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Gender and Globalization in Asia and the PacificMethod, Practice, Theory$
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Kathy E. Ferguson and Monique Mironesco

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831592

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831592.001.0001

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Telling Tales Out of School

Telling Tales Out of School

Sia Figiel and Indigenous Knowledge in Pacific Islands Literature

Chapter:
(p.15) Chapter 2 Telling Tales Out of School
Source:
Gender and Globalization in Asia and the Pacific
Author(s):

Judith Raiskin

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824831592.003.0002

This chapter examines the atavistic elements of colonial mythmaking and the intransigence of the fantasies continuing to influence both the imaginations of Americans and Europeans and the lives of Pacific Islanders in Sia Figiel's novel, where we once belonged (1996). The novel focuses not on the visitors to Samoa and their difficulty of belonging, but on the social discomforts of Samoans themselves, who live between traditional and modern performances of identity and community. The character Siniva voices the fury of the intellectual who, educated by the colonial machine, sees beyond the advantages offered her as an administrator of that machine (as a teacher, bureaucrat, professional) and becomes instead a critic of colonialism on behalf of her people, who reject the criticism as madness.

Keywords:   colonial mythmaking, Sia Figiel, Samoa, Pacific Islands literature, Pacific Islands, social discomfort, colonialism

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