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Samoan Wedding, and: No. 2 (review)

Samoan Wedding, and: No. 2 (review) The chair is a constant ghostly presence: it doesn't speak, but it is quoted from often. It represents a family position: the burden of a title, the warmth of a family, it has a confessional symbolism that connects it with the spirit world, a silent wisdom handed down from the previous songmakers. The play begins with a chant, one of creation, the cosmogony of Sämoa, out of the vanimonimo (the space that appears and disappears, outer space)--that space between (as Wendt describes the va in "Towards a New Oceania"), and which other theorists have labeled the differend (The Differend, Jean-François Lyotard, 1998), the third space (The Location of Culture, Homi Bhabha, 1994), or liminality. The chair is a representation of the va--a cultural space; it emits an energy that the family itself expresses through such mediums as song and storytelling. The lineage the chair represents is an anchor, both for spirits like a taulaaitu, and for the family. For instance, in the playscript when Pese finds out about Lillo's child, he hugs himself in the chair; thus we see its role as refuge. The three-quarter staging of the Kumu Kahua production emphasized the silent significance of the chair. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

Samoan Wedding, and: No. 2 (review)

The Contemporary Pacific , Volume 19 (2) – Aug 13, 2007

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 University of Hawai'i Press. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1527-9464
Publisher site
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Abstract

The chair is a constant ghostly presence: it doesn't speak, but it is quoted from often. It represents a family position: the burden of a title, the warmth of a family, it has a confessional symbolism that connects it with the spirit world, a silent wisdom handed down from the previous songmakers. The play begins with a chant, one of creation, the cosmogony of Sämoa, out of the vanimonimo (the space that appears and disappears, outer space)--that space between (as Wendt describes the va in "Towards a New Oceania"), and which other theorists have labeled the differend (The Differend, Jean-François Lyotard, 1998), the third space (The Location of Culture, Homi Bhabha, 1994), or liminality. The chair is a representation of the va--a cultural space; it emits an energy that the family itself expresses through such mediums as song and storytelling. The lineage the chair represents is an anchor, both for spirits like a taulaaitu, and for the family. For instance, in the playscript when Pese finds out about Lillo's child, he hugs himself in the chair; thus we see its role as refuge. The three-quarter staging of the Kumu Kahua production emphasized the silent significance of the chair.

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Aug 13, 2007

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