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Tirawata Irouia: Re-Presenting Banaban Histories

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Item Summary

Title:Tirawata Irouia: Re-Presenting Banaban Histories
Authors:Teaiwa, Katerina
Keywords:Melanesia - Fiji
Micronesia - Kiribati
LC Subject Headings:Banaban(Kiritbati People)--History.
Date Issued:1999
Abstract:With respect to the Banaban phosphate mining case, an Historical review reveals the complex integration of native, foreign, individual and group interests at several economic and political levels. It is amazing how far the phosphate trading empire stretched across the globe and left its stamp on the personal lives of many people, of many kinds, during a century marked by two world wars and rapidly increasing industrial innovations. How small the activities of phosphate islanders must seem at this grand level. How much smaller the voice of one Banaban descendent concerned with these concerns might be in academia. I did not approach the Banaban question in any comparative fashion because I am not ready to ignore my own personal experiences of Banaban History and histories in favor of purely objective, poetic or political analysis. I admit I fall unwillingly into that emerging mass of native voices who just want to tell our own stories" (any way we want). This step towards Banaban scholarship is not an easy task. It is tantamount to stepping off a cliff. I'm still falling and there just seems to be no groundling in this plunge. I'm not proficient enough in academic theory (of any kind) or familiar with every study conducted on a Pacific population to pretend to present something that isn't really just about what I am imagining and responding to on this journey. This paper IS about what I am thinking and the resulting interpretations and reactions often come out in running reels. These are images and words that run as fast as anything would when you're hurtling by at a hundred miles an hour. I then deliberately submit an interpretive lens through which a Banaban history is revealed in all its appropriate disordered entirety, held only together by its pensive gesturing towards the process of "decolonization" that marks much contemporary scholarship within Pacific Studies. In my case, the notions of pity, kawa, and burden, rawata, are convenient tools within the Banaban narrative but I admit up front that my approach leaves room for many more questions than answers. I will play on History and histories to illustrate the contrast between narratives of the dominant, singular "R" kind, usually simplistic and based on "fact," and the ''h'' types which are more complex and disconcerting perspectives. By examining six "representers" I will articulate my own understanding, as a Banaban by blood, of the Banaban past.
Description:Thesis (M.A.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1999
Pacific Islands Studies
Pages/Duration:ix, 132 leaves
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Islands Studies Plan A Masters Theses
M.A. - Pacific Islands Studies

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