Introducing
Dame Jane Resture Ph.d

Jane's Oceania Home Page exists to provide visitors with a window through which they can view life in various parts of the Pacific Islands. People of the Pacific Islands have long co-existed with the environment - the sea, the sky and the land. An Islander is a person of the ocean who always has one foot in the water and the other on the land. The sea is like a tonic without which the Islanders cannot live happily - the sea is their life. The sea gives them their food and their tools are their canoes. Like their forefathers of old, the present day fishermen are skilled navigators and canoe builders who are addicted to the sea. They understand the moods of the sea; they are familiar with the stars and the sun, and they breathe inspiration from the prevailing trade winds. They are adventurous people who, like the seabirds, have the instinct to migrate in their blood. Their houses are a reflection of the pandanus and coconut trees from which they are constructed. The lifestyle is quite simple and in harmony with nature, living off the land and the sea.

More about Oceania
The Mountain Tops of Lemuria

 

 

OCEANIA

As the sun rises over the vast expanse of Oceania, the daily lives of many of the people of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia (including the Polynesian nation of Hawai'i) go on as they have for thousands of years. The fishermen are already at sea; the toddy cutters are already at work and the men and women are working in their gardens. The singing of traditional and contemporary songs can be heard all around from the early morning, until the evenings come alive right through until late at night. It is this love of traditional singing passed from generation to generation that binds many islanders together and forms the basis of much of island cultural heritage and in particular dancing. Both the songs and the dance are unique and their performance tells the stories of life and love in a manner that consumes both the dancers and the audience. The traditional life of the people of Oceania is basically uncomplicated. They are normally happy, highly intelligent, kind, generous and loving people who have inherited a culture that is ancient, complex, diverse, very functional and beautiful.

Sitting by the Sea
an Oceania poem
by Jane Resture

I sit by the sea
And let the waves talk to me
With stories of days gone by
About seafarers of old and sailors so bold
And frigate birds high in the sky.
The lapping of the waves
Recalls better days
When our people were free to roam
The great oceans wide
With the wind and stars as our guide
Looking for some place called home.
Those mythical men
We will never see again
And gods that we still call our own
How the world came to be
For people like me
Where our spirits forever did roam.
Now the waves on the shore
Don't seem the same any more
Their stories full of grief
Are filled with a warning
About global warming and its consequences
For our people on the reef.
Yet I still sit by the sea
While the waves talk to me
With stories of days gone by
About seafarers of old and sailors right bold
And frigate birds high in the sky.