Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Changing Contexts, Shifting MeaningsTransformations of Cultural Traditions in Oceania$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Elfriede Hermann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833664

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833664.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Naming and Memory on Tanna, Vanuatu

Naming and Memory on Tanna, Vanuatu

Chapter:
(p.141) Naming and Memory on Tanna, Vanuatu
Source:
Changing Contexts, Shifting Meanings
Author(s):

Lamont Lindstrom

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833664.003.0009

This chapter investigates notions of time and history on Tanna—an island in today's Vanuatu—as these inform island-naming practices. Tanna's personal and toponym systems are intimately connected. Each personal name cues some particular place, and vice versa. Recycled personal and place names suggest a static temporality, but there is a tension on Tanna between stasis and cycles, on the one hand, and change on the other—a tension between eternity and history. Enlightenment understandings of progressive time began to leach into Tanna from 1774 onwards, when Cook arrived with a ship's calendar. But one can also discern in island myth and cosmology other concepts of revolutionary time and social transformation that flank more static notions of timeless social reproduction. Expectations of historical transformation, therefore, are not necessarily exogenous to the island. On one level, the system pretends to eternal stasis and continual social reproduction—the same places, the same people, endure from century to century. On another level, however, history may rewrite eternity. People reinvent themselves and their island by inscribing new names (on their land and on themselves) which remark and memorialize novel and unique historical events that themselves then become part of stereotypically reproduced island memory.

Keywords:   Tanna, island naming, Vanuatu, toponym, island memory, names

Hawaii Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.