Historicising Gerd Koch's Ethnographic Films on Tuvalu
Goldsmith, M. (2010). Historicising Gerd Koch's Ethnographic Films on Tuvalu. The Journal of Pacific History, 45(1), 57-70.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4049
Gerd Koch is probably best known for his studies of Tuvalu in the early 1960s, when it was still part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony. In the process of recording aspects of material and expressive culture on Niutao, one of the northernmost islands, he shot a series of black-and-white silent films. Fifteen of these films were archived at IWF Wissen und Medien in G ttingen, Germany, formerly the Institut f r den Wissenschaftlichen Film, as part of an encyclopaedic project reflecting mid-20th-century scientific and philosophical assumptions. What do these films tell us about Tuvalu and the histories of anthropology and ethnographic film-making in the Pacific? This paper proposes some answers by focusing on two films featuring styles of combat that are both called 'failima' yet are clearly different from each other.
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