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Cultures of CommemorationThe Politics of War, Memory, and History in the Mariana Islands$
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Keith L. Camacho

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835460

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835460.001.0001

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War, Memory, History

(p.1) Introduction
Cultures of Commemoration

Keith L. Camacho

University of Hawai'i Press

This book explores the social construction of World War II memories in the Mariana Islands, and the degree to which remembrance is informed by the politics of colonialism, indigenous cultural agency, and commemoration. Building on the extant ethnographies of war in the Pacific region, the book considers how the interconnections among war, memory, and history resonate among indigenous Chamorros on the one hand and Americans and Japanese on the other. It argues that the complexity of contemporary intra-island relationships across the Marianas can be fully grasped only through an appreciation of the varied and conflicting ways in which different groups of Chamorros experienced World War II. It also examines colonial and indigenous constructions of culture in the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on how colonial loyalties affect intra- and cross-cultural relationships and memories of the war in the Mariana Islands. Finally, it discusses colonial and indigenous efforts to develop “loyalty” and “liberation” as concepts of social control, collective identity, and national belonging.

Keywords:   memory, World War II, Mariana Islands, colonialism, commemoration, history, Chamorros, indigenous cultural agency, loyalty

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