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Pika-Pika: The Flashing Firefly: Essays to Honour and Celebrate the Life of Pauline Hetland Walker (1938-2005) by her Friends in the Arts and Social Sciences

Anthony R. Walker (Editor)

Pika-Pika (a Japanese onomatopoeic expression conjuring up the flashing of fireflies) is a multi-disciplinary, multi-regional collection of academic papers written by twenty-two scholars (with seventeen Ph.D.s among them), of ten different nationalities and an even greater number of ethnicities. The authors, who are scattered across the globe from North America through the South Pacific to East, Southeast and South Asia, have contributed to this book because they wish to honour in this way a cherished friend, Pauline Hetland Walker, who lost her bold fight against breast cancer on Easter morning of 2005.

The book includes contributions from anthropologists, sociologists, linguists and geographers, as well as from music, theatre and literary specialists. Twelve chapters focus on the Asian region (eight concerning Southeast Asia, two, South Asia and two, East Asia). There are contributions also on Oceania (two), North America (two and a part of a third), South America (one) and the Caribbean (one), as well as on Britain (one) and East Africa (one).

An eclectic collection of materials, which, incidentally, would have delighted the person whom they honour, all the individual contributions have been inspired, nonetheless, by Pauline Walker's own special life interests. They are grouped together in this book according to her passions: music, song and dance (part one), literature, poetry and theatre (part two), pottery (part three), craftsmanship (part four), women's issues (part five), health care practices (part six) and finally, religious diversity, myth and ritual (part seven).

The editors introduction, besides previewing the collection, tells a little of the story of Pauline's life; in addition, each author has her or his own comments on that score. All this makes Pika-Pika a particularly personal and poignant book. This notwithstanding, it is also a work that has been written, following exacting scholarly criteria, mostly by members of the academy, who seek not only to honour a departed friend but also to contribute to the scholarly literature of their respective disciplines. Pika-Pika is not a vanity publication; it will succeed as a befitting and enduring memorial to Pauline Hetland Walker only if academic institutions choose to secure copies for their collections.

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About the author

Anthony R. Walker

Anthony Walker, a social anthropologist, was educated at Tobridge School, Kent (1954-9), Osmania University, Hyderabad (B.A. 1961) and Oxford University (Dip. In Anthropology 1964, M. Litt. 1965, D. Phil. (1972). He has worked as research officer at the Tribal Research Institute, Chiang Mai, Thailand (1966-70) and taught socio-cultural anthropology, with special reference to India and Southeast Asia, at the Science University of Malaysia, Penang (1972-79), the National University of Singapore (1979-86) and the Ohio State University (1986-96). He was Fellow in charge of ethnographic research at the University of the South Pacific’s Institute of Pacific Studies in Suva, Ffiji (1996-99) before moving to his present post in the anthropology and sociology unit at the University of Brunei Darussalam. Walker has conducted fieldwork among the Toda (since 1961) and among the Lahu (in North Thailand since 1966 and in Yunnan, China, since 1990). Among the books he has authored or edited are Farmers in the Hills: Upland North Thailand (1975), The Toda of South India: A New Look (1986), The Highland (1992), New Place Old Ways: Indian Society & Culture in Modern Sigapore (1994), Mvuh Hpa Mi Hpa: An Epic Myth of the Lahu People in Yunnan (1995), My Village, My World: Everyday Life in Nadoriam Fiji (2001) (with Solomoni Biturogoiwasa) and Merit and the Millennium: Routine and Crisis in the Ritual Lives of the Lahu Peoples (2003). Anthony Walker is married to Pauline Hetland, his ever reliable and vigilant editor. Their son, Michael Arun, has a degree in Fie Arts; his illustrations grace several of his father’s books, including the cover of this volume.

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Bibliographic information

Title Pika-Pika: The Flashing Firefly: Essays to Honour and Celebrate the Life of Pauline Hetland Walker (1938-2005) by her Friends in the Arts and Social Sciences
Format Softcover
Date published: 31.12.2009
Edition 2nd. ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170750873
length xv+489p., Maps; 23cm.