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Nights of StorytellingA Cultural History of Kanaky-New Caledonia$
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Raylene Ramsay

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832223

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832223.001.0001

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Colonial Representations of Kanak Culture

Colonial Representations of Kanak Culture

(p.131) Chapter Ten Colonial Representations of Kanak Culture
Nights of Storytelling
Raylene Ramsay
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter presents extracts from the works of Georges Baudoux and Jean Mariotti. The first translated extract is taken from Baudoux's collection of stories and legends, Légendes Canaques, first published in 1928. This collection is to some extent autobiographical and the response of the young French man is a reflection of the author's own youthful, Eurocentric attitude to Kanak myths, the skeptical attitude of a young man sure of the superiority of his own culture and dismissive of the values of the cultural “Other.” Between 1929 and 1942 Mariotti worked on three publications now referred to as “The Trilogy of Poindi.” The three works follow the adventures of a father, Poindi, and son, Aïni, as they unwittingly become participants in a series of mystical and mythological episodes, each of which has its origin in Kanak legends. The translated extract is an incident from the first of these books, which occurs after Poindi has been hunting and has given the sorcerers a bird that suddenly becomes half bird, half fish.

Keywords:   colonization, France, French colony, New Caledonia, Georges Baudoux, Jean Mariotti, Kanak culture

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