Common Worlds and Single Lives : Constituting Knowledge in Pacific Societies book cover
1st Edition

Common Worlds and Single Lives
Constituting Knowledge in Pacific Societies

Edited By

Verena Keck

  • This format cannot be shipped to your selected country.
ISBN 9781859731697
Published November 1, 1998 by Routledge
384 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

In Pacific societies, local knowledge, which has been accumulated over thousands of years and is irreplaceable, is rapidly disappearing. With the extinction of languages, the ability to observe and interpret the world from varying perspectives is also being lost. At the same time, an enormous body of knowledge about nature, plants and animals is vanishing. However, in parallel with this, the people of the Pacific are confronted with new modes of knowledge and newly introduced technologies through imported educational systems, missions of various denominations, and the media. They do not passively assimilate this knowledge but adopt, adapt, and apply it in a syncretistic way.These changes will have permanent effects on the individual lives of people in the region and their knowledge about themselves and their surrounding 'world'. This stimulating book tracks the course of these developments and offers revealing insights into the complexity of Pacific peoples' responses to the process of globalization.

Table of Contents

Contents: Verena Keck, Introduction -- Part One: Prologue -- Sir Raymond Firth, Reflections on Knowledge in an Oceanic Setting -- Part Two: Embodied Personhood -- Borut Telban, Body, Being and Identity in Ambonwari, Papua New Guinea -- Andree Grau, On the Acquisition of Knowledge: Teaching Kinship through the body among the Tiwi of Northern Australia -- Christina Toren, Cannibalism and Compassion: Transformations in Fijian Notions of the Person -- Part Three: Changing Life Histories -- Andrew Strathern, A Turn of the Rope: Two Life-Histories from Mount Hagen -- Lisette Josephides, Kewa Portraits: A Different Kind of Biography -- Part Four: Local Recasting of Christianity -- Anna Paini, HMI Samoa and HMI Oui-oui: Local Recasting of Christianity by Lifuans (Loyalty Islands) -- Monique Jeudy-Ballini, Appropriating the Other: A Case study from New Britain -- Part Five: Experiencing Outside Worlds -- Ronald Adams, Tannese Cultural Journeys -- Allen Abramson, The Articulation of Property and Non-Property Relations in Land in the Interior of ‘Big Fiji': The Fate of the Particularising Relation -- Elfriede Hermann, Deeply Felt Knowledge: Integrating Thoughts and Emotions in Knowing the Past -- Brigit Obrist van Eeuwijk, Responses of Kwanga Women to Intrusion into the Female Realm -- Beatriz Moral, Chuukese Women's Status: Traditional and Modern Elements -- Part Six: Appropriating New Forms of Knowledge -- Pierre Lemonnier, Showing the Invisible. Violence and Politics among the Ankave-Anga (Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea) -- Milan Stanek & Florence Weiss, Big Man and Big Woman in the Village -- Elite in the Town -- Erik Venbrux, Why do the Tiwi want a New Township? A Case Study of Australian Aboriginal Brokers and the Politics of ‘Development' -- Barbara Lüem, Tinpis Running in Tuvalu: Reactions to Video as a New Medium: A Case Study -- Ingjerd Hoem, Staging a Political Challenge: The Story of Tokelau Te Ata -- Part Seven: Epilogue -- Marilyn Strathern, The New Modernities

View More



Verena Keck Institute of Ethnology,University of Heidelberg