An Oceanic Grammar of Vanuatu

A Grammar of MaveaSpoken on Mavea Island by approximately 32 people, Mavea is an endangered Oceanic language of Vanuatu. A Grammar of Mavea: An Oceanic Language of Vanuatu, by Valérie Guérin, provides grammatical descriptions of this hitherto undescribed language. Fourteen chapters, containing more than 1,400 examples, cover topics in the phonology and morphosyntax of Mavea, with an emphasis on the latter. Of particular interest are examples of individual speaker variation presented throughout the grammar; the presence of three linguo-labials (still used today by a single speaker) that were unexpectedly found before the rounded vowel /o/; and a chapter on numerals and the counting system, which have long been replaced by Bislama’s but are remembered by a handful of speakers.

November 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3639-9 / $40.00 (PAPER)
Oceanic Linguistics Special Publications, No. 39

New Catalog: Hawaii and the Pacific 2012

Hawaii and the Pacific 2012 catalog
The UH Press Hawai‘i and the Pacific 2012 catalog is now available. To view the 4.6M PDF (the catalog is available online only), click on the cover image to the left.

Highlights include:

* An illustrated history of the ‘ukulele (The ‘Ukulele: A History)

* A handy guide to “power foods”: fruits, vegetables, and nuts that could save your life (Eat Smart, Stay Well)

* The story behind the conservation of the Big Island’s King Kamehameha statue and its meaning for the residents of Kapa‘au (The Painted King: Art, Activism, and Authenticity in Hawai‘i)

* Two histories of Kaluapapa/Makanalua: (Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory) and (Ma‘i Lepera: A History of Leprosy in Nineteenth-Century Hawai‘i)

* An illustrated compilation of traditional Hawaiian design (Links to the Past: The Work of Early Hawaiian Artisans)

* Two works offering invaluable insights into Hawaiian culture: (No Na Mamo: Traditional Contemporary Hawaiian Beliefs and Practices) and (I Ulu I Ke Kumu: The Hawai‘inuiakea Monograph)

* The autobiography of legendary Hawai‘i jazzman Gabe Baltazar Jr. (If It Swings, It’s Music: The Autobiography of Hawai‘i’s Gabe Baltazar Jr.)

* A trek into the past with Hawai‘i hiking expert Stuart Ball (Native Paths to Volunteer Trails: Hiking and Trail Building on O‘ahu)

* The most comprehensive and thoroughly illustrated treatment of loulu, the Hawaiian palm (Loulu: The Hawaiian Palm)

* A look at the complex interaction between lived sexualities and socio-legal mores at the turn of the 20th century (Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi)

* A posthumous work detailing the spiritual journey of a young Japanese scholar who immersed himself in Australian Indigenous culture (Gurindji Journey: A Japanese Historian in the Outback)

Transformations of Cultural Traditions in Oceania

Changing ContextsChanging Contexts, Shifting Meanings: Transformations of Cultural Traditions in Oceania, edited by Elfriede Hermann, sheds new light on processes of cultural transformation at work in Oceania and analyzes them as products of interrelationships between culturally created meanings and specific contexts. In a series of inspiring essays, noted scholars of the region examine these interrelationships for insight into how cultural traditions are shaped on an ongoing basis.

September 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3366-4 / $58.00 (CLOTH)

Latest Oceanic Linguistics Special Publication

Sivisa Titan
There are few published grammars of the languages of the Admiralty Islands. Sivisa Titan, by Claire Bowern, makes available valuable data compiled by Po Minis and the New Britain missionary P. Josef Meier for the Titan language. Meier published seventy-five texts in Titan (the corpus is about 25,000 words) in the journal Anthropos between 1906 and 1909 and an addendum in 1912. Stories contain brief information about the speakers and are glossed word-for-word in German and occasionally Latin.

Oceanic Linguistics Special Publication, No. 38
April 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3552-1 / $40.00 (PAPER)

Masterpieces from the Papua New Guinea National Museum

Living Spirits
On the eve of Papua New Guinea’s attainment of independence from Australia, Chief Minister Michael Somare referred to the new nation’s cultural treasures as “living spirits with fixed abodes.” He was referring to the prevailing belief of Papua New Guineans that everything is invested with spirit, not least the objects carved, modeled, or constructed for ceremonial, and often everyday, use. The Masterpieces Exhibition includes the most significant cultural treasures on display at the Papua New Guinea’s national museum. Living Spirits with Fixed Abodes, edited by Barry Craig, gives the reader a thorough account of each of the exhibition’s 209 pieces.

April 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3151-6 / $80.00 (CLOTH)

John Layard, Fieldwork, and Photography on Malakula

Moving ImagesIn 1914–1915, Cambridge anthropologist John Layard worked in Malakula, New Hebrides (Vanuatu). This was one of the earliest periods of solitary, intensive fieldwork within the developing discipline of British social anthropology. Layard worked enthusiastically with his local assistants to document and understand the customary lives of the people, taking copious notes and over 450 photographs. His collection of objects and glass plate negatives are housed in the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Moving Images: John Layard, Fieldwork, and Photography on Malakula since 1914, by Haidy Geismar and Anita Herle, contains over 300 of these evocative images, most previously unpublished, united for the first time with Layard’s field notes and captions. They provide an extraordinary record of the elaborate ritual and culture of Small Islanders and reveal photography’s role as an evidential and subjective medium vital to the practice of social anthropology.

February 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3503-3 / $90.00 (CLOTH)
254 duotones

New in Writing Past Colonialism

Mediating Across Difference Mediating Across Difference: Oceanic and Asian Approaches to Conflict Resolution, edited by Morgan Brigg and Roland Bleiker, is based on a fundamental premise: to deal adequately with conflict—and particularly with conflict stemming from cultural and other differences—requires genuine openness to different cultural practices and dialogue between different ways of knowing and being. Equally essential is a shift away from understanding cultural difference as an inevitable source of conflict, and the development of a more critical attitude toward previously under-examined Western assumptions about conflict and its resolution.

To address the ensuing challenges, this book introduces and explores some of the rich insights into conflict resolution emanating from Asia and Oceania.

Writing Past Colonialism
January 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3519-4 / $28.00 (PAPER)

Resistance in Early Colonial Fiji

Disturbing HistoryIn Disturbing History: Resistance in Early Colonial Fiji, 1874-1914, Robert Nicole focuses on Fiji’s people and their agency in responding to and engaging the multifarious forms of authority and power that were manifest in the colony from 1874 to 1914. By concentrating on the lives of ordinary Fijians, the book presents alternate ways of reconstructing the island’s past. Couched in the traditions of social, subaltern, and people’s histories, the study is an excavation of a large mass of material that tells the often moving stories of lives that have largely been overlooked by historians. These challenge conventional historical accounts that tend to celebrate the nation, represent Fiji’s colonial experience as ordered and peaceful, or British tutelage as benevolent. In its contribution to postcolonial theory, Disturbing History reveals resistance as a constant but partial and untidy mix of other constituents such as collaboration, consent, appropriation, and opportunism, which together form the colonial landscape. In turn, colonialism in Fiji is shown as a force shaped in struggle, fractured and often fragile, with a presence and application in the daily lives of people that was often chaotic, imperfect, and susceptible to subversion.

“Nicole’s work is original in the sense that no one else has pulled together in one place accounts of popular resistance and agency in the early decades of colonial Fiji. He expands what we know of the Colo War, the Tuka Movement, etc., thanks to his close reading of the archives.” —Lamont Lindstrom, professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Tulsa

October 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3291-9 / $52.00 (CLOTH)

New Edition of Oceania Map Now Available

Completely revised and updated with enhanced readability, James A. Bier’s Reference Map of Oceania, Second Edition, is the most comprehensive Pacific map in existence. Its main map and 52 inset maps of all major parts of the region provide a wealth of information in one source. Principal cities, towns, and villages are shown along with roads, topography, and population figures where available. The main map’s Mercator projection is useful for planning routes. Time zones for the Pacific and individual countries are also included. It is the only map that clearly focuses on the political units of Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia, using as its boundaries the 200-mile Extended Economic Zone. With more than 3,400 place names, Oceania will be an invaluable reference for everyone interested in or living in the Pacific islands, including teachers, students, historians, anthropologists, businesses, and travelers.

“Making sense of as complex an area as Oceania challenges the best of cartographers. Bier and the University of Hawaii Press have risen to that challenge producing a manageable double-sided sheet full of well laid-out information.” —Special Libraries Association Bulletin

February 2009 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3108-0 / $9.95, color

A Maritime History of the Pacific Peoples


Written by Alastair Couper, a senior scholar and master mariner, Sailors and Traders: A Maritime History of the Pacific Peoples is the first comprehensive account of the maritime peoples of the Pacific. It focuses on the sailors who led the exploration and settlement of the islands and New Zealand and their seagoing descendants, providing along the way new material and unique observations on traditional and commercial seagoing against the background of major periods in Pacific history.

December 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3239-1 / $55.00 (CLOTH)

Kokota Grammar


Kokota Grammar, by Bill Palmer, describes the grammar of Kokota, a highly endangered Oceanic language of the Solomon Islands, spoken by about nine hundred people on the island of Santa Isabel. After several long periods among the Kokota, Dr. Palmer has written an unusually detailed and comprehensive description of the language. Kokota has never before been described, so this work makes an important contribution to our knowledge of the Oceanic languages of island Melanesia.

Oceanic Linguistics Special Publication, No. 35
October 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3251-3 / $35.00 (PAPER)

The Ethnographic Frontier in German New Guinea


Anthropologists and world historians make strange bedfellows. Although the latter frequently employ anthropological methods in their descriptions of cross-cultural exchanges, the former have raised substantial reservations about global approaches to history. Fearing loss of specificity, anthropologists object to the effacing qualities of techniques employed by world historians—this despite the fact that anthropology itself was a global, comparative enterprise in the nineteenth century. Anthropology’s Global Histories: The Ethnographic Frontier in German New Guinea, 1870–1935, by Rainer F. Buschmann, seeks to recover some of anthropology’s global flavor by viewing its history in Oceania through the notion of the ethnographic frontier—the furthermost limits of the anthropologically known regions of the Pacific. The colony of German New Guinea (1884–1914) presents an ideal example of just such a contact zone.

October 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3184-4 / $55.00 (CLOTH)