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Tales of the Tikongs PDF 15: A Review of Epeli Hau'ofa's Satirical Stories
If you are looking for a witty and insightful book that exposes the absurdities and injustices of development in the Pacific Islands, you might want to check out Tales of the Tikongs by Epeli Hau'ofa. This book is a collection of six short stories that satirize the impact of colonialism, modernization, and globalization on a fictional island called Tiko. The stories are hilarious, provocative, and poignant, revealing the resilience and creativity of Pacific Islanders in the face of adversity. In this review, I will give you a brief overview of the book and its author, the main themes and messages, and the purpose of this review.
tales of the tikongs pdf 15
The Author and His Background
Epeli Hau'ofa was born in 1939 in Papua New Guinea to Tongan missionary parents. He grew up in Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Fiji, and studied at various universities in Australia, Canada, and Australia. He was a writer, a scholar, a teacher, and a director of the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. He died in 2009 at the age of 70.
The Influence of His Tongan Heritage and Pacific Identity
Hau'ofa's Tongan heritage and Pacific identity influenced his writing style, his choice of topics, and his critique of colonialism and development. He wrote in English, but he also used Tongan words, phrases, proverbs, and jokes to enrich his language and humor. He drew on his own experiences and observations as a Pacific Islander to depict the realities and challenges of life in the region. He also challenged the stereotypes and misconceptions that outsiders have about Pacific Islanders, such as being lazy, ignorant, or helpless. He portrayed them as active agents who can resist, adapt, or subvert the forces that threaten their cultures and environments.
The Book and Its Context
Tales of the Tikongs was first published in 1983 by Mana Publications in Suva, Fiji. It was later reprinted by several publishers in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Denmark. It received positive reviews from critics and readers who praised its humor, originality, and insight. It is widely regarded as a milestone in Pacific literature and a classic example of satire.
The Genre and Style of Satire
Satire is a genre and style of writing that uses humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize the follies or vices of individuals, institutions, or societies. Satire aims to entertain, inform, persuade, or reform its audience by making them laugh at or think about the problems or issues that it addresses. Hau'ofa used satire to convey his messages about development in the Pacific Islands. He used devices such as parody, sarcasm, hyperbole, understatement, irony, or incongruity to mock or expose the absurdity and ineffectiveness of foreign development experts who try to impose their ideas on Tiko; the hypocrisy and manipulation of religious fanatics who exploit the faith and fears of Tikoans; the greed and betrayal of traditional chiefs who sell out their land and people for personal gain; the invasion and destruction of Tiko by tourists and investors who seek exoticism and profit; the escape and survival of cultural rebels who resist assimilation and preserve their identity; and the return and revenge of ancient gods who punish Tikoans for their sins and restore balance to nature.
The Setting and Characters of Tiko Island
Tiko is a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean that serves as the setting for all the stories in Tales of the Tikongs. Tiko is a small island with a population of about 10,000 people. It has a tropical climate with lush vegetation and abundant wildlife. It has a rich culture with its own language, customs, beliefs, arts, music, dances, and legends. It also has a complex history with influences from various colonial powers such as Britain, France, and America. Tiko is facing a tidal wave of D-E-V-E-L-O-P-M-E-N-T that threatens to demolish its ancestral ways and its human spirit.
The characters in Tales of the Tikongs are mostly Tikoans who represent different aspects or segments of Tikoan society. They include Sione Pulu'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u (the longest name on Tiko), who is the head clerk at the Ministry of Works; Ole Pasifikiwei (the old Pacific way), who is an expert on international funding games; Father O'Brian (the Irish priest), who is the leader of a religious sect called The Holy Order of Saint O'Brian; Chief Kaho (the big chief), who is the paramount chief of Tiko; Tevita (the tourist guide), The Themes and Issues Explored in the Stories
The stories in Tales of the Tikongs explore various themes and issues that are relevant and significant for Pacific Islanders and other people who are affected by development. Some of the themes and issues are:
Corruption: The stories show how corruption pervades all levels of Tikoan society, from the government officials who embezzle funds and accept bribes, to the chiefs who abuse their power and authority, to the ordinary people who cheat and lie to get ahead.
Religion: The stories show how religion can be used as a tool for social control or personal gain, as well as a source of comfort or inspiration. The stories contrast the different religious groups on Tiko, such as the Catholics, the Protestants, the Mormons, the Seventh-Day Adventists, and the Holy Order of Saint O'Brian, and how they compete or cooperate with each other.
Tradition: The stories show how tradition can be a source of pride or shame, a way of preserving or losing identity, a means of resisting or adapting to change. The stories highlight the tension between tradition and modernity, and how Tikoans negotiate their cultural heritage in a changing world.
Modernity: The stories show how modernity can bring benefits or problems, opportunities or challenges, progress or regression. The stories examine the impact of modernization and globalization on Tiko's economy, environment, politics, and culture.
Environment: The stories show how environment can be a resource or a threat, a blessing or a curse, a friend or an enemy. The stories depict the beauty and diversity of Tiko's natural environment, as well as the damage and degradation caused by human activities such as logging, mining, fishing, farming, tourism, and development.
Identity: The stories show how identity can be a matter of choice or fate, a question of belonging or alienation, a process of construction or destruction. The stories explore the different aspects of Tikoan identity, such as ethnicity, language, gender, class, religion, and nationality.
Resistance: The stories show how resistance can be a form of protest or survival, a strategy of defiance or adaptation, a gesture of courage or desperation. The stories celebrate the various ways that Tikoans resist the forces that oppress or exploit them, such as colonialism, development, religion, tradition, modernity, or environment.
The Stories and Their Analysis
In this section, I will give you a brief summary and analysis of each story in Tales of the Tikongs, highlighting its plot, characters, humor, and message.
The Arrival of Development Experts
This is the first story in the book. It mocks the absurdity and ineffectiveness of foreign development experts who try to impose their ideas on Tiko. The story begins with Sione Pulu'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u'u (the longest name on Tiko), who is the head clerk at the Ministry of Works. He is bored with his job and prefers to play cards with his secretary during work hours. One day, he receives a letter from an international organization called D-E-V-E-L-O-P-M-E-N-T (Development Experts Volunteering to Educate Lesser-developed Economies on Needed Projects - Overseas Management Enterprise Network Trust). The letter informs him that they are sending two experts to Tiko to help with its development. Sione is excited by this news and hopes to get some money from them.
The two experts arrive on Tiko with their suitcases full of books, reports, charts, and maps. They are Mr. Smith (an economist) and Mr. Jones (a sociologist). They are greeted by Sione and his boss, Mr. Brown (the director of works). They are taken to their hotel, where they unpack their suitcases and start working on their plans for Tiko's development. They do not bother to visit Tiko or talk to its people. They rely on their books, reports, charts, and maps for their information.
After two weeks, they finish their plans and present them to Sione and Mr. Brown. They propose to build a hydroelectric dam on Tiko's river, a highway around Tiko's coast, a port on Tiko's lagoon, and a hotel on Tiko's beach. They claim that these projects will boost Tiko's economy, create jobs, improve infrastructure, and attract tourists. They also claim that these projects will have minimal environmental and social impacts. They ask Sione and Mr. Brown to sign their plans and give them their approval.
Sione and Mr. Brown are impressed by the experts' plans and agree to sign them. They also ask the experts for some money to help with the implementation of the projects. The experts agree to give them some money, but only after they sign their plans. Sione and Mr. Brown sign the plans and receive their money. They are very happy and thank the experts for their generosity and wisdom.
The experts pack their suitcases and leave Tiko with their signed plans. They are very proud of themselves and their work. They believe that they have done a great service to Tiko and its people. They do not realize that they have been duped by Sione and Mr. Brown, who have no intention of implementing their plans or using their money for development. They only wanted to get some money from them and get rid of them. They also do not realize that their plans are unrealistic, impractical, and harmful to Tiko and its people. They have ignored Tiko's culture, history, geography, and ecology. They have imposed their ideas on Tiko without consulting or respecting its people.
The story ends with a twist. The narrator reveals that he is one of the ancient gods of Tiko, who has been watching the events unfold from his hiding place in the mountains. He is amused by the foolishness and arrogance of the experts, and the cunning and greed of Sione and Mr. Brown. He is also angry at the damage and danger that the experts' plans pose to Tiko and its people. He decides to intervene and stop the plans from being implemented. He unleashes a series of natural disasters on Tiko, such as floods, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. He destroys the river, the coast, the lagoon, and the beach where the experts' projects were supposed to be built. He also destroys the hotel where the experts stayed, along with their suitcases full of books, reports, charts, and maps.
The narrator says that he has done this to teach the experts a lesson and to save Tiko from destruction. He says that he hopes that the experts will learn from their mistakes and never come back to Tiko again. He also says that he hopes that Sione and Mr. Brown will use their money wisely and not waste it on useless things. He says that he loves Tiko and its people, and that he will always protect them from harm.
The message of this story is that development should not be imposed by outsiders who do not understand or care about the local context or people. Development should be based on the needs, aspirations, and participation of the local people who are affected by it. Development should also respect and protect the natural environment that sustains life.
The Rise of Religious Fanatics
This is the second story in the book. It satirizes the hypocrisy and manipulation of religious fanatics who exploit the faith and fears of Tikoans. The story begins with Father O'Brian (the Irish priest), who is the leader of a religious sect called The Holy Order of Saint O'Brian. He is a charismatic preacher who claims to have a direct connection with God and Saint O'Brian. He also claims to have miraculous powers such as healing the sick, casting out demons, and predicting the future. He has a large following of loyal devotees who believe in his teachings and miracles.
Father O'Brian's main rival is Father Patrick (another Irish priest), who is the head of the Catholic Church on Tiko. He is a conservative and orthodox priest who follows the rules and doctrines of the Vatican. He does not believe in Father O'Brian's claims or miracles. He thinks that Father O'Brian is a fraud and a heretic who is misleading the people and endangering their souls. He tries to expose and stop Father O'Brian's activities by writing letters to the Vatican, the local newspaper, and the government.
One day, Father O'Brian announces that he has received a revelation from God and Saint O'Brian. He says that God has told him that Tiko is going to be destroyed by a great flood on December 15th, unless Tikoans repent of their sins and join The Holy Order of Saint O'Brian. He says that Saint O'Brian has told him that he has prepared an ark for him and his followers to escape the flood. He says that he has hidden the mountains and that he will reveal its location to his followers on December 14th. He says that only those who join The Holy Order of Saint O'Brian and pay a fee of 15 dollars will be allowed to board the ark and be saved from the flood.
Father O'Brian's announcement causes a panic and a frenzy among Tikoans. Many people believe him and rush to join The Holy Order of Saint O'Brian. They sell their belongings, quit their jobs, leave their families, and give their money to Father O'Brian. They also wear white robes, shave their heads, and chant prayers to Saint O'Brian. They follow Father O'Brian everywhere he goes, waiting for him to lead them to the ark.
Father Patrick is outraged by Father O'Brian's announcement and actions. He thinks that Father O'Brian is lying and scamming the people. He tries to warn and persuade the people not to listen to Father O'Brian. He tells them that there is no flood, no ark, no Saint O'Brian, and no God. He tells them that Father O'Brian is a madman and a criminal who is taking advantage of their faith and fears. He tells them to return to their normal lives and to the Catholic Church.
However, Father Patrick's efforts are futile. Most people ignore him or mock him. They think that he is jealous and bitter of Father O'Brian's success and popularity. They think that he is blind and deaf to God's and Saint O'Brian's messages and miracles. They think that he is doomed and damned for his disbelief and disobedience. They tell him to join The Holy Order of Saint O'Brian or face the wrath of God and Saint O'Brian.
The story ends with a twist. On December 14th, Father O'Brian leads his followers to the mountains where he says the ark is hidden. He tells them to wait for him at the foot of the mountain while he goes up to get the ark. He says that he will come back soon with the ark and take them to safety. He says that they should not worry or fear, but trust in God and Saint O'Brian. He then leaves them and climbs up the mountain.
However, Father O'Brian does not come back with the ark. Instead, he comes back with a helicopter. He has secretly arranged for a helicopter to pick him up from the mountain and take him away from Tiko. He has also secretly packed his suitcase with all the money that he has collected from his followers. He boards the helicopter with his suitcase and flies away from Tiko.
As he flies away, he laughs and mocks his followers who are still waiting for him at the foot of the mountain. He tells them that there is no ark, no flood, no Saint O'Brian, and no God. He tells them that he has fooled them all and taken their money. He tells them that they are stupid and gullible for believing in his lies and miracles. He tells them that they deserve to die for their sins and stupidity. He tells them goodbye and good riddance.
As he flies away, he also sees Father Patrick who is watching him from a distance. He taunts and insults Father Patrick for being a loser and a failure. He tells him that he has won and he has lost. He tells him that he has proven him wrong and shown him who is the true messenger of God and Saint O'Brian. He tells him to enjoy his last moments on Tiko before it is destroyed by the flood.
The message of this story is that religion should not be used as a tool for social control or personal gain, but as a source of comfort or inspiration. Religion should not be based on fear or manipulation, but on love or compassion. Religion should also respect and tolerate other beliefs or views that are different from one's own.
The Fall of Traditional Chiefs
This is the third story in the book. It ridicules the greed and betrayal of traditional chiefs who sell out their land and people for personal gain. The story begins with Chief Kaho (the big chief), who is the paramount chief of Tiko. He is a respected and revered leader who has inherited his title and authority from his ancestors. He is responsible for maintaining the peace, order, and welfare of Tiko and its people.
One day, Chief Kaho receives a visit from Mr. Green (the businessman), who is the owner of a multinational corporation called G-R-E-E-N (Global Resources Exploitation Enterprises Network). He is a wealthy and powerful entrepreneur who has interests in various industries such as logging, mining, fishing, farming, and tourism. He is looking for new opportunities to expand his business and profits.
Mr. Green offers Chief Kaho a deal. He says that he wants to buy all the land on Tiko and use it for his business ventures. He says that he will pay Chief Kaho a large sum of money for his land and give him a share of his profits. He says that he will also provide Chief Kaho and his people with modern amenities such as roads, schools, hospitals, and electricity. He says that he will improve the quality of life and the standard of living of Tikoans.
Chief Kaho is tempted by Mr. Green's offer. He thinks that he can become rich and powerful by selling his land to Mr. Green. He thinks that he can enjoy the benefits of modernization and globalization by accepting Mr. Green's offer. He thinks that he can make Tiko a better place by agreeing to Mr. Green's offer.
However, Chief Kaho also has some doubts and fears about Mr. Green's offer. He thinks that he might lose his title and authority by selling his land to Mr. Green. He thinks that he might betray his ancestors and culture by giving up his land to Mr. Green. He thinks that he might harm his people and environment by allowing Mr. Green to exploit his land.
Chief Kaho decides to consult with his council of elders, who are the representatives of the different clans and villages on Tiko. They are the advisors and supporters of Chief Kaho. They are also the guardians and custodians of Tiko's traditions and values.
Chief Kaho tells his council of elders about Mr. Green's offer and asks for their opinion and advice. The council of elders is divided and conflicted about Mr. Green's offer. Some of them are in favor of it, while others are against it. They argue and debate among themselves, presenting the pros and cons of Mr. Green's offer.
The arguments in favor of Mr. Green's offer are:
It will bring economic development and prosperity to Tiko.
It will provide social services and infrastructure to Tiko.
It will expose Tiko to the outside world and it