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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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Recovering Custom

Recovering Custom

(p.249) Chapter Eighteen Recovering Custom
Nights of Storytelling
Raylene Ramsay
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter presents extracts from the works of Waia Gorodé, Jean-Marie Tjibaou, and Déwé Gorodé. These include excerpts from Waia's unpublished autobiography, “Mon école du silence” (My school of silence), Tjibaou's 1975 play Kanaké, and Déwé's “ethnographic” stories. Waia's text incorporates characteristics of oral tradition in its allusive, metaphorical qualities and its use of metonymy to avoid any direct reference that might bring about the loss of mana of one's group or ancestors. Tjibaou's play creates striking metaphors of injustice and oppression and a dramatic narrative of misunderstanding of culture difference. Déwé story celebrates her grandfather's house, which she presents as a site of lost tradition but still available to memory and able to promote a certain recovery and affirming of a Kanak view of the world.

Keywords:   Waia Gorodé, Jean-Marie Tjibaou, Déwé Gorodé, Karak culture, New Caledonia

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