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Kam Na Mauri
I have been reading some of the discussions posted on this site and I came across the phrase "Banaban Identity". To set the record straight I would like to say that my father is I-Kiribati meaning he has no Banaban ancestry. Since my mother has Banaban blood I see myself as more of a Banaban than I-Kiribati maybe because I grew up on Rabi. But that does not mean that I do not acknowledge my father's side. My personal belief is that there are no more pure Banabans alive, so to speak. I could be wrong.
The question that I wanted to ask is how does someone identify a Banaban? We do not have a language that we can proudly call our own to differntiate us from the I-Kiribati. I mean can we indentify a Banaban just by looking at him/her and by the language that they speak? We say "te taetae n Rabi" but our I-Kiribati brothers say "te taetae n Kiribati". I know that only Banabans perform "te karanga" and play "te karemotu" and "te katua", but are these the only things that are unique to us? Does this mean that we have to perform all of these just to let people know who we are?
I certainly hope that there are other things apart from the ones that I have mentioned which can immediately identify us as Banabans.

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Thanks Arita Nathan for your reply. I never denied my I-Kiribati identity, if I did so than I would be denying my father who by the way was from Onotoa. I merely wanted to discover more of my Banaban side. I do appreciate both since they make me who I am today. And you are true "without them we are nothing".


ARITA NATHAN said:

Discover your Banaban identity but don't deny your I-Kiribati identity....because it also runs in your blood veins! Learn to respect what you become now.....Appreciate and cherish both of them.....without them we are nothing!


Talofa Pelenise,

That was my belief since most Banabans living on Rabi and "maybe" back on Ocean Is. are either part this or part that. Anyway thanks for proving me wrong and letting me know that there are still pure Banabans alive and well today. Manuia.

Tofa mua.

 


Pelenise Alofa Pilitati said:

Mauri Itinteang

 

You said "My personal belief is that there are no more pure Banabans alive, so to speak. I could be wrong." The good news is that we do have a few pure Banabans alive.  My aunt, Nei Buka Teem Maata, from Tabiang village is one.  Isn't that wonderful? I wish that she could live forever - "a pure Banaban". She does not have any cultural affiliations whatsoever with any other race! It would be interesting to collect the names of the surviving pure Banabans alive today.

 

Anyway, from my observation and interaction with Nei Buka...I found that she never NEVER never refer to herself as I-Kiribati. She is Banaban fullstop! She does not hate I-Kiribati but is embarrassed to be called one because she is not I-Kiribati.  Kiribati affiliation is a political and something she inherited from the colonisers. It has nothing to do with her identity.

 

Over the years, I've also observed some very strong characteristics of pure Banabans: they are passive, accepting, agreeable, tolerant, satisfied, patient, kind, even-tempered, easy going and many more.  I used to wonder why they are so kind and so loving!  I was brought up with this aunt, thus my love for pure Banabans. I wish all of us could learn these values and continue to share the  Banaban values to our children and children's children.

 

Enjoy your Christmas and New Year Itinteang.

Thanks bro, I do know my ancestry. I just wanted to know what differentiates Banabans from other races. Anyway I am begining to get an idea from the replies and ideas given through this discussions.

Regards.

 
Patrick Nabong said:

To know if you are Banaban is to first know your ancestry line or Te riki it does not matter either paternal or maternal you have to dig in first to find your roots and this is and issue that is under dispute at the moment and regarding other matters like language is beyond any so called Banaban cause factors beyond our powers is at work like for eg. Migration of other races in to our shores here on Banaba,WW2,mixed marriges.We all know like u do to that there was and still some rudiments of our so called language still in exisistence. And thus knowing your roots will clarify your existence and identity.WE are the only race on this earth that cherish and uphold female values in which the female takes her mate to her kainga why because they are life providers in regards to water provision and u have to be in Banaba to feel Banaban like i do. regards.

Hi Arita,

No one is denying their I-Kiribati identity but dont get swayed from the facts surronding this dicussion its about being Banaban but thank u for reminding us anway cheers  

ARITA NATHAN said:

Discover your Banaban identity but don't deny your I-Kiribati identity....because it also runs in your blood veins! Learn to respect what you become now.....Appreciate and cherish both of them.....without them we are nothing!

Hi Bro if youre loooking into the phyisical attributes of classifying a Banaban that will be a hard one dont you think for eg. if a person have a european father and a Banaban woman for a mother and the said person have all european traits is that person Banaban or European.

If the said person have all these traits but is well versed in Banaban culture and traditions what do you think than is he Banaban or European . Food for thought.

WEll dont you think that it all comes down to roots and knowledge of culture and living the life as a traditional Banaban.Your identity is the way of Life and how you go about it according to the norms of your tradition and culture taught by your ancestors from generation to the next the Banaban way but the way is dying why its no longer practised where its applicable in the Maneaba. Who to blame.

If the RCL can set up a Cultural Bureau

Itinteang said:

Thanks bro, I do know my ancestry. I just wanted to know what differentiates Banabans from other races. Anyway I am begining to get an idea from the replies and ideas given through this discussions.

Regards.

 
Patrick Nabong said:

To know if you are Banaban is to first know your ancestry line or Te riki it does not matter either paternal or maternal you have to dig in first to find your roots and this is and issue that is under dispute at the moment and regarding other matters like language is beyond any so called Banaban cause factors beyond our powers is at work like for eg. Migration of other races in to our shores here on Banaba,WW2,mixed marriges.We all know like u do to that there was and still some rudiments of our so called language still in exisistence. And thus knowing your roots will clarify your existence and identity.WE are the only race on this earth that cherish and uphold female values in which the female takes her mate to her kainga why because they are life providers in regards to water provision and u have to be in Banaba to feel Banaban like i do. regards.
This is getting interesting ones again so allow me to make some remarks. My first one is that we should never forget that according to our Banaban customs we are both patrimony and matriarchy so whether we have one parent of non-Banaban descent is irrelevant you are still a Banaban if you choose to be one from your Banaban parent. My other comment is our uniqness as Banabans and Banaban landowners. Come to think of it we Banabans are not only landowners on our belowed Banaba but also all over Kiribati. Tarawa itself is full of Banaban landowners. There is not a single island in Kiribati that Banabans does not own land on. Quite interesting, don't you think...

Patrick Nabong said:

Hi Bro if youre loooking into the phyisical attributes of classifying a Banaban that will be a hard one dont you think for eg. if a person have a european father and a Banaban woman for a mother and the said person have all european traits is that person Banaban or European.

If the said person have all these traits but is well versed in Banaban culture and traditions what do you think than is he Banaban or European . Food for thought.

WEll dont you think that it all comes down to roots and knowledge of culture and living the life as a traditional Banaban.Your identity is the way of Life and how you go about it according to the norms of your tradition and culture taught by your ancestors from generation to the next the Banaban way but the way is dying why its no longer practised where its applicable in the Maneaba. Who to blame.

If the RCL can set up a Cultural Bureau

Itinteang said:

Thanks bro, I do know my ancestry. I just wanted to know what differentiates Banabans from other races. Anyway I am begining to get an idea from the replies and ideas given through this discussions.

Regards.

 
Patrick Nabong said:

To know if you are Banaban is to first know your ancestry line or Te riki it does not matter either paternal or maternal you have to dig in first to find your roots and this is and issue that is under dispute at the moment and regarding other matters like language is beyond any so called Banaban cause factors beyond our powers is at work like for eg. Migration of other races in to our shores here on Banaba,WW2,mixed marriges.We all know like u do to that there was and still some rudiments of our so called language still in exisistence. And thus knowing your roots will clarify your existence and identity.WE are the only race on this earth that cherish and uphold female values in which the female takes her mate to her kainga why because they are life providers in regards to water provision and u have to be in Banaba to feel Banaban like i do. regards.

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