[Coral-List] follow-up: cultural significance of coral reefs inHawai`i

Bryan Oles olesb at imsg.com
Fri Apr 27 09:21:53 EDT 2007

Of potential interest:

Transformations in the sociocultural values and meanings of reefs and
resources on Mwoakilloa

Journal: Coral Reefs 
Publisher: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg 
ISSN: 0722-4028 (Print) 1432-0975 (Online)

B. Oles1 

(1)  I.M. Systems Group Inc, 6307 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852,

Received: 27 September 2006  Accepted: 14 March 2007  Published online:
12 April 2007 

Communicated by Guest Editor R. Pollnac.

Abstract:  People have been living on Mwoakilloa, a coral atoll in the
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), for well over a millennium.
Foreign interlopers, colonial governments, global commerce, and a host
of internal and external forces have all played a role in shaping the
uses, values, and meanings assigned to the atoll, its reefs, and its
resources. This paper explores the changing relationships among the
people and reefs of Mwoakilloa, highlighting the multiple, co-existing,
and sometimes competing meanings and values assigned to atoll resources.
It emphasizes the point that even in a small, ethnically homogeneous
population there exists a diversity of meanings associated with reef
resources that are dependent upon wider socioeconomic contexts.
Identifying the sources of these cultural meanings is critical for
understanding behaviors toward and uses of reef resources, the status
and application of traditional ecological knowledge, and the success and
failure of local management measures on Mwoakilloa. 

Keywords:  Culture change - Place - Mwoakilloa - Mokil atoll -
Traditional ecological knowledge - Ethnography

Bryan Oles, PhD
Program Manager
I.M. Systems Group, Inc.
(P): 301-395-2889
(F): 301-850-4596
olesb at imsg.com

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Miguel
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 3:34 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] follow-up: cultural significance of coral reefs

Thanks for all your replies... I'm still sifting through all the 
information and contacts you've offered, and I will try my best to 
compile what I've gleaned. I realize that a great deal of information 
that I am seeking may not be documented in a systematic way, but as an 
academic endeavor, I wanted to conduct a proper literature review first.

I know my original posting was a bit vague, so I'd like to follow up 
with a clarification. At this stage, I'm not focused on documenting what

exactly constitutes traditional ecological knowledge or cultural 
practices, but rather how environmental perceptions (values, beliefs, 
etc) and resource uses are evolving, and how this is influencing modern 
conservation science and management. 

Miguel Castrence
Department of Geography
University of Hawai`i at Manoa
miguel.castrence at hawaii.edu

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