Staying Fijian: Vatulele Island Barkcloth and Social Identity

By: Rod Ewins

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Barkcloth, or masi, is the traditional art form of the women of Vatulele Island. Its manufacture continues to flourish, even increase, while many other arts are declining, despite the fact that most of its functional roles have been usurped by Western cloth and paper. This book explores this apparent paradox and concludes that the reasons lie in the ability of its identity functions to buffer the effects of social stress. This is so for not only Vatuleleans but all Fijians. It is argued that the resultant strong indigenous demand has caused the efflorescence in barkcloth manufacture and use, contrary to the common assumption that the tourism market is the savior of art. This cultural vigor, however, has social costs that are explored here and weighed against its benefits. Rod Ewins locates a very local activity in both national and global contexts, historically, sociologically, and theoretically.

Title: Staying Fijian: Vatulele Island Barkcloth and Social Identity

Author Name: Rod Ewins

Categories: Anthropology HC,

Publisher: Univ of Hawaii Pr: July 2009

ISBN Number: 0824831128

ISBN Number 13: 9780824831127

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Used - Very Good

Seller ID: 367393