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Origins and Migrations films
Made in Taiwan: Genes, Culture, and the Peopling of the South Pacific
Call Number: Available online with UHM login
Publication Date: 2006
DNA testing has become a standard tool in genealogical research, but it takes more than saliva swabs and lab reports to truly understand one’s ancestry. In this program, two young New Zealanders of Polynesian descent undergo DNA sampling, wrestle with the surprising results, and then embark on a journey of discovery, searching for their roots across the Pacific and into Asia. Their voyage—by land, sea, and air—traces in reverse the steps their ancestors would have taken thousands of years ago, passing through the Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, and ending eventually in Taiwan. For studying the overlap between genomic research and the cultural aspects of human migration, this is a moving and highly relevant odyssey. (46 minutes)
Pear ta ma ʻon maf = The land has eyes by
Call Number: DVD 3202
Publication Date: 2006
Though it is set in modern Rotuma, the film is woven around an origin story. When you follow the link above, it will take you to a preview of the film -- scroll down to the bottom of the preview page and you'll see a link to view the entire film online. Hint: Try searching either the name of the film or the name of the goddess, tafateʻmasian, in Google Scholar or in OneSearch -- you may find information on Rotuman life or history in the reviews of this film that were written in scholarly journals like The Contemporary Pacific.
Voices of Pohnpei by
Call Number: VIDEOTAPE 14010
Publication Date: 1995
via Micronesian Seminar Videos.
Produced by the Micronesian Seminar, this documentary weaves origin stories from Pohnpei together with scientific theories on Pacific migration.
Online Film Resources
The photo above is from the film Made in Taiwan, which can be accessed via Films On Demand.
Ethnographic Video Online: Volume III, Indigenous Voices
Ethnographic Video Online is a comprehensive online resource for the study of human culture, behavior and society around the world. The collections contain over 1,300 hours of streaming video, including ethnographic films, documentaries, select feature films, and previously unpublished fieldwork. It's also a resource for a study of the discipline itself: By placing examples of traditional ethnographic methodologies alongside indigenous-made films representing previously overlooked perspectives, scholars, teachers and students of anthropology can gain a sense of the discipline's history and of its future direction.
Films on Demand
Films on Demand provides streaming access to educational videos in the humanities, social and natural sciences, business and health.
View Films on Demand tutorial
Hawaii & Pacific Streaming Films
This guide contains links to numerous online-streaming Hawaii- or Pacfic-related films that have been digiized from the library's physical film holdings. UH login is required to view most of these films.
Internet Archive : Movies
A collection of open-access films. Use the "advanced search" mode for better results.
Kanopy Streaming Video
Kanopy is a "Netflix-like" video platform for college campuses. UH-Manoa licenses select videos from the platform for course reserves. Covering many topics, featured producers in Kanopy's collection include Criterion Collection, PBS, HBO, The Great Courses, California Newsreel, Kino Lorber, Media Education Foundation, First Run Features, BBC, New Day Films.
Micronesian Seminar videos
The Micronesian Seminar video studio has produced more than 68 videos on health care, migration, history, youth, land, education, economics, business, and social issues. Most are available for free online viewing.
Moving Images of the Pacific Islands : A Guide To Films and Videos
This database of over 3,400 entries is produced by the UH-Manoa Center for Pacific Islands Studies, and is intended as a reference for those interested in films related to the Pacific Islands.
NZ On Screen
A wide array of documentary and feature films produced in Aotearoa/NZ, most of which are available for free online viewing.
Other Online Resources
Mouse over link for description.
Some Basic Definitions
For Hawaiian and Pacific research, all of the same tools exist as for any other kind of study. There are region- and subject-specific dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, histories, newspapers, academic journals and etc. In the box below this one, you will find some useful reference works that deal with origins and migrations. However, it may also be useful to keep some definitions in mind when searching for materials, because origin stories in particular are often found in the library's online catalog under one of these terms:
- Folklore: A broad term used to refer to the traditional beliefs, myths, tales, and practices of a people, which have been passed down orally (or via other non-written means such as dance, theater and etc.)
- Myth / Mythology: The particular category of narrative deals with the point where the human world blends with the supernatural; the stories often feature interactions between gods and human beings. In oral cultures, these narratives often speak of the origin of things -- the creation of the world, the creation of the things in the world, the ways in which human beings came to live in specific places, the ways in which human beings came to possess technologies like fire. The main characters are often gods or demi-gods.
- Legend: A traditional narrative that is believed to have an historical basis.
- Fable: A story with a moral point. Often includes animals that speak or act as humans.
- Tales: The term "tales" is sometimes used interchangeably with "legend," "myth" or "folklore."
- Cosmogony: Theories specifically about the origins of the universe.
- Cosmology: Theories more generally about the universe, throughout its existence, rather than specifically about its origins.
- Antiquities: Generally refers to scholarly works that discuss "pre-history" (the era before written histories of a place are available). Sometimes used to refer to things like archaeological reports.
- Ethnology: A branch of anthropology that deals with the division of human beings into races and their origin, distribution, relations, and characteristics.
- Juvenile literature: Use this term to look for children's books, which often include origin stories.
Basic Reference Books
Click on the highlighted titles below to see where you can find copies of these books in the Library. Check Locations! Items in the Voyager catalog marked UH Manoa: Hamilton Pacific Reference or UH Manoa: Hamilton Hawaiian Reference can be pulled directly off the reference shelves in the Hawaiian & Pacific reading room. For items marked UH Manoa Hawaiian Collection or UH Manoa Pacific Collection, request retrieval through the "Get This Item" link in Voyager. (Click here for instructions on how to request books using "Get This Item.") Note that many of these books are also available in the main Hamilton Library collections, either on the first floor (in the reference area near the elevator) or the second floor, in the open stacks. (Books on the second floor can be checked out of the library; books on the first floor must be used in the library.)
Dictionary of Polynesian Mythology by
Call Number: BL2620.P6 C7 1989
Publication Date: 1989
See page 331, "Appendix: Categories of Gods and Goddesses" for a list of major Creation Deities from throughout Polynesia. (This list refers back to entries on each god/goddess in the dictionary.) An online copy available here for UHM affiliates
The Far East and Australasia by
Call Number: DS 502 .F37
Annual publication with detailed overview information (history, geography, population and economic statistics) for every country in the Pacific, including U.S. affiliated (Hawaiʻi, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa). This can be a useful resource when researching conditions in the country of origin for Pacific Islanders living in Hawaiʻi. Most recent editions are located in the 1st floor reference section and in the Asia reference collection on the 4th floor, as well as in Hawaiian and Pacific Collections reference shelves.
The Pacific Islands: an encyclopedia by
Call Number: DU17 .P3 2000
Publication Date: 2000
Information on major aspects of Pacific life, including the physical environment, peoples, history, politics, economy, society and culture.
Handbook of Polynesian Mythology by
Call Number: BL2620.P6 C72 2004
Publication Date: 2004
A good companion to the Dictionary of Polynesian Mythology. Includes more general entries on creation/origin stories for various Polynesian island groups.
UHM Pacific digital image collections