Accepted Paper:

Evolution and institutional re-appropriation of the rahui on the atoll of Fakarava in the Tuamotu Arpchipelago: From a traditional management to moderns' models  

Author:

Lorin Thorax (Université de Neuchâtel)

Paper Short Abstract:

The paper I intend to present will address the evolution of the rahui on the atoll of Fakarava in the Tuamotu Archipelago (French Polynesia). I will show how the concepts and the practices of the rahui are, on this atoll like any others, related to the specificity of the topography and the environment of the world in which the population lives.

Paper long abstract:

The paper I intend to present will address the evolution of the rahui on the atoll of Fakarava in the Tuamotu Archipelago (French Polynesia). On the basis of a fieldwork I completed in Fakarava during four months to realize my finalpaper for the Ethnology Institut of the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), I will show how the concepts and the practices of the rahui are, on this atoll like any others, related to the specificity of the topography and the environment of the world in which the population lives. Therefore, the way natural resources are dealt with relates to models of exploitation entirely associated to the environmental particularities. If the local rahui was above all a sea matter and had important sacred dimension before the coming of Europeans and the implementation of coconuts grove for coprah, it slowly became dependant of the land element before to be abandoned for a sedentary life imposed by the colonial constraints. Currently a new tool used by governmental institutions in order to sensibilize the populations to the preservation of the ecosystem, the rahui also regulates the access to natural wealth. I can be specific, spatial or temporary but not "sacred" anymore. This modern re-appropriation works as a system of regulation at the level of the country. Yet this new form and conception of the rahui forgets the ecological, social and traditional specificities, in brief, the local specificities of the population living of the exploitation of their natural resources.

Panel P43
Rahui and local organizations in Polynesia