outstanding student at Yap High School, she is building on her love of math and hopes to start her own business someday.

Clement Yow Mulalap graduated from UH Mānoa with a major in economics and minors in political science and English. He is a first-year student at the UH William S Richardson School of Law and will be taking advantage of the law school’s impressive Asia-Pacific Legal Studies curriculum. After graduation he hopes to get a master’s in economics and then return to Yap to work in the legal system and to assist with the state’s economic planning.

The Heyum Endowment Fund was established by the late R Renée 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, or students, enrolled at a University of Hawai‘i campus. 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.

An Interview by Marata Tamaira, CPIS MA Student

On a balmy August evening a large crowd of people jostled for space in downtown Honolulu’s Louis Pohl Gallery to attend the opening of a painting exhibition by acclaimed Sāmoan novelist Albert Wendt. Titled Le Amataga: The Beginning, the exhibition of twenty-seven paintings marked Wendt’s first public showing of his artwork. I recently met with Professor Wendt to discuss the exhibition and his passion for the visual arts. The following are excerpts from a longer interview.

Black Star 1
Black Star 1

MT: Many people are familiar with your novels and poetry, but most don’t realize that for many years now, you have been expressing yourself through the visual arts. How long have you been involved in the visual arts, and what inspired you to pursue the medium?
AW: I’ve always loved art anyway, visual art, and when I was a boy I did a lot of it. But when I went to New Zealand, to the high school there, they wouldn’t let me do art. If you were sort of a bright student . . . you had to learn Latin (laughs). So, for five years I did Latin at this high school, while some of my friends did art—and I envied them a lot. And then I went to teachers’ training college and I spent three years doing art there, which I loved very much, with Selwyn Muru and Sandy Adsett, and other Māori painters and artists. And after I left training college, I decided to concentrate on my writing. So throughout university I didn’t do much art, I just did my writing. However, my love of art continued because I followed the development of art in New Zealand and the Pacific very closely . . . It wasn’t until the year 2000 that I began to do art again—I couldn’t stop it (laughs). The urge to do it just came upon me; it was like a flood and I couldn’t deny it anymore. So, I went up the road to the French Art shop on Ponsonby Road [in Auckland, New Zealand], and I bought pencils, crayons . . . and I went home and I spent nearly three months teaching myself how to draw again. . . . I’m still teaching myself how to draw now. . . .

MT: You and Reina have resided in Hawai‘i for the last three and a half years. How has Hawai‘i inspired your artwork?
AW: The shift to Hawai‘i has been really tremendous. When I shift to another country . . . I write myself into the country. I use my writing to try and describe how I feel about the country. So when I came to Hawai‘i I now had two ways of doing it: I could write . . . but I also decided I would start painting. . . . When we got here, I had brought with me two small ready-made canvases . . . so those were the first two canvases I painted here. Those were my first two paintings since the 1960s. And when you saw the exhibition, that’s the first one, and I wrote it in Sāmoan and it’s a tribute to the Ko‘olau Mountains, five minutes from my house. And while I was drawing the Ko‘olau and doing these first paintings, I was also writing a very long poem called The Ko‘olau, which I read at the end of the night at the exhibition. So, I was doing three things: teaching myself how to draw, painting, and then writing my poems. And those two small paintings then turned into—over the last three years—twenty-seven paintings, ranging from small to quite large. And those were the paintings that I exhibited in this exhibition. They’ve all been done in Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i I find ideal to make art in. It’s because even though I’m very committed to the Hawaiian political struggle, I’m also distant from it, because it’s not my country. So I can participate in that, but I can also distance myself from it and look at the country and paint. I find the landscape of Hawai‘i absolutely marvelous and unusual. I also find the climate here ideal for painting. I can spend day and night painting just with my lavalava on and look at the Ko‘olau, and the light is ideal. At this stage in my life I only want to paint and draw. People say to me, Don’t you do other art things? I say, No, I don’t have the time. I mean if I was young I would try to do ceramics, sculpture—to find out what I’m good at doing. But I’ve always loved painting and drawing, so that is what I’m going to do, I just don’t have the time to explore the other genres of art.


MT: What were your feelings about the exhibition?
AW: It was quite a privilege to have my first public exhibition . . . It’s my first exhibition, so it was like publishing my first book. But in this case it was more public. You know, you publish a book and people take it home and read it privately, right, so you don’t see their reaction. The only reaction you see is when people critique it or write reviews on it or write essays on it. But you don’t see the average reader’s reaction to your book. However, once you put your twenty-seven paintings up in a gallery, it becomes very public. And if you’re there you can watch the reactions by people to the paintings and the impact on you is immediate. I was quite fearful about the exhibition and the reaction of the people. . . . But the opening was a lovely family get-together.

MT: How does writing inform your painting and vice versa?
AW: I’ve used the stuff I’ve learned from writing poetry and novels, and combined that with using color and shapes. So really what I’ve done is I’m now a poet who uses color, and I combine that with language. And that’s really the challenge for me now: How do you get a balance between written language and color and shape? And I know what’s going to happen—the art itself, by my exploring it, will take me to wherever it’s going to go. And, at the moment, I feel very good about where it’s going. . . .

Black Star 5
Black Star 5

MT: Your poetry is a prominent feature of your artwork. Do the words come to you as you paint, or are they conceived of ahead of time?
AW: I thought I could just simply take some of my poems, which have already been published, and put them on the canvas—very difficult, I found. You’re predetermining what is going to be on the canvas before you actually work it—you’re actually predetermining the language—and then you are trying to force it on to the canvas and combine it with color. I found it’s very difficult. Sometimes it has worked. Some of the paintings in the exhibition are from previous poems, but most of them are poems that I make up as I do the paintings. . . . I like it this way, as I’m painting, because you see it visually. When you alter it, you visually see the whole thing alter. . . . I’ve always believed that when you alter something in the reality, you alter the whole reality, but now I can actually see it on the canvas. I mean, by putting another color there, the whole unity of the canvas changes. And if you alter something here, you’ve got to balance it with something there. It’s similar to what you do when you are writing. But I love it this way - this is visual.

MT: In what ways does your artwork offer you a freedom of expression that your writing does not?
AW: It gives you another dimension to work with, especially when I use words as well . . . but you see, you run into that problem again of making sure that the color goes with the wording. Sometimes they don’t go, but you keep working at it. It’s exactly as I do in my writing. I love revising my work, which is exactly what I do in my painting. I mean I can paint quickly, and then I sit there, and I alter it a bit . . . and then change the whole thing, which is what I do in my writing anyway.

MT: How has K‘naka Maoli art inspired your own work?
AW: I’ve been lucky in Hawai‘i, because Kānaka Maoli art here is enjoying a renaissance, and the contemporary art of Hawai‘i is very powerful stuff, and I’ve learned a lot from it. Similarly, I think the same of contemporary Māori art in New Zealand and contemporary Pacific art. . . . Without the art of the Kānaka Maoli, I don’t know what kind of art they’d produce here—it would be just like mainland American art. Kānaka Maoli art is bringing something unique, which is theirs and which belongs to this place. . . .

MT: So, do you think art is a medium through which indigenous voices can be heard?
AW: Art is only a part of the whole drive by our peoples to decolonize themselves and to get our own ways of expression out there, instead of being dominated by foreign ways of looking at the world. But we’ve also learned from them. . . . We’ve taken acrylics, which were invented in the West, and used them in our own way.

Albert Wendt and Reina Whaitiri
Albert Wendt and Reina Whaitiri
at the opening of Le Amataga

MT: In many ways, the title of your show Le Amataga: The Beginning has an air of auspiciousness about it. Where to from here?
AW: Reina and I are retiring from academic life. That doesn’t mean we’re retiring from life. All it means is we’ll be staying in Ponsonby in Auckland, and continuing with our work. For instance, I’ll continue my painting, and we will watch our grandchildren growing up. And it’ll give us a lot more time to do our own work. Le Amataga—I called the exhibition that because it was my first public exhibition. But how I got there, it’s not really a beginning, because I’ve always loved art, and I still love art in a very passionate way. In fact, when I paint now, I feel more absorbed in it than when I write, and some of my publishers are worried that I might stop writing and do art (laughs). I have a novel, which I have to finish before we go back to Aotearoa. But it will be just another phase at reinventing myself, like most artists - well, most people, not just artists. Somewhere along the line, we find something new that we love and that’s the direction we take. The word reinventing is a sort of a big word, but most of us do it. We do it to survive. We do it to survive according to the things we love. And, making art for me—I really love it. . . .

Albert Wendt has held the Citizens’ Chair in the English Department at UHM since 2004 and, along with his partner, Reina Whaitiri, is scheduled to return to Aotearoa at the end of spring semester 2008. His exhibition at the Louis Pohl Gallery ran from 28 August–21 September 2007.


The UHM Hawaiian and Pacific Collections announce the 2007 Janet Bell Pacific Research Prize competition. Two $100 awards for papers written on the Pacific Islands area are offered each year by the University of Hawai‘i Library in cooperation with the University of Hawai‘i Foundation. There are two categories of prizes: one for a graduate student and one for an undergraduate student. Any student currently enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa may submit a paper, and any original research on the Hawaiian or Pacific Islands may be submitted with the exception of graduate theses and dissertations, in synopsis or completed form, and published materials.

The deadline for submission of papers is 4:00 pm, 7 December 2007, at the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections, Fifth Floor, Hamilton Library. Full details of the competition rules and the form of entry are available at the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections desk and at Questions may be addressed to Pacific Curator Karen Peacock at


Chikako Yamauchi and Katherine Higgins, 2007 graduates of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies MA program, have been awarded New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarships from Education New Zealand. The scholarships are awarded for three years of full-time study. The program awards up to 40 new scholarships each year.

Chikako is looking forward to working with Karen Stevenson, senior lecturer in art history at the University of Canterbury, beginning in February 2008. Her dissertation will focus on the narratives of contemporary artists of Māori and Pacific Islander heritage working in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Katherine will also be working in the School of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury. She intends to examine aspects of contemporary art that have not been shaped by art schools or institutions. Having been inspired by her two residencies at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture at the University of the South Pacific, she wants to look at innovative artists and groups that create outside of institutional frameworks. She will also look at how these artists and their art are shaping spaces for art in Oceania.


Margo Vitarelli
Margo Vitarelli

From time to time, the newsletter profiles former student to see where their interests in Pacific Islands studies have led them. In September, the editor talked to artist, curator, and contributing writer to Pacific Magazine Margo Vitarelli (CPIS MA, 1985).

LH: How did you first become interested in enrolling in the Pacific Islands Studies MA program at UH Mānoa?
MV: I was living and working in Palau at the Palau Department of Education as a curriculum writer and illustrator in the late 1970s when I first heard of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies. The idea that there was a center that focused on studies of the Pacific immediately interested me. Years before, as an undergraduate in anthropology at UH, I had sought out and enjoyed those classes that were Pacific-related. I had some great classes, all taught by Pacific experts in their fields: cultural anthropology (Leonard Mason), dance of the Pacific (Adrienne Kaeppler), literature of the Pacific (A Grove Day), and ethnobotany (Beatrice Krauss). This taste of the Pacific in the classroom whetted my appetite for more.

As a child growing up in Palau, where my father was working as an educational administrator, I did not consider Micronesia or the Pacific as something to be studied. It was just home, a place where real people lived, worked, and played, and resolved their daily problems. I grew up seeing things from an Islander’s perspective, eating local food, speaking the local language, and embracing an Island lifestyle. But of course having been raised by American parents I also grew up with an awareness of my own culture. Seeing the world through bicultural eyes always made me want to understand these worlds better and try to make sense of these contrasting cultures, each with its own logic. Studying the Pacific sometimes helps make sense of these cross-cultural questions. It gave me the opportunity to take a step back and analyze Pacific issues from an organized academic standpoint, after having lived it and taken it for granted.

While growing up in the Islands I think I became a student of Pacific cultures without even realizing it. I always enjoyed learning the dances, observing the crafts people, and recording the legends. So when I later discovered that you could actually get a master’s degree doing something as fascinating as reading and writing about the Pacific I was definitely attracted to the idea. To be in a program whose entire focus was anything and everything about the Pacific Islands seemed almost too good to be true.

You cannot live in the microcosm of a Pacific Island community without recognizing problems and challenges, and it follows that you develop the desire to contribute or help out in some way. Living in small communities seems to foster a sense of caring and you actually sometimes have the power to make positive changes. I think people living in the Pacific are motivated to seek out new perspectives that might enable them to find solutions for problems, whether it be in areas of education, environment, cultural preservation, or economic development. I felt that CPIS might provide a stimulating atmosphere for learning and possibly gaining an understanding of Pacific problems and possible ways to solve them.

LH: What kinds of activities have you been involved with since you graduated, and, as an artist, how have you been able to combine your interest in the Pacific with other interests?
MV: Since I graduated from CPIS, I have gravitated toward working in culture and the arts and education. My interests in art, economic development, cultural preservation, and anthropology are all interrelated. I ran the arts program at the Northern Marianas College in Saipan and then did teacher training in Palau and the Marianas. After that I taught at Palau Community College and then organized an art program at the Belau National Museum. Museums are great educational institutions, using their collections to create interesting exhibits and to relay culture, history, and ideas to the public in an entertaining format. I am a great supporter of museums—places that teach visually, without exams and grades!

The Pacific has a lot to offer the world in terms of an approach to living, the natural environment, their art forms and beliefs. It is important to preserve what is unique about the Pacific for future generations to know, appreciate, and learn from. In my various roles, whether it be teaching art, working with teachers, helping local artists develop their talents, or creating an exhibit, I always feel motivated by helping people realize the value of what they have, so that it is not lost, and at the same time, moving ahead to have a better life in our modern world.

Right now I am working at the Mānoa Heritage Center. It is a cultural site as well as a living museum. It includes a native plant garden that surrounds an ancient Hawaiian heiau. It is a small site nestled up in Mānoa Valley, which offers daily tours that relate the history and culture of Hawai‘i.

LH: How did your MA work and other Pacific experiences prepare you for the positions you have had?
MV: Having lived mostly in Micronesia, my experiences at CPIS broadened my vision to include the rest of the Pacific and allowed me to see the similarities as well as differences between Island groups. Looking beyond the American Pacific region made me acutely aware of the influences that colonial powers have had and continue to have on the Pacific.

While at CPIS, I was very fortunate to have taken part in a remarkable two-month project, whereby I visited the University of the South Pacific centers in Kiribati, Fiji, Sāmoa, and Tonga and assisted in various projects relating to cultural preservation, art, and education. Travel is always a great education in itself, but I must say that my studies at CPIS were an excellent preparation for my encounters in each Island group.

CPIS classes are varied and give you the opportunity to analyze issues, think, discuss, and then, ultimately, write. I definitely got a lot of needed practice writing at CPIS, painful as it sometimes may have been. The ability to write is something that is useful in any position, and I have found the writing skills I acquired at CPIS essential to every job I have held.

One reason I enjoyed my studies and did well is because of the tone of the CPIS program set by then-director Bob Kiste. He was open, accessible, informal, and yet professional at the same time. He was excited about what he was doing, and his excitement was contagious. He was interested in every one of the CPIS students and what they were involved in. He created a great environment for learning and the exchange of ideas.

LH: What have been the most rewarding aspects of your Pacific activities?
MV: Development of the arts in the Pacific—art, music, dance, theatre, and literature—is a very celebratory kind of venture. Helping people express themselves through the arts is rewarding and fun as well. Observing as Pacific Island artists find their own voice is definitely exciting. For example, many Pacific Island artists are using their own history, traditions, and cultural change as the theme while using contemporary means and technology, such as film, books, theatre, and digital art, to communicate.

Inspiring young people in the Islands to develop their artistic skills is also enjoyable. When Pacific Island schools adopt Western-style curriculums, they often omit the arts. Art, oral traditions, and craft were an important part of Pacific cultures. Research has proven that art in the schools helps children learn, motivates them, and provides an avenue for success.

I must put in a plug here for festivals. When Pacific groups gather to perform, show their art, play their music, it is a wonderful noncompetitive atmosphere of sharing. Festivals are a way to promote the arts; make the arts, as a cottage industry, a profitable venture; and aid in the efforts to promote creativity, self-expression, and the communication of ideas. Festivals are definitely worthwhile gatherings that are educational and deserve our support.


Sonia Lacabanne, senior lecturer at the University of New Caledonia, was a visiting colleague with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies for two weeks in September 2007. Dr Lacabanne has been active in getting works by playwrights Vilsoni Hereniko and Larry Thomas translated into French. She was in Hawai‘i to do research on Hawaiian drama and recent works of fiction.

Among the visitors to the center during the period July through September 2007 were


CPIS was a cosponsor of a performance and class visit by the Crossroads Theater for Youth (CTY) from American Sāmoa, on 11 July 2007. Betty Ickes, a lecturer for the UHM Department of History and the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, invited the group, which was on tour in Hawai‘i, to perform for her Pacific Islands history class and interested community members. With the support of funds from the US Administration for Native Americans, CTY allows young people to produce their own work—plays and education programs that help young people to understand each other and their place in the community and culture.

Marie Salaün, maître de conferences at the Université René Descartes in Paris, gave a talk entitled The Noumea Accord and the Evolution of the Kanak Movement: From Political Sovereignty to Indigenous Rights? on 23 August 2007, as part of the Department of Anthropology Colloquium Series. She looked at new forms of Kanak activism and how these might interact with the process of achieving independence.

On 29 August 2007, Alice Te Punga Somerville, from the Department of English at Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand, gave a talk entitled Māori: Indigenous or Pacific? Somerville looked at some of the tensions between the categories indigenous and Pacific as core identity concepts in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and the impact that these tensions might have with respect to indigenous politics. The talk was cosponsored by the EWC Pacific Islands Development Program and the Māori Language and Culture Program, in the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures.

John Henderson, associate professor in Pacific politics and international relations at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Aotearoa/New Zealand, gave a talk entitled China Engages Oceania: Threat or Opportunity? on 5 September 2007. The talk, which was cosponsored by the EWC Pacific Islands Development Program, looked at the political, strategic, and economic dimensions of China’s growing role in Pacific Island affairs.

On 12 September 2007, Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl, Distinguished Writer in Residence in the UHM Department of English, presented a dramatic reading of scenes from several of her plays. She also read from her forthcoming novel, and first mystery, The Portrait Murders. She was assisted on this enlightening and entertaining evening by her niece Hina Kneubuhl, UHM Theater Program Director Dennis Carroll, UHM English Professor Craig Howes, and local actor and director Sammie Choy. Kneubuhl’s play Ola Na Iwi (The Bones Live), first produced in 1994, is being revived by Kumu Kahua Theater in Honolulu. It will run from 1 November to 2 December 2007. For more information, see the website at


Jane Moulin, professor of ethnomusicology, has a chapter, Untying the Knots in the ‘Aha tau, the Sacred Cord of Time, in the new book Oceanic Music Encounters: The Print Resource and the Human Resource; Essays in Honour of Mervyn McLean (see Publications).

Associate Professor of History David Chappell published a commentary entitled Development or Underdevelopment: Isle-lands or Cultures? in the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 28 (2), July 2007.

Professor of Botany Will McClatchey, with Kim W Bridges, is publishing a chapter, The Importance of Scale in Determination of Human Population Distributions in the Marshall Islands, in Recent Trends in Ethnopharmacology and Ethnobotany, edited by U P Albuquerque and published by Research Signpost Press.

Assistant Professor of Linguistics Yuko Otsuka has an article, Making a Case for Tongan as an Endangered Language, in the latest issue of The Contemporary Pacific, 19:2. She is also book review editor of the new online journal Language Documentation and Conservation (see Publications).

Associate Professor of Pacific Islands Studies Terence Wesley-Smith has an article, The Limits of Self-Determination in Oceania, in Social & Economic Studies, 56:1/2. As a member of the East-West Center and UH Mānoa Islands of Globalization Project, Terence, and others in the project, were collaborators in the production of this issue, which focuses on the intersection of Pacific and Caribbean studies.

CPIS Managing Editor Jan Rensel and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology Alan Howard published an article, Contextualizing Histories: Our Rotuman Experience, in Back in the Field Again: Long-term Fieldwork in Oceanic Anthropology, a special issue of Pacific Studies 27:3/4. Also, in early September, Jan and Alan were invited presenters in a workshop entitled The Repatriation of Material and Immaterial Patrimonies: A Comparative Approach, Canada/Melanesia, organized by the Centre Interuniversitaire d’Études et de Recherches Autochtones (CIÉRA) of the University of Laval, in Quebec, Canada. Jan’s paper was Returning Indigenous Knowledge through Publications Written for Pacific Islands Communities, and Alan spoke about Web Sites as Vehicles for Repatriation.

Congratulations to Associate Professor of Education Margaret Maaka, who is one of 30 scholars selected as an Agenda for Education in a Democracy (AED) Scholar by the Seattle-based Institute for Educational Inquiry. Maaka is director of Ho‘okulaiwi: ‘Aha Ho‘ona‘auao ‘Oiwi (the Center for Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Education) at the UH Mānoa campus.

Congratulations, also, to CPIS affiliate faculty members who recently received promotions—Robert Sullivan (English) to associate professor, and Will McClatchey (Botany) and Jon Kamakawiwo‘ole Osorio (Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge) to professor.

Finally, the center would like to say aloha and best wishes to Heather Young Leslie. Heather has accepted a position as HIV Capacity Adviser to the Madang Provincial Aids Committee in Papua New Guinea. She continues her ties to UH Mānoa as an affiliate graduate faculty member with the Department of Anthropology.


Congratulations to our five newestgraduates! With their final papers and projects, they are

Congratulations, also, to two friends of the center who earned degrees in August 2007 from UH Mānoa and who have returned to their home countries to work and continue their studies. Solomon Kantha, from Papua New Guinea, earned an MA in political science. In his thesis, The Political Economy of Resource Curse in Papua New Guinea, Kantha examined Papua New Guinea as a resource curse country—a country in which there is an inverse relationship between natural resource endowments and the level of economic growth. In particular, he looked at the political and institutional factors that contribute to this development enigma.

Iati Iati received his PhD in political science and returned to Aotearoa/New Zealand to be a visiting research scholar at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury, in Christchurch. His research and writing focus is civil society in Sāmoa. His dissertation was Civil Society and Political Accountability in Sāmoa: A Critical Response to the Good Governance Agenda from a Pacific Island Perspective. Through a critical analysis of social movements and cases involving corruption and the absence of political accountability in Sāmoa, the dissertation attempts to understand the internal dynamics of civil society as well as the dynamics involved in the relationship between civil society and political accountability. It investigates the underlying foundations of social dissent and the opportunities and barriers that the Samoan socio-political system provides for its expression. At the same time, it interrogates dominant ideas about civil society that have been developed through Western political discourse and practice, questioning the extent to which they help to make sense of civil society in Sāmoa as well as the extent to which they can be informed by the latter.

In the middle of August, CPIS had the pleasure of welcoming eight new students to the program:

CPIS also welcomed new certificate student Jessica Garlock-Tuialii. Jessica, who is from Ohio, has a MSW from Boston College. She is a PhD student in the School of Social Work at UH Mānoa, with a research focus on the Samoan population and social issues in Sāmoa.

The East-West Center also recently welcomed five new US–South Pacific Scholarship student fellows. The three students studying at UH Mānoa are

At UH Hilo,

For more information on the East-West Center’s US–South Pacific Scholarship, see the website at

We would also like to welcome Paulina Youripi, from Chuuk. Paulina was a member of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Program at the East-West Center last year, and is now a new MA student in the UHM Department of Linguistics. She is also the project coordinator for the newly formed UH Mānoa Pacific Islands Connection (PIC). PIC is a new initiative by the Vice Chancellor's Office of Student Affairs. Its aim is to provide services for the Pacific Islands student population at UH Mānoa, which comprises a small percentage of the total school population. Services provided include assisting in the transition to university life, tutoring, referrals to on-campus services and professionals, informal advising, and networking between students, faculty, and organizations on- and off-campus.

Recent CPIS graduate Terry Brugh (MA, 2007) has just taken a job as the youth activities supervisor with the Muckelshoot Indian Tribe, southeast of Seattle, Washington. She will be developing after-school programs and activities for the youth on the reservation, focusing on things that are educational and also build cultural skills and knowledge, leadership skills, and self esteem. She will be working with community elders to develop these programs and will help assess the community’s needs regarding youths.

CPIS alumnus Sam Kaima (MA, 1989) is currently a records management consultant to the Papua New Guinea Justice Sector Project. He recently wrote an article for the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau Newsletter on the current state of, and proposed changes in, recordkeeping practices of five legal agencies in Papua New Guinea.

Finally, warm wishes to CPIS graduates Kealalokahi Losch (MA, 1999) and Tracie (Ku‘uipo) Cummings Losch (MA, 2004), who welcomed their first child, daughter Kala‘iohauola Lokalia Isabella Losch, on 4 August 2007. Keala is teaching at Kapi‘olani Community College, and Tracie is teaching at Leeward Community College.


Songs from the Second Float image

Songs from the Second Float: A Musical Ethnography of Taku Atoll, Papua New Guinea, by Richard Moyle, is the latest volume in the center’s Pacific Islands Monograph Series, published with University of Hawai‘i Press. The book, based on fieldwork spanning a decade, gives a comprehensive analysis of the musical life of a unique Polynesian community whose geographical isolation, together with a local ban on missionaries and churches, combine to allow its 600 members to maintain a level of traditional cultural practices unique to the region. According to series editor David Hanlon, this volume highlights the centrality of music and dance to expressions of cultural identity and persistence on one Polynesian atoll and, by extension, throughout much of Oceania.

In addition to looking, in detail, at Takū musical performances, Moyle describes much of the history and geography of Taku and the everyday life in which the musicking is embedded. Second float is a poetic metaphor for the outrigger canoe. In 1891, Takū’s small population was forcibly relocated to one of the atoll’s smaller islands, and eventually to their current location on Nukutoa. The new island home became second float to the canoe, their earlier and larger island home.

Songs from the Second Float may be ordered through the Orders Department, University of Hawai‘i Press, 2840 Kolowalu Street, Honolulu, HI 96822-1888; the website is ISBN 978-0-8248-3175-2, 2007, 306 pages, cloth, US$54.00. A companion CD, Songs from the Second Float, contains several songs discussed in the book. The CD is available from Ode Records at


Cover artwork from Indigenous Encounters
Cover artwork by Vaimu‘a Muliava

Indigenous Encounters: Reflections on Relations between People in the Pacific, edited by Katerina Martina Teaiwa, is CPIS Occasional Paper 43. This publication had its genesis in the editor’s realization, strengthened through her teaching and interactions with students, that Pacific studies lacked a vocabulary for talking about, and understanding, relations between ordinary people in the Pacific—not between Pacific Islanders and outsiders, but among Islanders themselves. With this in mind, she invited submissions, especially from graduate students, on the theme of indigenous encounters. Students and others responded with poetry and prose, fiction and nonfiction, which coalesced around six themes—learning Oceania, oceans and islands, sisterhood, post-colonial reflections, institutional relations, and embodied encounters. The authors include Brandi McDougall, Monica LaBriola, Christopher Robbins, Greg Dvorak, Kali Fermantez, Sara Lightner, Yola Gray, Julia Gray, B David Kombako, Emelihter Kihleng, Lu‘ukia Archer, Malia Ka‘aihue, U‘i Keli‘ikula, Tanya Wendt Samu, Karin Ingersoll, Trisha Kehaulani Watson, and Terri Janke. The cover art is by tattoo artist Vaimu‘a Muliava, from New Caledonia.

Indigenous Encounters is available, free of charge, from the Center for Pacific Islands Studies. Its publication was made possible by the center’s US Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grant. To request a copy, contact the center at the address on the masthead or at


The Contemporary Pacific, 19:2

The latest issue of The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs contains several oral traditions, as well as articles, a resource piece, and political and media reviews.

The Story of the Eel— Told by Elder Mark of Emil Potun

A Fishy Romance: Chiefly Power and the Geopolitics of Desire— Heather E Young Leslie

The Trouble with RAMSI: Reexamining the Roots of Conflict in Solomon Islands— Shahar Hameiri

The Last Leseserrkab on Uripiv— Told by Elder Mark of Emil Potun

Making a Case for Tongan as an Endangered Language— Yuko Otsuka

Viewing Diasporas From the Pacific: What Pacific Ethnographies Offer Pacific Diaspora Studies— Ilana Gershon

The Journey of the Dead— Told by Chief Sukon of Emil Potnambe

Imagining Oceania: Indigenous and Foreign Representations of a Sea of Islands— Margaret Jolly

The Two Children Left Behind— Told by Frank Kenneth of Emil Lowi

The Region in Review: International Issues and Events, 2005–2006— Karin von Strokirch

Melanesia in Review: Issues and Events, 2006— David Chappell, Alumita L Durutalo, Anita Jowitt, Louisa Kabutaulaka, Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka

The Lebon Brothers— Told by John Regenvanu of Emil Bweterial and Emil Periv

The featured artist, whose work is on the cover and throughout the issue, is Ni-Vanuatu Ralph Regenvanu. The Melanesia Project, featured on the cover, is the result of Regenvanu’s time as an artist-in-residence at the British Museum in 2006. According to Regenvanu, The painting is about aspects of my cultural heritage that are no longer available in my own community but are available overseas, particularly in London (where this painting was produced), at the British Museum and the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Regenvanu’s first public art was unveiled at the time of Vanuatu’s independence in 1980, when he painted the country’s new coat of arms on the wall of Central Primary School, in the capital city of Port Vila. He painted his most famous piece, Las Kakae (The Final Feast), when he was taking formal art classes in grade twelve in Australia. Among several inspirations for his art is the storyboard style popular in neighboring Papua New Guinea. From this style he has created a number of drawings, including those in this volume, that highlight custom stories from his family’s home island of Uripiv, off the northeast coast of Malakula.


UH Press Publications

Vaka Moana, Voyages of the Ancestors: The Discovery and Settlement of the Pacific, edited by K R Howe, examines the latest findings from authorities on voyaging and the settlement of the Pacific. The text is accompanied by numerous photographs, images of artifacts, maps, and diagrams. The contributors include Ben Finney, K R Howe, Geoffrey Irwin, Sam Low, Roger Neich, Anne Salmond, and Rawiri Taonui. 2007, 368 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3213-1, cloth, US$59.00.

Pacific Ethnomathematics: A Bibliographic Study, by Nicholas J Goetzfridt, concerns mathematical concepts and practices in Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. It covers number systems, counting, measuring, classifying, spatial relationships, symmetry, geometry, and other aspects of ethnomathematics in relation to activities such as trade, education, navigation, construction, tattooing, and music. 2007, 344 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3170-7, cloth, US$75.00.

Penina Uliuli: Contemporary Challenges in Mental Health for Pacific Peoples, edited by Philip Culbertson and Margaret Nelson Agee, with Cabrini ‘Ofa Makasiale, examines mental health issues through topics such as identity, spirituality, the unconscious, mental trauma, and healing. 2007, 304 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3224-7, paper, US$28.00. ISBN 978-0-8248-3194-3, cloth, US$57.00.

Stopover, by Bruce Connew, is a collection of photographs, by New Zealand documentary photographer Bruce Connew, from the Indian-Fijian sugar cane settlement of Vatiyaka, taken during Connew’s visits between June 2000 and November 2003. Connew’s narrative captions and a story by Brij V Lal introduce readers to an extended family’s life within the context of migration. The Center for Pacific Islands Studies provided support for the volume. 2007, 188 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3198-1, cloth, US$39.00.

Nokonofo Kitea: We Keep on Living This Way, by anthropologist Janet Dixon Keller and Vanuatu Cultural Centre staff member Takaronga Kuautonga, focuses on five stories and two songs from the Polynesian outlier community of West Futuna, Vanuatu. The selected texts provide a window on personal and social struggles that characterized the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 2007, 284 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3113-4, cloth, US$54.00.

Living Spirits with Fixed Abodes: The Masterpieces Exhibition of the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery, edited by former Papua New Guinea National Museum Curator Barry Craig, includes the most significant cultural treasures on display at Papua New Guinea’s national museum. It also provides a brief history of the museum and its role in forging national identity. 2007, 296 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3151-6, paper, US$80.00.

Body Ornaments of Kwaraae and Malaita: A Vanishing Artistic Tradition of Solomon Islands, by Ben Burt. The book reviews the significance of body ornaments in Kwara‘ae society, and the history of their rejection under colonial rule and Christian conversion. Ornaments are cataloged and illustrated in detailed drawings. ISBN 978-0-8248-3135-6, paper, US$32.00.

Also available from UH Press are

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

Other Books

Oceanic Music Encounters: The Print Resource and the Human Resource; Essays in Honour of Mervyn McLean, edited by Richard Moyle, pays tribute to Mervyn McLean’s considerable contributions to the field of ethnomusicology, and Oceanic ethnomusicology in particular. Contributions to the collection, to name just a few, include chapters on Hawaiian chants, Fijian liturgy, and Torres Strait hula. The book is volume seven in the Research in Linguistics and Anthropology series from University of Auckland. 2007. ISBN 978-0-9583686-6-7, NZ$40.00.

Tonga and the Tongans: Heritage and Identity, edited and published by Elizabeth Wood-Ellem, on behalf of the Tonga Research Association, consists of 19 essays on topics such as the political aspects of marriage in traditional Tonga, Tonga’s Lapita beginning, Tongan missionaries abroad, and source and structure of Tongan lalava patterns. 2007. A$30.00, plus postage and packing. To order, contact Elizabeth Wood-Ellem, at

The Future of Tokelau: Decolonising Agendas 1975–2006, by anthropologist Judith Huntsman, with Kelihiano Kalolo, takes up where Tokelau: A Historical Ethnography (Huntsman and Hooper, 1997) left off. It follows the history of Tokelau from the 1970s up to the recent referendum in which Tokelauans decisively voted against independence. Published by Auckland University Press. 2007, 300 pages. ISBN 9781869403980, A$54.95.

The heArt of my reVersing: a redemption song through original poems & stories in verse, is by Lili Tuwai, a New Zealander of Fijian, Tongan, and European ancestry, who migrated to Australia with her daughter in 1985. In 2001, she earned her doctorate in philosophy/cultural studies. Her book is available as an ebook at for US$5.95. It will also be published in hard copy.

Our Wealth is Loving Each Other: Self and Society in Fiji, by anthropologist Karen Brison, explores the fluid and context-bound nature of cultural and personal identity among indigenous Fijians. Brison examines traditional kava ceremonies, evangelical church rhetoric, and individual life history narratives to show how individuals draw on a repertoire of narratives from local and international culture to define their identities. Published by Lexington Books. 2007, 172 pages. ISBN 978-0739114889, cloth, US$60.00.

Disciplining the Savages: Savaging the Disciplines, by Martin Nakata, is an indigenous critique of the contradictory and ambiguous intersections of academia and indigenous experience. Nakata, a Torres Strait Islander, is the Director of Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning and Chair of Australian Indigenous Education at the University of Technology, Sydney. Nakata begins by looking at the Cambridge Expedition of the late 1890s, led by Alfred Haddon, and carries his argument up through recent knowledge production in Torres Strait education. Published by Aboriginal Studies Press. 2007, 256 pages. ISBN 978-0-85575-548-5, paper, A$44.95.

Lost Maritime Cultures: China and Pacific, edited by Tianlong Jiao, focuses on archaeological discoveries in southeast China over the past half century and the possibility that these civilizations were ancestors to Pacific Islanders and people on the islands of Southeast Asia. Published by Bishop Museum Press. 2007, 219 pages. ISBN 9781581780635, cloth, US$49.00.

La domination des femmes à Tahiti: Des violences envers les femmes au discours du matriarcat, by Patrick Cerf, obstetrician and anthropologist, looks at the myth of matriarchy and the paradoxes created by the existence of this image and the reality of violence against women. In French. Published by Au vent des îles. 2007, 521 pages. ISBN 978-2915654189, €24.95.

Once Were Warriors—The Aftermath: The Controversy of Once Were Warriors in Aotearoa New Zealand, by media studies academic Emiel Martens, looks at the controversies that were stirred up by Once Were Warriors as a book and as a film. The author probes for the reasons behind the controversies in topics such as racial stereotyping, cultural politics, ethnic relations, indigenous media, and Māori identity. Published by Aksant Academic Publishers. 2007, 184 pages. ISBN 978-90-5260-236-3, €24.90.

Berghahn Books has two new books about the Pacific


The latest two issues of Journal of the Polynesian Society, September and December 2006, are now out. Volume 115:3 has articles on aberrant Austronesian languages of Southeast Melanesia and conflicting autonomist and independentist logics in French Polynesia. Volume 115:4 has an article on what house posts reveal about status difference in ancient Tahitian society, as well as shorter communications about offering stands from Mangareva and the music of Nukumanu.

The March/June 2007 issue of Social and Economic Studies is a special issue, The Caribbean and Pacific in a New World Order, edited by Patsy Lewis, Hopeton Dunn, Matthew Smith, and Biman Prasad. It contains articles on the East-West Center—University of Hawai‘i Islands of Globalization project, trade liberalization and development, the migration of health workers from Caribbean and Pacific Island states, the possibility of regional currencies, the limits of self-determination in Oceania, foreign policies, pedagogies of cultural difference, bilingualism, small businesses in small economies, and financial reform in Vanuatu.

Language Documentation & Conservation is a new, refereed, online open-access journal sponsored by the University of Hawai‘i Foreign Language Resource Center and published exclusively in electronic form by the University of Hawai‘i Press. This semiannual publication is the only journal exclusively dedicated to serving the needs of linguists and language activists engaged in documenting the many under- and undocumented languages of the world. The current issue (June 2007), containing articles on a range of topics, as well as technology and book reviews, is online at


Gedruckt in Samoa: A Bibliographic Analysis of the Samoanisches Gouvernements-Blatt and other Printing in German Samoa (1901–1914), by Dirk H R Spennemann, is an attempt to assess the nature of newspaper publishing in the German Pacific. The book can be downloaded free of charge from 2007, 174 pages. ISBN 978-1-921220-05-0.

Films,Videos, and DVDs

The Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF), which ran 18—28 October 2007, featured the following seven Pacific films as part of its Pacific Island Shorts program: