People and Culture in Oceania
Online ISSN : 2433-2194
Print ISSN : 1349-5380
Volume 28
Showing 1-7 articles out of 7 articles from the selected issue
Articles
  • Ryuju Satomi
    2012 Volume 28 Pages 1-22
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 04, 2021
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS
    This study discusses the contemporary dynamics of the notion of kastom among Lau speakers in North Malaita, Solomon Islands. The Lau are known for dwelling on “artificial islands,” massive coral structures constructed in a shallow lagoon. Today, their attitudes toward these artificial islands and their identity as a maritime people are markedly ambivalent, and sometimes explicitly negative, due to concerns about the shortage of gardening land and their subordinate position in the local land tenure. The notion of kastom plays a crucial role here, with its complex, apparently paradoxical relationship with the maritime homes and identities of the Lau. On one hand, under the current ideology of kastom and land, the artificial islands are typically referred to negatively as material evidence of the Lau’s detachment from their ancestral land and kastom. On the other hand, these islands are often seen as embodiments of kastom in its potentially dangerous aspect, particularly in that they house pre-Christian ritual spaces. These apparently contradictory views of the artificial islands combine to create a situation in which Lau identities and homes are continuously called into question in relation to kastom.
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  • Ritsuko Kikusawa
    2012 Volume 28 Pages 23-44
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 04, 2021
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS
    The goal of this paper is to draw attention to the loss of linguistic features found in regional varieties, a major cause of which is standardization. Data from some Malagasy languages—representing just a small portion of their linguistic features—reveal diversity at both micro- and macro-levels. I will present these data with comments on their relevance to the reconstruction of linguistic features in their earlier stages, showing that their loss due to standardization would not only detract from the richness of the languages, the main aspect associated with language loss, but also deprive us of information vital to reconstructing the languages’ earlier stages.
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  • Guido Carlo Pigliasco
    2012 Volume 28 Pages 45-68
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 04, 2021
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS
    This paper is a critical analysis of the rapid changes that have been taking place within the Sawau community on the Island of Beqa, Fiji, over the past ten years. The Fijian firewalking ceremony (vilavilairevo) traditionally performed only by members of the Sawau people is a prime example of a propitiation ritual that has become commodified to suit the requirements of tourism. More recently, the reproduction of tradition among the Sawau and their vilavilairevo practice is causing an unprecedented dogmatic schism between Fiji’s Methodist Church and two Pentecostal churches. Over the last two centuries, the “gift” of firewalking has transmuted itself into a sociocultural tool that has consistently indigenized the power of the foreign, allowing its custodians to locally sustain their community and to gain a reach and respect across the nation and beyond. To disentangle the intertwined topics of tradition and change on the Island of Beqa, and understand whose cultural views and values are being privileged or debased, this paper pays close attention to the Christian cultural dynamics and social tensions surrounding the vilavilairevo created by a denominational opposition swiftly reshaping local notions of heritage, social sentiment, and social capital.
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  • Anton Setyo Nugroho, Miho Fujimura, Tsukasa Inaoka
    2012 Volume 28 Pages 69-86
    Published: 2012
    Released: December 04, 2021
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS
    More than 100 years ago the Indonesian government began a transmigration program (“transmigrasi” in the language of Indonesia) to move landless people from densely populated areas to sparsely populated areas of the country (called the “first migration”). Then, due to population increases and/or catastrophes in the latter areas, migrants moved back to the West Java province, but not to their original areas (called the “secondary migration”). The aims of the present study are to assess migrants’ socioeconomic status (SES), to compare perceptions of environmental conditions in the first and secondary migrations, and to assess migrants’ quality of life (QOL). A survey with a structured questionnaire was conducted in the village of Mekarjaya (a secondary migration area) in order to determine respondents’ socioeconomic status and perceptions of environmental conditions. The WHOQOL-BREF and a Focus Group Discussion supported the data. Research also included a comparative study of transmigrants and non-transmigrants: transmigrants exhibited lower average income, SES, perception of environmental conditions, and QOL than did non-transmigrants.
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