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Dancing from the HeartMovement, Gender, and Sociality in the Cook Islands$
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Kalissa Alexeyeff

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832445

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832445.001.0001

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Over the Reef

Over the Reef

Dance in a Time of Transition

(p.147) Chapter Six Over the Reef
Dancing from the Heart

Kalissa Alexeyeff

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter explores what the diaspora means for those residing in the islands. In doing so, it builds on Epeli Hauʻofa's insights that relationships across the Pacific diaspora are more complex than suggested by orthodox economic models, which characterize Islander economies as being based on the one-way flow of goods and money from abroad to home. This formulation neglects the importance of reciprocity and interdependence in exchange relations across the diaspora. What Islanders at home may lack in money, they make up for by the maintenance of homelands and through gifts of locally produced food, goods, and expressive forms. Furthermore, the connection between expressive forms, affect, and economics is highly significant to the Cook Islands diaspora. This nexus points to an alternative economic system in which global economic imperatives are embedded within local forms of social exchange, of which affect and expressive forms are integral components.

Keywords:   expressive forms, expressive practices, Cook Islands diaspora, Pacific diaspora, exchange relations, social exchange, alternate economic systems

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