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Changing Contexts, Shifting MeaningsTransformations of Cultural Traditions in Oceania$
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Elfriede Hermann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833664

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833664.001.0001

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Beyond the Beach?

Beyond the Beach?

Re-articulating the Limen in Oceanic Pasts, Presents, and Futures

Chapter:
(p.56) Beyond the Beach?
Source:
Changing Contexts, Shifting Meanings
Author(s):

Margaret Jolly

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833664.003.0004

This chapter begins with the author's recollection of reading Greg Dening's Readings/Writings in the summer of 1999. She retells this story not just to pay homage to Dening and his apical importance in the genealogy of those who have been exploring similar questions in Oceania, but to pose the problem of the relation between embodied experiences and encounters on the many beaches of Oceania and the central values that suffuse Dening's concept of “the beach, a limen where everyday understandings are displaced, where crossings occur, cross-cultural even transcultural encounters, where the exchange of bodies and meanings subverts taken-for-granted understandings and creates the potential for profound and mutual transformation.” The chapter then considers the story of two indigenous beach crossers, privileged in most retellings of cross-cultural encounters in the Pacific, Mai and Tupaia. These two Polynesian men were not only central to Dening's narratives in his 2004 book Beach Crossings, they have also become icons in their crossing of that space between the Oceanic and the European worlds of the late 1700s.

Keywords:   Greg Dening, beaches, Oceania, embodied encounters, beach crossings, Polynesian men

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