Seconding Danny Yee's motion

Sun, 27 Feb 1994 19:29:04 CST

I am more than a little interested in isolated communities and how isolation
shapes a community's world view. I'd be very interested to get some
good references. While I'm at it, let me suggest the perfect comparison with
the Kapingamarangi Atoll case. Juliana Flinn published a book in 1992 entitled
_Diplomas and Thatch Houses_ about the cultural identity of the people of
Pulap Atoll, Micronesians west of Chuuck (formerly Truk). These people were
connected to other islanders in a complex pre-colonial web as part of the
Yapese empire tht included Yap and the atolls of the Western Carolines on
the one hand and with Chuukese in the Chuuk lagoon on the other. After
colonial contact, during this century, their relations to the far west have
dwindled while those in the Chuuk lagoon have greatly expanded. Juliana
shows how the identity of Pulapese has been indellibly shaped by these webs
of relationship. The book uses Murray Chapman's ideas on small population
demography very creatively, and its implications for a regional approach to
doing ethnographic research are enormous. The two cases couldn't be more
opposite--monoculturalism vs. multiculturalism. I see multiculturalism as
the normal condition of life for most of humanity since the time that there
have been human beings. The monoculturals, I think, are and have always been
rare. So you can see why I'm interested in finding other cases.

Mike Lieber