This chapter begins with the author's recollection of reading Greg Dening's Readings/Writings in the summer of 1999. She retells this story not just to pay homage to Dening and his apical importance in the genealogy of those who have been exploring similar questions in Oceania, but to pose the problem of the relation between embodied experiences and encounters on the many beaches of Oceania and the central values that suffuse Dening's concept of “the beach, a limen where everyday understandings are displaced, where crossings occur, cross-cultural even transcultural encounters, where the exchange of bodies and meanings subverts taken-for-granted understandings and creates the potential for profound and mutual transformation.” The chapter then considers the story of two indigenous beach crossers, privileged in most retellings of cross-cultural encounters in the Pacific, Mai and Tupaia. These two Polynesian men were not only central to Dening's narratives in his 2004 book Beach Crossings, they have also become icons in their crossing of that space between the Oceanic and the European worlds of the late 1700s.
|Title of host publication||Changing Contexts, Shifting Meanings: Transformations of Cultural Traditions in Oceania|
|Place of Publication||Honolulu USA|
|Publisher||University of Hawaii Press|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|