Colonialism, Maasina Rule, and the Origins of Malaitan Kastom is a political history of the island of Malaita in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate from 1927, when the last violent resistance to colonial rule was crushed, to 1953 and the inauguration of the island’s first representative political body, the Malaita Council. At the book’s heart is a political movement known as Maasina Rule, which dominated political affairs in the southeastern Solomons for many years after World War II. The movement’s ideology, kastom, was grounded in the determination that only Malaitans themselves could properly chart their future through application of Malaitan sensibilities and methods, free from British interference.
Kastom promoted a radical transformation of Malaitan lives by sweeping social engineering projects and alternative governing and legal structures. When the government tried to suppress Maasina Rule through force, its followers brought colonial administration on the island to a halt for several years through a labor strike and massive civil resistance actions that overflowed government prison camps. David Akin draws on extensive archival and field research to present a practice-based analysis of colonial officers’ interactions with Malaitans in the years leading up to and during Maasina Rule.
2013, 552 pages, 21 illustrations, 3 maps
$59.00; ISBN: 978-0-8248-3814-0, Cloth
Pacific Islands Monograph Series (No. 26)
Tobacco kills 5 million people every year and that number is expected to double by the year 2020. Despite its enormous toll on human health, tobacco has been largely neglected by anthropologists. Drinking Smoke combines an exhaustive search of historical materials on the introduction and spread of tobacco in the Pacific with extensive anthropological accounts of the ways Islanders have incorporated this substance into their lives. In Drinking Smoke, the idea of a syndemic is applied to the current health crisis in the Pacific, where the number of deaths from coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease continues to rise, and the case is made that smoking tobacco in the form of industrially manufactured cigarettes is the keystone of the contemporary syndemic in Oceania.
Drinking Smoke is the first book-length examination of the damaging tobacco syndemic in a specific world region. It is a must-read for scholars and students of anthropology, Pacific studies, history, and economic globalization, as well as for public health practitioners and those working in allied health fields. More broadly the book will appeal to anyone concerned with disease interaction, the social context of disease production, and the full health consequences of the global promotional efforts of Big Tobacco.
2013, 312 pages, 21 illustrations, 4 maps; ISBN: 978-0-8248-3685-6, Cloth $54.00
Noted Micronesia specialist Father Francis X. Hezel will be giving a brown bag seminar, “Cultural Dilemmas in Development,” on Monday, July 15, at 12 pm in Burns Hall, room 3012, East-West Center. The seminar will draw on Hezel’s nearly fifty years of experience living and working in the Federated States of Micronesia and on material from his recently published book, Making Sense of Micronesia: The Logic of Pacific Island Culture. The event is sponsored by the Pacific Islands Development Program and the Center for Pacific Islands Studies.
Father Hezel will appear next week Tuesday on KHPR’s The Conversation, which airs weekday mornings at 8 and is heard on HPR-2, KIPO 89.3 fm, KIPM 89.7 fm and KIPH 88.3 fm. Visit http://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/theconversation to listen live or for an archive of past shows. UPDATE: Listen to the archived show here.
July 18, 2013 UPDATE: Hawaii News Now interviewed Fr. Hezel on the subject of Micronesians in Hawai‘i, with a brief look at Making Sense of Micronesia , as well as a new East-West Center report “Micronesians on the Move,” which is due next week from EWC. Click here to view the archived show.
Photo courtesy of Chuuk Advisory Group on Education Reform
The Pacific is the last major world region to be discovered by humans. Although small in total land area, its numerous islands and archipelagoes with their startlingly diverse habitats and biotas, extend across a third of the globe. This revised edition of the popular text The Pacific Islands: Environment and Society, edited by Moshe Rapaport, explores the diverse landforms, climates, and ecosystems of the Pacific island region. Multiple chapters, written by leading specialists, cover the environment, history, culture, population, and economy. The work includes new or completely revised chapters on gender, music, logging, development, education, urbanization, health, ocean resources, and tourism. Throughout two key issues are addressed: the exceptional environmental challenges and the demographic/economic/political challenges facing the region. Although modern technology and media and waves of continental tourists are fast eroding island cultures, the continuing resilience of Pacific island populations is apparent.
May 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3586-6 / $48.00 (PAPER)
Why are islanders so lavishly generous with food and material possessions but so guarded with information? Why do these people, unfailingly polite for the most part, laugh openly when others embarrass themselves? What does a smile mean to an islander? What might a sudden lapse into silence signify? These questions are common in encounters with an unfamiliar Pacific Island culture. Making Sense of Micronesia: The Logic of Pacific Island Culture, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J., is intended for westerners who find themselves in contact with Micronesians—as teachers, social workers, health-care providers, or simply as friends—and are puzzled by their island ways. It is for anyone struggling to make sense of cultural exchanges they don’t quite understand.
The author focuses on the guts of island culture: the importance of the social map, the tension between the individual and social identity, the ways in which wealth and knowledge are used, the huge importance of respect, emotional expression and its restraints, island ways of handling both conflict and intimacy, the real but indirect power of women. Far from a theoretical exposition, the book begins and ends with the real-life behavior of islanders. Each section of every chapter is introduced by a vignette that illustrates the theme discussed. The book attempts to explain island behavior, as curious as it may seem to outsiders at times, against the over-riding pattern of values and attitudes that have always guided island life.
April 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3661-0 / $27.00 (CLOTH)
Cultures of Commemoration: The Politics of War, Memory, and History in the Mariana Islands, by Keith L Camacho, was recently awarded the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize. The prize is awarded to works that contribute to the development of “the Pacific Basin Community Concept” and to regional studies of the Pacific Basin region. Cultures of Commemoration is part of the Pacific Islands Monograph Series (PIMS), published in association with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i.
Another PIMS title, The Pacific Theater: Island Representations of World War II, edited by Geoffrey M. White and Lamont Lindstrom, received the Masayoshi Ohira Memorial Prize in 1990.
Corruption is a popular topic in the Pacific Islands. Politicians are accused of it and campaign against it. Fiji’s coup leaders vowed to clean it up. Several countries have “leadership codes” designed to reduce corruption, and others have created specialized anti-corruption agencies. But what counts as corruption in the Pacific and what causes it? How much is really going on? How can we measure it? What types are present? Are gifts really bribes? Is “culture” an excuse for corruption? Is politics—in particular, democracy—intrinsically corrupt? In clear and concise language, Interpreting Corruption: Culture and Politics in the Pacific Islands, by Peter Larmour, attempts to answer these questions.
“This book performs a hat trick (for those unfamiliar with upper-latitude sports, three goals by an ice hockey player is a hat trick) by explaining the meaning of corruption in the Pacific Islands, clarifying the central concepts in the study of public integrity, and deftly guiding the reader on a journey through coups, scams, and a plethora of ideas about an age old problem.” —Frank Anechiarico, Hamilton College
Topics in the Contemporary Pacific
March 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3514-9 / $49.00 (CLOTH)
UH Press authors Elfriede Hermann, Niko Besnier, Margeret Jolly, Susanne Kuehling, Glenn Petersen, Julianna Flinn, and Jan Rensel, among others, will be among the scholars presenting at this year’s ASAO (Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania) meeting in Portland, February 7–11. The Press will have on display about two dozen titles, order forms, book flyers, and a new PIMS (Pacific Islands Monograph Series) brochure.
Mahalo to Jan Rensel, shown here at last year’s meeting, for lending a hand at the book exhibit.
Cultures of Commemoration: The Politics of War, Memory, and History in the Mariana Islands, by Keith L Camacho, is now available in paperback.
“There is no other work that examines the complex interplay and layering of colonialisms in the twentieth-century Marianas with such detail, sensitivity, and intelligence.”—Takashi Fujitani, University of California at San Diego
“Camacho‘s study shows us that the critique of indigenous memory is not only crucial to the field of memory studies but also provides a key framework through which the politics of memory will be rethought.” —Marita Sturken, New York University, author of Tourists of History: Memory, Kitsch, and Consumerism from Oklahoma City to Ground Zero
Pacific Islands Monograph Series #25
Published in association with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i
December 2011 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3670-2 / $25.00 (PAPER)