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TitleTelling Pacific Lives: Prisms of Process
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Table of Contents
                            Telling Pacific Lives
Table of Contents
Preface
Telling Pacific Lives: From Archetype to Icon
	Acknowledgements
The Kila Wari Stories: Framing a Life and Preserving a Cosmology
	Genealogy as Wealth and Preface
	Meeting Kila Wari
	Telling the Battles of Kila Wari with Some Contributions from Western History
	The Death of Kila Wari
	The View from the Other Side: A Babaka Story
	Myth, History, and Existence: Some Concluding Remarks
	Acknowledgements
From ‘My Story’ to ‘The Story of Myself’—Colonial Transformations of Personal Narratives among the Motu-Koita of Papua New Guinea
	Motu-Koita Mythopoeia
	Representing Tatana
	Bobby Gaigo’s Story
	Law, History and Autobiography
Mobility, Modernisation and Agency: The Life Story of John Kikang from Papua New Guinea
	Methods and Materials
	Chronology
	Dialogue
	Final Remarks
Surrogacy and the Simulacra of Desire in Heian Japanese Women’s Life Writing
‘The Story that Came to Me’: Gender, Power and Life History Narratives—Reflections on the Ethics of Ethnography in Fiji
A Tartan Clan in Fiji: Narrating the Coloniser ‘Within’ the Colonised
	A Culture of Forgetting
	Background to a Colonial ‘Problem’
		European Assimilation
		Race Mixing and the Blended Child in a Colonial State
		Narrating the Coloniser ‘Within’ the Colonised
	An American Tartan Clan in Fiji
Telling Lives in Tuvalu
My History: My Calling
	Mission History
	Family Background
	1963-1968 Te Po o Tefolaha — Departure Day!
	The Trip to Tarawa
	First School
	The Nuns and Te Buaka
	Immaculate Heart College, Taborio
	Conversion—First Signs
	Changes in the Church
	Tarawa Teachers’ College
	1969-1972—First Teaching Experience
	Conversion to the Catholic Church
	Why I Became a Catholic
	The Novitiate: 1972-1975
Researching, (W)riting, Releasing, and Responses to a Biography of Queen Salote of Tonga
On Being a Participant Biographer: The Search for J.W. Davidson
‘You Did What, Mr President!?!?’ Trying to Write a Biography of Tosiwo Nakayama
	Postscript:
Telling the Life of A.D. Patel
On Writing a Biography of William Pritchard
Writing the Colony: Walter Edward Gudgeon in the Cook Islands, 1898 to 1909
An Accidental Biographer? On Encountering, Yet Again, the Ideas and Actions of J.W. Burton
E.W.P. Chinnery: A Self-Made Anthropologist
	A Biography of Chinnery
	Colonial Government
	Helping and Understanding
	Chinnery at Cambridge
	Return to Papua
	Government Anthropologist
Lives Told: Australians in Papua and New Guinea
	Bibliography
	Biographies Published since December 2005
Biography of a Nation: Compiling a Historical Dictionary of the Solomon Islands
	Volume One
	Volume Two
		Committee
		Solomon Star and SIBC
		National Competition
		Funding
		Publication and Editing
		Referees and Overseas Contributors
		National Library
		The Pitfalls of Writing Entries
	Conclusion
Notes on Contributors
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Telling Pacific lives
PRISMS OF PROCESS

Page 158

This was not the case with the late King. It took some years for me to realise
that although he had kindly provided me with a letter giving me permission to
do research, he was simply not interested in what I was doing, or in anything
about the past. He was sure he was more intelligent, better educated,
higher-ranking, more interesting, and altogether had more of everything than
the late Queen, and he could not understand why people were interested in her
when he was there to be admired. Was he jealous of the love and respect people
had for her?

I was fortunate that when I suffered ‘culture shock’ in 1976, Epeli Hau‘ofa,
who had just returned to Tonga from Canberra and was being very bolshie
(wearing a black beard and a kaftan made of mattress ticking), was writing his
best short stories, and would read them to his wife, Barbara, and me and other
friends in the evenings. Another guide along the way was a Danish man known
as Tavi, who had lived in Tonga since 1953 and had privileged access to the
Palace. His cynical view of Tonga, which had been the paradise of my childhood,
was a great corrective.

Best of all was being introduced by Tonga’s best-known fakaleiti to his
grandmother, a woman of high rank, who loved talking about the old days.
Twice a week I visited her and (without my taking notes) we had wide-ranging
conversations. As soon as I returned to my place, I would type out everything
I could remember her saying. I could check some omissions on my next visit.
Alas, as a postgraduate student, I did not have the money to have her wonderful
collection of photographs copied.

After the PhD thesis was submitted and approved, I was really burnt out,
and wanted to do something else for a while. That was possibly a mistake, but
at the time I was happy to become a freelance book editor and indexer and write
occasional papers on Tonga for conferences and publication.

At last, in 1994 and 1995, I was awarded two fellowships in New Zealand,
which enabled me to do further research and writing. My thesis had covered
only the years 1918-41. Although I had incidentally researched much of the
remainder of her life and times, I had many gaps to fill, which was possible
through papers, books, and theses in the University of Auckland Library, and
the archives in Auckland and Christchurch of the New Zealand Methodist Church.
Queen Salote was, and her grandson now is, the only Methodist monarch in the
world.

In an early draft of the book, the first two chapters had described the
hierarchical structure of Tongan society in much detail. Then I thought: ‘The
papalangis won’t be interested in all this detail, and the Tongans know it already’.
Then I remembered the question people in Australia always asked me: ‘Where
is Tonga?’ So I started the book by answering that question. Salote was born in
a palace beside the sea, within a town about a mile square. Beyond the town

144

Page 159

were the villages and allotments and the chiefs and people who lived there. Then
there were all the other islands of Tonga, then Samoa and Fiji, and the rest of
the Pacific, until I reached the ends of the earth.

I believe in following a chronological line as far as is reasonable, so once the
scene was set, past history summarised, and a brief account of the social ranking
systems given, I was able to structure the book so that chronologically the
narrative moved on while each chapter dealt with a different theme. Fixing the
structure of the book was the most satisfying experience.

At the end of 1995, I returned home to Melbourne with a complete book:
long and somewhat doughy. In the next 18 months I rewrote the whole book,
keeping the structure, but with a lighter tone, bearing in mind my audience:
the Tongans themselves and anyone who knew enough about Tonga to be
interested. I deliberately avoided academic jargon (a decision made also, but
independently, by two of my colleagues: Helen Morton Lee and Cathy Small)
in favour of simple language.

Many times people told me how they had been in the crowd in London when
this wonderful Queen Salote rode by in a carriage with the hood down in spite
of the rain so she could share the excitement of the people who had waited all
night and all day to see the procession. A man in Rotorua, New Zealand, gave
me a cutting about Queen Salote at the coronation that he had kept for 40 years.
As the Queen had attracted attention before Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation by
her obvious enjoyment of everything she witnessed and her friendliness to all
she met, it was not surprising that the coronation edition of the Daily Express
included a diagram of Westminster Abbey, showing the seat allocated to Queen
Salote (only a few of the invited guests were so distinguished). Salote had been
18 years old when she had been crowned in the royal chapel in Tonga, so it is
not surprising that she empathised with the young Queen of England then
making her coronation vows.

My major ‘conclusions’ were (1) that Salote was a very intelligent person,
very shrewd, and very good with people; (2) that Salote had not always been
beloved and secure in her position as Queen; (3) that her allies (both Tongan and
papalangi), especially her consort, were totally committed in their loyalty to her.

I was concerned about some things that were common knowledge, but I could
not decide how to handle. I consulted a high-ranking chiefly woman who
encouraged me by saying, ‘It is time to tell the truth’.

One example of a truth that needed to be told related to the Queen’s half-sister,
Princess Fusipala, daughter of Tupou II’s second marriage (Salote’s mother having
died when Salote was only two years old). Princess Fusipala’s mother’s family
set up a rival court in Tonga, and did everything they could to enhance the
status of Fusipala and diminish that of Salote. Eventually the half-sister died, in

145

Page 315

Index

301

Tupou Moheofo 4
Turner, Ann 278
Turner, WY 42
Tuza, Frank, 256
Tyler, Royall 72, 77
Underwood, Malcolm 152
Underwood, Polly 249
Usher, Leonard 183-185
Vainu�upo, Malietoa 198, 203
Vairuarangi, Panapa 209
Vakatani, Makea Daniela 208
Varghese, Margaret 151
Vial, Lee 255
Vivekananda, Swami 191
Voss, Ida 243, 257
Vuza, Jacob 279
Waiko, John 256
Waiko, Bob 256
Wala Iga 17
Waley, Arthur 72
Walo Kalawa 21, 24
Wari Lui Kila Rupa 19�
Warinumani Lui 18
Washington, Captain John 196
Waterhouse, Rev John 5
Watkins, Rev JB 142
Weate, M, 248
Wedgewood, Camilla 253, 255
Wendt, Albert 198
Wesley, John 8
West, Francis 227, 231
Weston, Olive 249
Weston, QVL 192-193
Wetherell, David 251, 253
White, Eireen 188
Whitlam, Gough 139
Whitrod, Ray 254
Whitty, Albert 209
Williams, FE 40�, 227, 254
Williams, Henry 5
Williams, John 5, 6, 9, 198, 215
Wilson, Bp 282
Wol�, Michael 155, 156, 160
Wood, Margaret 257
Wood-Ellem, Elizabeth 9
Woodburn, Susan 152
Woodford, Comm. 288
Woodhouse, Jena 72
Woodward, Jack 248
Workman, Res. Comm. 290
Wright, Eric 255
Wulf, Charles 52

Yali 255
Young, Florence 287, 288
Young, Michael 254
Zoleveke, Gideon 279

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