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Greed and GrievanceEx-Militants' Perspectives on the Conflict in Solomon Islands, 1998-2003$
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Matthew G. Allen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838546

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838546.001.0001

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Kastom, Class, and Colonization

Kastom, Class, and Colonization

(p.61) Chapter 3 Kastom, Class, and Colonization
Greed and Grievance

Matthew G. Allen

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter provides the context for the voices of ex-militants by situating Malaita and Guadalcanal in the socioeconomic and political history of Solomon Islands from the early contact period. It begins with an overview of the division of Solomon Islanders into producers and laborers and “haves” and “have nots.” It then considers the interrelationships among economic history, politics of identity, and micronationalist movements such as Maasina Rule and the Moro Movement. It also traces the history of Malaitan settlement and labor migration on Guadalcanal and concludes by discussing the emergence of the “cultural phenomenon” of the Masta Liu youth subculture, along with its implications for kastom. It shows that colonization gave rise to artificial boundaries in complete disregard of precolonial affinities and relationships and that the processes of pacification, missionization, and economic development contributed to discourses of regional—as opposed to national—unity.

Keywords:   kastom, Malaita, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, identity, micronationalism, labor migration, Masta Liu, colonization, economic development

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