Addo, Ping-Ann, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Cloth and Culture: The Significance of Tongan Barkcloth, with Special Attention to the Diaspora,' supervised by Dr. Eric W. Worby
PING-ANN ADDO, then a student at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded a grant in March 2001 to aid research on 'Cloth and Culture: The Significance of Tongan Barkcloth, with Special Attention to the Diaspora,' supervised by Dr. Eric W. Worby. This project investigated the cultural processes whereby hand-made textiles produced in the Tongan Islands remain significant in the daily lives and ceremonial cultural practices of New Zealand-dwelling Tongans. Broadly classified as koloa faka-Tonga (treasures of Tonga), these textiles constitute varieties of barkcloths and woven mats that have been produced continually in Tonga for at least the past three centuries and that remain the work of women. The research was designed to be a set of snapshots, over time and space, of the ways that textiles with locally distinctive Tongan patterns are serving the contemporary needs of Tongan people who make their homes in New Zealand. The research phases alternated between fieldwork in the Tongan capital, Nuku'alofa, and in Auckland, New Zealand, in arenas where such textiles are produced, displayed, worn, commoditized, and exchanged as gifts. The main research question answered was: How is the value of koloa faka-Tonga affected by the correspondingly high value of money and hybrid Tongan-styled textiles (made from synthetic materials and primarily in diasporic locations), as evidenced through continuing processes of gift-exchange between Tongans in the homeland and the diaspora? The study will contribute to the ethnography of the Pacific and will advance theory in anthropology on material culture studies, as well as in the social sciences on diaspora and modernity.
Fisher, Daniel T., New York U., New York, NY- To aid research on 'Aboriginal Radio: A Political Economy of Speech and Song in Contemporary Indigenous Australia,' supervised by Dr. Fred R. Myers
DANIEL T. FISHER, while a student at New York University in New York, New York, received funding in August 2002 to aid research on the political economy of speech and song in contemporary indigenous Australia, under the supervision of Dr. Fred R. Myers. Broadly, Fisher looked at Aboriginal cultural production in northern Australia, examining the expressive practices of indigenous people through the organizations, intercultural relationships, and historical transformations that gave such practices shape. Specifically, he studied Aboriginal media organizations concerned with radio and video production, asking why such media had been so successful and how they had enabled Aboriginal Australians to refigure and revalue their relationships with place and with the past. Methodologically, Fisher sought to elucidate the ways in which the local value of Aboriginal media emerged not just from the political economic context of Aboriginal institutions but also from the lives and social projects of indigenous media producers. Besides conducting formal and informal interviews, he was a participant observer, collaborating in media production and traveling with indigenous media producers as they visited remote rural communities and cultural festivals. His research engaged the politics of Aboriginal heterogeneity head on and involved individuals and institutions with diverse social biographies.
Fisher, Daniel. 2010. On Gammon, Global Noise and Indigenous Heterogeneity: Words as Things in Aboriginal Public Culture. Critique of Anthropology 30(3):265-286.
Fisher, Daniel. 2012. Running Amok or Just Sleeping Rough? Long-Grass Camping and the Politics of Care in Northern Australia. American Ethnologist 39(1):171-186.
Mageo, Dr. Jeannette Marie, Washington State U., Pullman, WA - To aid research on 'Imaginal Thinking and Cultural Transformation: Samoan Colonial Encounters'
DR. JEANNETTE M. MAGEO, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, was awarded a grant in October 2012 to aid research on 'Imaginal Thinking and Cultural Transformation: Samoan Colonial Encounters.' This project collected and analyzed Samoan historical photos and artifacts held in British and American museums to assess the role of imaginal thinking in these colonial encounters. London Missionary Society missionaries were the hegemonic foreign influence throughout the Samoan islands during much of the nineteenth century. Americans began governing the easterly Samoas in 1900 and continue to do so. Through this data the project developed three ideas. First, recurrent images in historical photos and artifacts from Samoa make visible foreign and Samoan 'cognitive schemas' that defined these colonial relations. Cognitive schemas are ideas shared in a culture about a domain of experience. Previous researchers sought schemas in discourses and practices but not in images. Second, cognitive schemas can be understood by finding images recurrent in historical photos and artifacts within narratives from each culture. Third, through the Samoan example, the project determined that types of mimesis Samoan and colonial visitors practiced during a given period indexed the relative quality of colonial relations: in good periods people openly copied images from the other culture and seemed to identify with these images; in bad periods, they copied images from their own past to define themselves against people from the other culture.
Redmond, Dr. Anthony, U. of Sydney, Sydney, Australia - To aid research and writing on 'The Implications of Ngarinyin Body Imagery for Understanding Kin-Based Personhood' - Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship
DR. ANTHONY REDMOND, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, was awarded a Richard Carley Hunt Fellowship in July 2003 to aid research on writing on 'The Implications of Ngarinyin Body Imagery for Understanding Kin-Based Personhood.' Additional fieldwork supplemented existing ethnographic data from five years of previous fieldwork with Ngarinyin people in the Northern Kimberley. Interviews with neighboring Gija people, with whom Ngarinyin people engage in exchange relationships, focused in detail the upon the local wurnan exchange system and the transmissions of works of local composers in the junba tradition. Comparisons were drawn out between these types of exchanges and the more mundane sharing of resources within the same inter-clan and inter- familial networks. The period spent discussing these issues with the neighbors of the Ngarinyin, in particular Gija people at Yulumbu, opened up new perspectives on this question while simultaneously observing the kinds of internal conflicts created over ownership of dreamt materials when a senior custodian of the songs has died. The literature component of the research was directed towards overcoming the more positivist positions current in Australian studies by drawing upon the rich legacy of Melanesianist studies of the person and the sociality of exchange. The research also sought to clarify how the social reproduction of the person draws sustenance from the realm of the dead while simultaneously asserting the agency of living persons.
Zadnik, Laurel, U. of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada - To aid research on 'Converting to Mormonism in Madang, Papua New Guinea: Self, Kinship, and Community,' supervised by Dr. Sandra C. Bamford
LAUREL ZADNIK, then a student at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, received funding in August 2004 to aid research on 'Converting to Mormonism in Madang, Papua New Guinea: Self, Kinship, and Community,' supervised by Dr. Sandra C. Bamford. Field research was carried out from October 2004 to October 2005 and explored the sociocultural implications of the growth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon or 'LDS' Church) in Papua New Guinea. The project focused on the multiple ways that LDS Church members in Papua New Guinea have altered their discourses and practices of self, kinship and community. The data collected from this project will be used to contribute to debates on religious conversion processes, as well as 'modernity' and globalization issues.
Andersen, Barbara Anne, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Nursing Education and Gendered Dilemmas in the Papua New Guinea Highlands,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp
BARBARA A. ANDERSEN, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Nursing Education and Gendered Dilemmas in the Papua New Guinea Highlands,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp. Nurses, the majority of whom are women, are the primary health care providers in Papua New Guinea (PNG). As members of PNG's small 'educated working class,' they share values that have been shaped by missionary, colonial, and developmentalist moralities of caregiving. These include the importance of outreach to the country's rural majority. However, rapid economic transformation has heightened social conflict along lines of gender, class, and region. Nurses in Papua New Guinea face a dilemma: they must serve and respect rural people -- with whom they may share kinship, language, and culture -- while also preserving their own fragile authority. This research, based on fourteen months of participant observation and life-history interviews at a nursing college in Eastern Highlands Province, examines how students acquire the discursive and practical repertoires necessary for managing this dilemma in clinical settings and in their own lives. This dissertation argues that students resolve the contradiction between the idealization of rural life and the desire for modernity through a strategy of 'displaced agency:' attributing to rural people qualities of willfulness and disobedience and linking health to discipline, obedience, and order. The study concludes that these concerns with obedience profoundly shape nursing practice in PNG, limiting nurses' ability to equitably distribute care.
Genz, Joseph H., U. of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI - To aid research on 'The Revival of Indigenous Navigation in the Marshall Islands,' supervised by Dr. Ben R. Finney
JOSEPH H. GENZ, then a student at University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'The Revival of Indigenous Navigation in the Marshall Islands,' supervised by Dr. Ben R. Finney. The research aimed to investigate indigenous navigation in the Marshall Islands. The Marshallese developed a system to detect land by sensing through sight and feel the way islands disrupt the patterning of ocean swells. One of the few remaining elders with navigational knowledge recently resolved to revive this dying art. A collaborative project developed among University of Hawaii anthropologists and oceanographers, Waan Ae/on in Maje/ ('Canoes of the Marshall Islands;' a canoe building and sailing revival project) and several elders to document indigenous navigational knowledge, study its physical oceanographic basis, revitalize traditional voyaging. The collaborative research provides a case study to understand how Pacific navigators answer the question, 'Where am I?' Contrary to other Pacific navigation traditions, the Marshallese find their way across the ocean by following distinctive oceanographic phenomena. They sense how the motion of the canoe is affected by wave reflection, refraction and diffraction.
Genz, Jospeh. 2011. Navigating the Revival of Voyaging in the Marshall Islands: Predicaments of Preservation and Possibilities of Collaboration. The Contemporary Pacific 22(1):1-34.
Genz, Joseph H., and Ben R. Finney. 2006. Preservation and Revitalization of Intangible Cultural Heritage: A Perspective from Cultural Anthropological Research on Indigenous Navigation in the Republic of the Marshal Islands. Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences 5(1&2):306-313.
Rio, Dr. Knut, Bergen U. Museum, Bergen, Norway - To aid 9th European Society for Oceanists (ESfO) conference on 'The Power of the Pacific: Values, Materials, Images,' 2012, Bergen, in collaboration with Dr. Edvard Hviding
'The 9Th Conference of the European Society for Oceanists (ESfO)'
December 5-8, 2012, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Organizers: Dr. Knut Rio (Bergen U. Museum) and Dr. Evard Hviding (U. Bergen)
The ESfO conference (organized by the Bergen Pacific Research Group at the University of Bergen, under the supervision of the ESfO board) welcomed approximately 180 participants from most European countries, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Marquesas Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, and Tonga. The conference theme - The Power of the Pacific: Values, Materials, Images - proved its potential for generating wide interest. Over the course of four days, the uniqueness and diversity of the Pacific region was debated, explored and celebrated in twenty-one sessions. Conference participants addressed such dimensions as the power of resources; the power of land; the power of the church; the power of social networks; the power of youth; the power of resistance; the power of the internet; the power of museums; the power of academia; the power of change; the power of climate; the power of language; and, ultimately, the power of Pacific peoples. The meeting amounted to a demonstration not only of power as such, but also of wealth, creativity, human engagement, and alternative future orientations to contemporary global challenges, of which it is important to give the wider world more than just a glimpse.