Publicity, privacy, and “happy deaths” in Fiji
Article first published online: 7 JAN 2008
Volume 34, Issue 4, pages 706–720, November 2007
How to Cite
TOMLINSON, M. (2007), Publicity, privacy, and “happy deaths” in Fiji. American Ethnologist, 34: 706–720. doi: 10.1525/ae.2007.34.4.706
- Issue published online: 7 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 7 JAN 2008
In this article, I investigate death as a nexus around which public–private distinctions are made. An examination of Methodist missionary efforts at entextualizing “happy deaths” in 19th-century Fiji shows how the missionaries both attempted to create a Christian reading public “back home” but also unintentionally helped create a new private zone of the demonic. I analyze the private demonic zone through the constricted circulation of particular narratives heard after the death of a high chief in 2003.