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Cultural Crossings / À la croisée des cultures

Negotiating Identities in Francophone and Anglophone Pacific Literatures / De la négociation des identités dans les littératures francophones et anglophones du Pacifique


Edited By Raylene Ramsay

Hitherto undiscovered yet fundamental historical and literary texts from the Pacific provide the subject matter of this collection of essays which sets out to explore the new forms of writing and hybrid identities emerging from both past and contemporary cultural contact and exchange in the ‘South Seas’.
This is also a weaving of the connections between Francophone and Anglophone writers long separated by colonial history. Luis Cardoso, writing in Portuguese from East Timor offers further points of contrast. The places of encounter – the beaches of Tahiti, the retelling of the texts of oral tradition, indigenous mastery of writing and appropriation of Western technology, the construction of contemporary Pacific anthologies or emerging post-colonial writing and translation – are sites of interaction and mixing that also involve negotiations of mana or power. From Pierre Loti’s mythical and feminised Tahitians to Déwé Gorodé’s silenced women, the outcomes of such negotiations are dynamic and different syncretisms. Two chapters reexamine the theoretical concept of hybridity from these Pacific perspectives.
Les articles publiés dans le présent recueil explorent les nouvelles formes d’écriture et les identités hybrides issues du creuset des Mers du Sud. Relativement inconnus, les textes au cœur de ces articles n’en sont pas moins les œuvres fondatrices de la région du Pacifique Sud dont ils constituent la trame historique et littéraire.
Longtemps tenus à l’écart les uns des autres par l’histoire coloniale de la région, les textes d’auteurs francophones et anglophones s’enchevêtrent et se recoupent en de multiples domaines. La reprise des textes de tradition orale, l’appropriation autochtone des technologies occidentales, la création d’anthologies contemporaines et l’émergence d’une littérature postcoloniale, sont autant de sites d’interactions et de convergence qui exigent une négociation permanente entre les pouvoirs et mana en présence.
C’est une nouvelle facette du concept d’hybridité que nous proposent ces études de la région Pacifique.


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Sacrifices from Afar. Tahiti and Europe 25


Sacrifices from Afar Tahiti and Europe Anne SALMOND University of Auckland In about the year 1760, a priest named Vaita stood on a beach at Ra'iatea in the Society Islands, gazing at the ruins of a stone temple. Several days earlier warriors from the nearby island of Borabora had attacked Taputapuatea marae, killing the high chief and desecrating this famous temple, the headquarters of the `arioi cult, worshippers of the god `Oro. In their fury the invading warriors had rampaged across the marae, smashing the carved boards where the gods alighted during the ceremonies, wrecking the face atua or god house where the image of `Oro was kept; and chopping down the sacred trees that shaded the temple — a portal between Te Ao, the everyday world of people, and Te Po, the dark world of gods and spirits. As the priest looked about him in despair, the god entered his body. His limbs twisted strangely, and his eyes became wild and staring as he chanted: The glorious children of Te Tumu Will come and see this forest at Taputapuatea Their body is different, our body is different We are one species only from Te Tumu. And this land will be taken by them The old rules will be destroyed And the sacred birds of the land and the sea Will also arrive here Will come and lament Over that which this lopped tree has to teach They are coming up on a canoe without an outrigger.' Driessen, 1982: 8-9; Tahitian...

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