Pacific Voices

Keeping Our Cultures Alive

Miriam Kahn and Erin Younger

  • $30.00s paperback (9780295985503) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 2005
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; History / Western History; Pacific Northwest / Art and Culture
  • Bibliographic information: 200 pp., 185 illus., 90 in color, 7 x 10 in.
  • Published with: Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
  • Contents

The groundbreaking "Pacific Voices" exhibit grew out of a five-year collaborative process that brought together members of Washington State's diverse Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American communities. The exhibition became a vehicle for the expression of a variety of voices exploring sources of cultural identity: objects, rituals, ceremonies, and traditions that both anchor and showcase the ways of life of Pacific Rim communities.

Each of the seventeen chapters highlights a unique cultural object: Rose Dang and Thuy Vu see the Vietnamese incense burner as a vehicle for carrying prayers; 'Iwalani Christian calls the Hawaiian pahu "the voice of the gods"; the Reverend Dean Koyama describes the Japanese obutsudan as an altar for remembering loved ones; and Vi Hilbert presents the Coast Salish river canoe as "a place to learn patience." Each vibrant narrative is accompanied by colorful photographs and illustrations, and helpful sidebars provide historical and contextual information. Taken together, the stories in Pacific Voices provide a fresh perspective on the multicultural world in which we live, as well asvaluable insights into the diverse cultures of the Pacific Rim.

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Miriam Kahn is professor of anthropology at the University of Washington and served as curator-in-charge for the

Introduction: The Objects of Culture / Miriam Kahn
1. Hawaiian Pahu: Voice of the Gods / 'Iwalani Christian
2. Hawaiian Pahu: Foundation of the Hula / Moodette Ka-Apana
3. Samoan Tanoa: A Visible Symbol of Community / Veronica Leasiolagi Barber and Sapina Pele
4. Maori Korowai: Mantle of Status / Aotaumarewa Lorraine Elkington Morehouse
5. Micronesian Canoe: Reminder of a Way of Life / Rokuro Mesiab, with David Hawelmai
6. Vietnamese Incense Burner: Vehicle for Carrying Prayers / Rose Dang and Thuy Vu
7. Lao Khaen: Instrument of Spiritual Nourishment / Khampha Chantharangsy, with Kham Oui Sikhanthat
8. Philippine Santo Nino: Icon of the Holy Child / Jack Buzzard and Marcela Antonia Buzzard
9. Korean Gourd Cups: Symbol of a Perfect Union / Sonia Kim
10. Japanese Obutsudan: Altar to Remember Loved Ones / Reverend Dean Koyama
11. Japanese Taiko: Drum for Learning about Culture / Seattle Matsuri Taiko
12. Chinese New Year Foods: Meals that Bring Families Together / Maxine Chan, with Ron Chew, Donnie Chin, Helen Kay, and Laura Wong-Whitebear
13. Coast Salish Fish Hook: Reminder of the Importance of Salmon / Leonard Forsman
14. Coast Salish Voyaging Canoe: Carrier of the Culture / Peg Deam
15. Coast Salish River Canoe: A Place to Learn Patience / Vi Hilbert
16. Northwest Coast Wolf Headdress: Representatives of Who We Are / George David
17. Inupiaq Umiaq: Symbol of a Way of Life / Larry Ulaaq Ahvakana
Conclusion: Voices Within Our Community / Erin Younger

Suggested Reading
List of Contributors

"Pacific Voices is a beautifully illustrated book. . . . the book's final section, a list of suggested readings on each object, is a welcome aspect of the publication."

"The book celebrates and affirms the sixteen cultures represented in the diverse population of Seattle today and it will be beneficial to professionals and students in ethnic and material culture studies, to member of ethnic groups, and to art enthusiasts..Pacific Voices affords us the sights that accompany the sounds, smells, and experiences of growing up, and growing old, among the people and things that matter to cultural identity."

"Pacific Voices qualifies as a gem. As much as the vivid images, it's the individual voices that come through- of sacredness and laughter, spiritual courage and loss- that make this a book to treasure."
-North Seattle Herald-Outlook