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Nest in the Wind: Adventures in Anthropology on a Tropical Island, Second Edition Paperback – October 1, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1577663683 ISBN-10: 1577663683 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Waveland Press; 2nd edition (October 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577663683
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577663683
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

During her first visit to the beautiful island of Pohnpei in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, anthropologist Martha Ward discovered people who grew quarter-ton yams in secret and ritually shared a powerful drink called kava. She managed a medical research project, ate dog, became pregnant, and responded to spells placed on her. Thirty years later she returned to Pohnpei to learn what had happened there since her first visit. Were islanders still relaxed and casual about sex? Were they still obsessed with titles and social rank? Was the island still lush and beautiful? Had the inhabitants remained healthy? This second edition of Ward’s best-selling account is a rare, longitudinal study that tracks people, processes, and a place through decades of change. It is also an intimate record of doing fieldwork that immerses readers in the sights, smells, tastes, sounds, and the sensory richness of Pohnpei. Ward addresses the ageless ethnographic questions about family life, politics, religion, traditional medicine, magic, and death together with contemporary concerns about postcolonial survival, the discontinuities of culture, and adaptation to the demands of a global age. Her insightful discoveries illuminate the evolution of a culture possibly distant from yet important to people living in other parts of the world. (Not-for-sale instructor resource material available to college and university faculty only; contact the publisher directly.)

From the Author

". . . I wrote the first edition of Nest in the Wind with the shameless goal of enticing students into the romance of anthropology, of making readers part of the smells, tastes, and sensations of the island culture I had come to love. Three decades later I went back to discover what had happened and learned what none of us had predicted." — from the Introduction

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is an ethnography of the people of Pohnpei. The author accompanied her husband to Pohnpei during the 1970s and they lived there together for several years. In the 1940s, army doctors had noted that the people of Pohnpei all had quite low blood pressure. Ward and her husband were the anthropologist components of a team that was trying to determine whether the initial blood pressure observations were accurate, and if so, whether societal influences seemed to be playing a role. Although the blood pressure study was the impetus for going to Pohnpei, and provides much of the framework for Ward's time on Pohnpei, this book isn't about that project. Instead, the book describes how Ward gradually integrated herself into the culture to the greatest extent that she could during her limited stay.

As a trained anthropologist, Ward was primed to observe the culture on Pohnpei. She notes that the society was matriarchal and that ceremonial titles were highly important. Personal names were impermanent, and many people, including study subjects, changed their names frequently. She struggles to learn the language, noting that it makes use of dual number in addition to singular and plural, and makes a distinction in personal pronouns between inclusive and exclusive "we". She discusses diet, gender roles, politics, education, courting behavior, and funeral rites. All of this is done, however, informally, almost in the manner of a travelogue. Indeed, many of the chapters close with letters that she wrote home to family or friends, many with humorous touches as she struggles with culture shock. As the time on the island passes, Ward relates to us the challenges that she faced in finding housing, a local research assistant, and conducting research related to the blood pressure project.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I lived on Pohnpei for a year in the early '90's. I picked up this book to see how well the author described the island and the customs. I was amazed and continually delighted with how she detailed the rituals, feasts and problems of Pohnpei. She absolutely captures the feelings that are associated with living on Pohnpei, and does a great job incorporating those into the book. I found myself wanting to go back to the island, and wishing that I had taken the time to learn more details of this fascinating place. This easy-to-read book is great for people that are interested in anthropolgy, other cultures, Pohnpei or even Micronesia in general.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lorlain Oliver on March 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would like to thank the author for writing this book. I bought this book, because I am from the island of Pohnpei, and would like to know if the project was successful and was published. I was not surprised to learn that it was not a very successful project...the people of my island, then, would have been a skeptical bunch, and would not have provided accurate information to questions asked due to family and cultural secrets that they would've believed "must be protected". On the other hand, the evaluation of culture and the role of both men and women on the island was very accurate. My uncle was in the group that caught the crocodile mentioned in the book. :)
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By Jared J on March 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nest In The Wind is an anthropological exploration of the island and people of Pohnpei. Martha Ward was brought to Pohnpei with her husband who was assigned their in 1970's. They were sent their on a government project to find out why the Pacific Islanders have such low blood pressure in comparison with Americans. Yet, Martha Ward came away with something even more important, an anthropological study of the people of Pohnpei just before westernization of the country became complete. Ward's book reads more like a travel novel than an anthropological study and her writing can be quite random and off-topic thus the 4 stars. Otherwise, this book is a great exploration of the Pohnpei people and is filled with so much rich information about the islanders. As long as you feel comfortable sifting through Ward's random rants you will be overjoyed to feel closer and closer to the islanders each and every day. Additionally, you will be able to clearly see the change to Pohnpei over the years.
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By j.d. on July 12, 2013
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I needed this book for school. Renting or buying from your college is insanely expensive. This book came on time and in pretty good condition. There are several areas in the book that are starred or underlined in black pen, but the book is serving its purpose. No complaints.
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This book was required for a college course I am taking, and I have no complaints whatsoever! It arrived in a timely manner, was in excellent condition, and was offered at the lowest possible price. Not only is it a great read for anthropology buffs, but it's also exactly what I was looking for. Great!
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By TeamQuinnHQ on December 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I usually hate text books but I loved this one! Keep it when your course is over or if you aren't even taking a class you HAVE to buy this book for, read it!
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By wendy on September 11, 2010
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I love the fact that I can get most of my college text books at amazon for a fraction of the cost. the college library is selling this book for twenty dollars and this book cost me four in like new condition. Everything the seller promised was real. I will buy all my books in the future from amazon.
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