The Tongan Art of Sociospatial Relations
In Marking Indigeneity, Tevita O. Ka‘ili examines the conflicts and reconciliation of indigenous time-space within the Tongan community in Maui, as well as within the time-space of capitalism. Using indigenous theory, he provides an ethnography of the social relations of the highly mobile Tongans.
Focusing on tauhi va, Ka‘ili notes certain examples of this time marking: the faikava gatherings that last from sunset to sunrise, long eating gatherings, long conversations (talanoa), the all-night funeral wakes, and the early arrival to and late departure from meetings and celebrations. Ka‘ili also describes the performing art of tauhi va, which creates symmetry through the performance of social duties (fatongia). This gives rise to powerful feelings of warmth, elation, and honor among the performers. Marking Indigeneity offers an ethnography of the extension of time-space that is rooted in ancient Moana oral traditions, thoughtfully illustrating the continuation of these traditions.
“Marking Indigeneity is a book that Oceania scholars can read for new leads and insights, and researchers of spatiotemporal arrangement for an indigenous model of a topic for which anthropology sometimes struggles to discover a language.”—suomen antropologi
“Marking Indigeneity is a welcome addition to the literature on migration and transnationalism…It is important to remember that anthropological work can also help readers from the culture they study, something Ka‘ili has accomplished in this book.”—The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology
“Ka‘ili reiterates the crucial and redressing role of methods and theoretical contributions by indigenous research(ers) through talk, language, and co-production of knowledge with fieldwork participants, all while negotiating that which he is exploring: the co-production of social space.”—Ping-Ann Addo, author of Creating a Nation with Cloth
“A penetrating study of how Tongans conceptualize and enact tauhi va, the maintenance of positive social relationships. This outstanding book will be of interest to readers of cultural anthropology, indigenous studies, and Pacific studies.”—Susan U. Philips, Professor Emerita, University of Arizona