2019-02-07Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/20705
The female voice in Pasifika poetry
An exploration of “hybrid” identities in the Pacific diaspora
Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Histories of colonialism and migration have led to a wide variety of cultural identities in the Pacific diaspora. Afakasi in Samoan, hafekasi in Tongan, hapa in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi are all used to describe “half-caste” Pacific Islander identities of mixed heritage. This article analyses themes of hybrid diasporic identity in poems by Karlo Mila, Grace Teuila Taylor, Selina Tusitala Marsh and the late Teresia K. Teaiwa. Special focus is put on issues of “finding oneself” and the struggles of reconciling “traditional” and modern-day female roles. The following perspectives inform this exploration: hybrid Pasifika identities constitute themselves in culturally specific differences, yet are connected in their pan-Pacific similarities; poetry is used to express these identities and social roles in the Pacific diaspora, particularly regarding academia and motherhood; and a cultural tradition of orality and storytelling emphasizes the significance of turning writing into spoken performance.
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This article was supported by the Open Access Publication Fund of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.