NGATIK MASSACRE PB
In 1837 the men of Sapwuahfik Atoll (then called Ngatik) in Micronesia were killed by the crew of an Australian trade ship over a cache of valuable tortoiseshell possessed by the islanders. Using written and oral accounts, Lin Poyer vividly reconstructs the horrific events that nearly decimated Ngatik's aboriginal population, and then examines the modern Sapwuahfik society to determine the role of historical representation in the construction of community identity. After the massacre, survivors, attackers, and immigrants formed fragile unions that became the foundation of a new biologically and culturally mixed society. Building on recent scholarly work in the symbolism of identity and the cultural construction of history, Poyer shows how the Sapwuahfik people use the memory of the massacre in their effort to maintain a distinctive identity.
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