Unfolding the Moon: Enacting Women's Kastom in Vanuatu

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Overview

Unfolding the Moon is a lucid and engaging account of a quiet but crucial transformation in the status of women in Vanuatu. In the first decades after independence in 1980, kastom - ingenous knowledge and practice - became a key marker of ni-Vanuatu identity. Long used as a unifying force against the Anglo-French expatriates by leaders of the independence movement, kastom was almost entirely concerned with men: women were effectively excluded from participating in arts festivals, cultural programs, and other new national events. Then in 1991 the Vanuatu Cultural Centre initiated a project that focused on women's knowledge and skill in producing plaited pandanus textiles (mats) on the island of Ambae in north Vanuatu. This acknowledgment that "women have kastom too," widely welcomed by rural ni-Vanuatu, was an important step in establishing women's kastom.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824825355
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 History/Kastom 1
2 Kastom in the National Arena 26
3 Women without Kastom 51
4 Ples 67
5 Ambae: On Being a Person of the Place 78
6 Plaiting: "The Reason That Women Came into the World" 106
7 Dyeing: Designs, Power, Status 130
8 Making Textiles into Kastom 152
Conclusion: Women with Kastom 183
Epilogue 193
Notes 197
Glossary 205
Bibliography 209
Index 223
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