Dr. Mead took a leap of faith to explore the possibility of finding wisdom from a primitive culture, Manu’a in American Samoa in 1925.
SALEM, OREGON, UNITED STATES, December 11, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Dr. Margaret Mead’s legacy is like an umbilical cord, inextricably tied to Manu’an American Samoa. But, as we celebrate her 119th anniversary this December 16, do we even remember the contribution Manu’ans made to her popular book, Coming of Age in Samoa?
Manu’ans cannot lay claim to all Dr. Mead’s accomplishments, but she clearly developed, in Coming of Age in Samoa, an alternative, field-based approach to the challenges of adolescence in post-WWI society and in an era of accelerating industrial revolution—a different approach to Western Society’s old tenets of laboratory-based, empirical science.
The world is struggling, today, with migrations and their impact on cultural identity, development, diversity, and social organization, and on the erosion of culture. Understanding the anatomy of the Navigators’ (Manu’an and Samoan) ancient migration may illuminate these complexities and help us unravel them.
“Dr. Mead took a leap of faith to explore the possibility of finding wisdom from a primitive culture in 1925. Why wouldn’t we also explore the knowledge of their ancient migration in 2020?” asks Fata Ariu Levi, author of the recently released book, Navigators Quest for a Kingdom in Polynesia, in an open dialogue held in Dr. Mead’s 119th anniversary celebration, hosted by the Salem Multicultural Institute and World Beat, a non-profit organization.
“Cultural diversity is often perceived as threatening the erosion of cultural identity. But the reality is that our multicultural diversity is, significantly, tribalism, which provides the beautiful, vibrant colors of our cultural tapestry and is a source of strength and greatness of our Nation,” says Kathleen Fish, Executive Director of the Salem Multicultural Institute and World Beat.
“I only caution,” says Fata Ariu Levi, “let us celebrate and memorialize the scientist, but let us not forget the research ‘control group’—in this case the 68 young girls of Manu’a that Dr. John Derek Freeman, in his quest to refute Dr. Mead’s ethnographic study in Manu’a, accused of lying and making up stories during the questionnaire and interviewing process. Let us not shovel away the memories of those young girls onto the edge of the village. They are not ‘specimens.’ They are princesses of the Paramount Chief King Tuimanu’a.”
Writing of Fata Ariu Levi’s book, High Chief Vui Dr. Toeutu Fa’aleava, Director of the McNair Scholars Program and Assistant Professor of University Studies at Portland State University, Oregon, said, “As a descendant of both Samoa and Manu’a, Fata Ariu Levi delivers this manuscript as a gift to future generations, to help navigate and untangle the knotted threads of their journey and yearnings, and recognize their islands and kingdoms.”
Navigators Quest for a Kingdom in Polynesia offers a chronology of the Navigators’ arduous migration that began with the human migration out of Africa, out of Mainland Asia, and out of the Asiatic Archipelago, finally crossing the Wallace Line and journeying into East Pacific Ocean during the Neolithic period. It’s a story of cultural and social organization development, linguistic origin, and genome-sequencing confirmation. The book is available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle, and paperback and hardcover editions are available in retail book stores.
Orator Chief Fata Ariu Levi has spent over 40 years of his business career as a banker, in financial services, and as an entrepreneur and co-founder of several information technology initiatives funded out of Israel and Asia that have been publicly traded or sold. He is an active investor in information technology infrastructure platforms for digital transformation of large scale enterprise initiatives.
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