Dancing, Dying, Crawling, Crying: Stories of Continuity and Change in the Polynesian Community of Tikopia

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editorips@usp.ac.fj, 2007 - Social change - 201 pages
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"Largely by reason of its isolation, the tiny volcanic island of Tikopia in the South Pacific, has managed to retain its traditional Polynesian culture far more than most Pacific islands. Almost seventy years after the life of the island community was detailed by anthropology student Raymond (later Sir Raymond) Firth, the present author, Julian Treadaway, made several visits to Tikopia, sharing the life of his Tikopian host families for many months at a time, and noting remarkable continuity with the time of Firth's visits and even before. Comparing the present with the past observed by these earlier visitors, Treadaway's stories provide a fascinating account of this continuity and change. With a meticulously observant yet empathetic eye and an easy style, Treadaway records the day-to-day life of the community - detailing the distinctive marriage, funeral, circumcision and other ceremonies; everyday activities such as house-building and growing, catching and preparing food; and unique Tikopian customs of, amongst other things, crawling into houses and ritualistic crying. Through these stories he poses the question that hangs over Tikopia and all such communities: how best can traditional societies benefit from the modern world without completely losing their distinctive culture and identity?"--Cover.
  

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Contents

Slow boat to Tikopia
1
Remembering through song and dance
16
The house with no nails
33
Paradise or hard work?
43
Ritual with a smiling face
59
The burdens of custom
78
Tika and time
86
The living and the dead
101
Chiefs in the modern world
114
The lost art of doing nothing
127
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