The Other Side: Ways of Being and Place in Vanuatu
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256pp. July 2008
The Other Side: Ways of Being and Place in Vanuatu
Author: Taylor, John Patrick;
The Other Side is the first major ethnographic and historical study of the Sia Raga people of north Pentecost Island, a region that was home to the late Father Walter Lini, Vanuatu’s first prime minister. Exploring Raga social, spatial, and historical consciousness, this richly poetic account provides important theoretical contributions to ongoing debates in Pacific anthropology about the relation between structure and history, and place and time. It reveals important insights into the convergence of indigenous and exogenous cosmologies and hegemonies historically, and shows how these are implicated in contemporary social, ritual, and material cultural expressions. These analyses engage with broader concerns relating to colonial and postcolonial identities, political economy, and globalization in island Melanesia.

The Other Side combines original and substantial ethnography with sophisticated theoretical reflection that will appeal broadly across the field of anthropology. It will also be of considerable value to scholars of Pacific and Melanesian history, politics, and society. The clear writing and entertaining narrative combine to create a work that is accessible to a wide audience. The volume’s critical and reflective analysis of anthropological research makes it a valuable teaching aid in courses that focus on ethnographic methods and writing. Students in Pacific anthropology will find it especially useful.

37 illus., 3 maps
Pacific Islands Monograph Series, No. 22
Published in association with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i
"A superb and insightful account of the life of a modern-day Melanesian society." —Pacific Affairs (83:2, June 2010)
Author: Taylor, John Patrick;
John Patrick Taylor is a Simon Research Fellow at the University of Manchester.
Read the prologue (PDF).
Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Prologue: Ways of the Place

Part One: Intimate Histories
1. Locating the Anthropologist, Defining the Field
2. The Story of Jimmy
3. The Ways of the Land-Tree: Sia Raga Cosmography

Part Two: Intimations of Structure
4. Fluid Technologies: Paths of Relationship, Spirals of Exchange
5. Shifting Habitats and Dynamics of Space: Gender and the Sacred in Sia Raga Social Practice
6. Sia Raga Architectonics: Knowledge and Agency of Houses

Epilogue: And Still They Go to the Moon

Notes

Glossary

References

Index




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