Landscape of Peace
Mechanisms of Social Control on Lamotrek Atoll, Micronesia
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Kerstin Werle’s work is based upon a year of fieldwork on Lamotrek and Yap, belonging to a group of islands with a matrilineal culture. Although a trend to the lifestyle of the Western world can be found everywhere on the islands, traditional customs, a gendered division of labour, and subsistence techniques prevail. Kerstin Werle carried out her research according to classical anthropological methods, supplementing the available specialist literature on the widespread Micronesian atolls with a valuable overview. Her book shows how the ideal of an old and wise woman, contained in the cultural symbol lavalava, is faced with a young society. Due to the extremely limited space on the small atolls, individual plots of land have become historically, culturally, and emotionally significant places, all of which have been ascribed their own individual character. With the help of these personalized places, people on Lamotrek pursue local politics.
The AuthorKerstin Werle has studied sociology and cultural anthropology with a focus on India and Micronesia. Currently, she is living in Breisach and working as a freelance writer.