2009: Lotu, Tabu, Tikanga

Kia ora!
Welcome to Tamaki Makaurau
Land of the Ngati Whatua People

Talanoa Oceania 2009 will provide opportunities for presentations on three significant island concepts: Lotu, Tabu, and Tikanga.  These concepts have multiple meanings in the various languages of the islands of Oceania:


·         Lotu can mean 'religion, church, pray[er], worship' and so forth.  Presentations on this concept may address some significant aspects of our native belief systems and world-views, or issues that relate to religious diversity, religious intolerance, and the challenges of lotu to islanders in diaspora.

·         Tabu (tapu, taboo) can mean 'to prohibit, forbid' or 'sacred, holy.'  Presentations may focus on the relevance (and irrelevance) of cultural tabu to diasporic and overseas-born islanders, and address issues that confront diasporic communities such as sexuality, HIV/AIDS, and so forth.

·         Tikanga is Maori for 'correct, right, way, custom, code'; tikanga Pasifika can mean 'Pacific ways' which includes 'fakaTonga,' 'faaSamoa,' 'vakaViti,' and so forth.  Presentations may focus on the question of culture and identity amongst others.

Presentations were also encouraged to address the challenges of global warming and our drifting generations, the realities of dispersion, diaspora and cultural confusions, in relation to vaious areas of interest to PIs, such as:

§ art, handicraft & body-art

§ poetry, lyrics & rhythms

§ performance, dance & storytelling

§ Pacific, oceanic & indigenous studies

§ academic, theological & island disciplines

§ ministerial, cultural & ethnic praxis

§ and so forth



Support for 2009 Gathering



Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland (http://www.arts.auckland.ac.nz/departments/index.cfm?S=D_PACIFIC)

School of Theology, University of Auckland (http://www.theology.auckland.ac.nz/)


Trinity Methodist Theological College (http://www.tcol.ac.nz )





[1] When someone from the South Seas tells (talanoa) a talanoa (story), it is not just about sharing information and entertaining listeners. A talanoa also has to do with locating identity (in space and in relationships), with offering instructions (to listeners), with explaining struggles and journeys, with customs and rituals, with hope and more. Sharing of talanoa can also make storytellers and their people vulnerable, as if they have become telenoa (Samoan: naked), so it is a sharing that needs to be offered and received responsibly.