University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu Hawaiian and Pacific Studies Associate Professor Saʻiliemanu Lilomaiava-Doktor recently published the article “Changing Morphology of Graves and Burials in Samoa,” in the June 2016 Journal of Polynesian Society.
In the article, Lilomaiava-Doktor discusses funeral faʻalavelave (important Samoan ritual event) and examines the factors that influence decisions about graves, the location of grave sites, and the recent option of cremation over burial, in the context of migration and social change. She argues that place as identity is bound up in conceptions of kinship that define where the ʻāiga (extended family, kindred) are buried, faʻasinomaga (identity, belonging) and fanua (land).
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Saʻiliemanu Lilomaiava-Doktor holds a PhD in human and cultural geography from the UH Mānoa. Her research interests include migration, development, diaspora and transnationalism with a focus in Oceania.
Lilomaiava-Doktor’s research explores the dialectic relationship between culture and modernity, specifically the interactive relationships between Samoan indigenous concepts and epistemologies and globalization.