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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 Ken,

To clarify further on this issue......I would like to say that Banabans who never prouds to be called I-Kiribati people may be surely Citizens of Fiji and that why they always take this issue negatively. They may prefer more to be Banaban Fijians despite that some or most rather be called Banaban Kiribatise....lol. It their rights and we can't force anyone.

So when it comes to identify a Banaban person.....it is wise not to compare with the I-Kiribati because the word 'I-Kiribati' is too general, and includes all people from the other 32 islands that make up the republic of Kiribati. Lets compare ourselves with other islands in Kiribati, so we know our differences and similarities...lols and from there we know where to improve ourselves...Let me give you an hint....are you differently sure only the Banabans perform te karanga and play te Karemotu and te katua......have you make thorough a research/investigation in other islands of Kiribati?....that's challenge! For me, I'm not 100% sure of that so lets investigate further......(what you think?)

The more a Banaban or Beruan pushed himself out of our circle, the more he/she isolate himself so lets take this opportunity to overcome this issue on rational basis

Ken Sigrah said:
Well defined Arita. It is good to know that there are people out there who know what they are talking about and have agut to say so.

Cheers

ARITA NATHAN said:
I give credits to those who contribute this long standing issue. Well done! I just want to add some thoughts of mine that can be further clarified. First, I agree that Banaba was annexed separately and at a later date compared to the Gilbert Islands. I do not dispute that fact. However, if you dig further, one could find that all of the islands that have been annexed by the British colonial government which includes Banaba, were all incorporated as one nation (Kiribati).....despite that that island is Beru, Makin or Tarawa. This means that as a nation, Banaba is still seen as one of the islands of Kiribati legally and politically. For example, Banabans on Rabi Island in Fiji are today catogarized as citizens of Fiji whereas Banabans on Banaba still categorized as I-Kiribati people.

So in arguing for Banaban identity.....that is good in order to preserve the unique culture of the Banaban people to remain survive. I encourage other islands of Kiribati to do the same like the people of Banaba Island. The people of other islands in Kiribati should look at the people of Banaba Island and think what is left to maintain to show eitheryou are true Tarawan or Beruan person. I cannot agree that all Tarawans and the Beruans have the same identity.... lols

The Banaban people occupy a unique position in the Kiribati society today as a result of colonial exploitation of their island by the British government in partnership with Australia and New Zealand. Anyone who knows the story will feel sorry for the people of Banaba island. However that unique position must not be abused today and should remain as it is when it was first enforced.

Finally, I would like to say that the people who prouds to call themselves I-Kiribati should also look at their respective islands they originally come from and try to do something that will not show only you as an I-Kiribati but also as a true Tabiteuean or Beruan person.
Mauri,
Thanks for your input concerning us Banabans but I feel that you and Mr Smith do not have any right to tell us who we are or not, simply because you are not Banaban. I agree with you that even Banabans have te rara ni Kiribati but to say that we Banabans are 100% I-Kiribati shows how ignorant you are. Iai ara itera ni Kiribati ao ara koraki kain Kiribati but we are not 100% Kiribati. Just because someone quacks like a duck or walks like a duck does not make him a duck. As for your case you are 100% I-Kiribati and that’s ok but this is not about you or Mr. Smith. In fact it was never about te I-Kiribati ke te I-Matang.
Could you please tell me what were you people called before your islands was discovered by the white man? According to the history of Kiribati, British ships discovered the island and named it Gilbert Islands. Gilbert becomes Kiribati in the local language. Maybe if those British sailors named the islands after someone or something else than you guys would have been known by a different name.
In a sense the Kiribati nation is a creation of contemporary development - a by product of Colonialism as stated by Mr. Smith but I doubt if that applies to us Banabans. We were never part of the Kiribati nation until guano was discovered on Banaba.
God Bless


Ruatamaki Tataio said:
Mauri Albert William Smith,
I am 100% agree with you, Smith. We totally believe and no one will ever deny the true fact that te I-Onotoa, te I-Tarawa, te I-Abemama and even te I-Banaba is more than 100% I-Kiribati. Te I-Maiana shall never declare that s/he is not a I-Kiribati and its has it own unique/distinct identity. We are real bro and sisters. "Iai iroura ni kabane te rara ni Kiribati, meaning then that we are all I-Kiribati" "Ane e taku bwa tiaki te I-Kiribati ao ke katerea raoi bwa ti na ongora mairouna. Tai anai nanoia tabemang ma tiku ma am koaua ao am eti."It is very wrong to say that"ngai te I-Abemama, I have my own identity???" It is 100% correct to say that "Iam from the island of Abemama but still I have no identification of te I-Abemama. My identification is te I-Kiribati.
I salute your very constructive/factual comment Smith,
Gos bless Kiribati and all its islands like Tabiteuea North and South, Banaba and etc, etc

Ken Sigrah said:
Hi Albert,
It is interesting to view your point of 'creation of contemporary development'. Well, to be honest with you this concept does not apply to Banaba but maybe it does apply to Australia, N.Zealand, England and Kiribati. My question is, 'since when does Banaba was part of this so called 'contemporary development?'. How come that you are not even aware of Banaba situation? Do you think that destroying Banaba and the uprooting of it's indigenous inhabitants is a very smart way of 'creating contemporary development? One thing that we must not forget is that we the Banabans were not part of the Colonial DyNASTY until as late as 1900 when they found phosphate on our lsland, even at that time we were not even part of the Gilbert (now Kiribati) and Ellis Colony. The truth is we became part of Gilbert and Ellis Colony when Britain ANNEXED Banaba TO BE PART OF the Gilbert and Ellis Colony but NOT PART of Kiribati alone.

Also you mentioned the Kiribati mythes of creation and other folklores but I'm sorry to tell you that we Banabans are not interested at all for a simple reason that we are not part of those mythes and forlklores, sorry. Ours is very different from those.

Anyway thanks for your input and hope you keep in touch.

God bless.
ken.



Albert William Smith said:
One thing we should be fully aware of is that the Kiribati nation is a creation of contemporary development - a by product of Colonialism which I am sure you agree that the Banaban situation is also a by product of that. Before the notion of a Kiribati nation - there was Island identity i.e. Onotoans, Beruans, Tarawans etc no Kiribati and each Island was seeking dominance over the other islands - refer to their legends and myths. The classic example is Abemama - which under Binokas rule was able to annex Kuria and Aranuka, 2 nearby Islands.
Auriaria came and according to legend there were people already living on Banaba - darker in complexion and have a language. Auriaria raira Banaba - literal meaning change the customs/culture and posiibly to some extent language i.e. enforce his own customs/culture/language, dominate those people and then left Banaba travelled to Tarawa, Onotoa etc and also influenced the culture/customs/languages of those people. Maybe he was the first to create a link between these Islands. This is the same case to the Beruans - Te Matawarebwe came and aslo enforced his customs/culture to the people already living on Beru before his arrival. His descendants travelled to nearby Islands and to some extent enforced similar changes hence the similarity in some of the cultures/customs.

The point is before europeans arrive on the scene there were a lot travelling between the Islands hence the similarities which leads to the annexation for easier administratvie purposes ... you extend this
Mauri riki Arita,

Just a short brief inregard to ideas and questions you've put forward. I cannot speak for anyone but for myself as a Banaban and to slot myself within your clarifications here are me points that might broaden our insights on Banaban Identity.

Even though I was born a Fiji citizen I can never call myself a Fijian, here we have to be very careful not to compromise the meaning of the words CITIZEN and INDIGENOUS. The word IDENTITY is a term used to identify a cheracter or person of an Indigenous background. In our case as Banabans living in Fiji this is a fact that even the Laws of Fiji recognised in the Banaban Settlement Act 123. ( if you have a chance try and find out what the defenition of the word Banaba and Banaban under the above Act). I am very proud to live and have a good bond with our Fijian hosts even though Iam not indigenous Fijian.

My above comment also apply to Banaban situation in Kiribati. You might not aware but Kiribati Laws too have a definition of a Banaban and Banabans. Check Chapter ix of the Kiribati Constitution chapter 125 which says." Banaban and Banabans means the former indigenous inhabitants of Banaba......" with these legal facts I am confident that I am Banaban living under these 2 very different countries as CITIZEN but not INDIGENOUS. To be indigenous I have to be a Banaban which I am.

My question is that,"if the Banabans are IKiribati then why would the Kiribati Constitution differentiate us from an IKiribati?". Think about and let me know.

Arita how about we clear this first then you and I will discuss the Kranga etc.

Ke kanga? Tau teke raoi ao tia boo moa.

ARITA NATHAN said:
Thanks Ken,

To clarify further on this issue......I would like to say that Banabans who never prouds to be called I-Kiribati people may be surely Citizens of Fiji and that why they always take this issue negatively. They may prefer more to be Banaban Fijians despite that some or most rather be called Banaban Kiribatise....lol. It their rights and we can't force anyone.

So when it comes to identify a Banaban person.....it is wise not to compare with the I-Kiribati because the word 'I-Kiribati' is too general, and includes all people from the other 32 islands that make up the republic of Kiribati. Lets compare ourselves with other islands in Kiribati, so we know our differences and similarities...lols and from there we know where to improve ourselves...Let me give you an hint....are you differently sure only the Banabans perform te karanga and play te Karemotu and te katua......have you make thorough a research/investigation in other islands of Kiribati?....that's challenge! For me, I'm not 100% sure of that so lets investigate further......(what you think?)

The more a Banaban or Beruan pushed himself out of our circle, the more he/she isolate himself so lets take this opportunity to overcome this issue on rational basis

Ken Sigrah said:
Well defined Arita. It is good to know that there are people out there who know what they are talking about and have agut to say so.

Cheers

ARITA NATHAN said:
I give credits to those who contribute this long standing issue. Well done! I just want to add some thoughts of mine that can be further clarified. First, I agree that Banaba was annexed separately and at a later date compared to the Gilbert Islands. I do not dispute that fact. However, if you dig further, one could find that all of the islands that have been annexed by the British colonial government which includes Banaba, were all incorporated as one nation (Kiribati).....despite that that island is Beru, Makin or Tarawa. This means that as a nation, Banaba is still seen as one of the islands of Kiribati legally and politically. For example, Banabans on Rabi Island in Fiji are today catogarized as citizens of Fiji whereas Banabans on Banaba still categorized as I-Kiribati people.

So in arguing for Banaban identity.....that is good in order to preserve the unique culture of the Banaban people to remain survive. I encourage other islands of Kiribati to do the same like the people of Banaba Island. The people of other islands in Kiribati should look at the people of Banaba Island and think what is left to maintain to show eitheryou are true Tarawan or Beruan person. I cannot agree that all Tarawans and the Beruans have the same identity.... lols

The Banaban people occupy a unique position in the Kiribati society today as a result of colonial exploitation of their island by the British government in partnership with Australia and New Zealand. Anyone who knows the story will feel sorry for the people of Banaba island. However that unique position must not be abused today and should remain as it is when it was first enforced.

Finally, I would like to say that the people who prouds to call themselves I-Kiribati should also look at their respective islands they originally come from and try to do something that will not show only you as an I-Kiribati but also as a true Tabiteuean or Beruan person.
For all those interested in the topic of Banaban Identity I think you will be very excited to hear that in the coming weeks the Australian Museum will be photography a very old and unique Banaban Collection that it has in its possession. We already know from discussions with Dr Stan Florek that there are pieces relating to Banaban boxing which we know are one of the most prized of all Banaban sports. We are looking forward to working with the Museum in identifying this important collection which we are confident will provide physical evidence of the link to true Banaban Identity before the influx of thousands of mining labourers to Banaba (Ocean Island) once the phosphate industry began after 1900.

We also could not think of a more important time for this collection to be made public with plans to rehabilitate the homeland getting closer to becoming a reality.

Here are just some of the details regarding this Banaban collection held at the Australian Museum:

The Australian Museum has a small collection of about 100 artefacts from Banaba. Nearly half this collection was donated to the Museum by Frederic Danvers Power and John Stephens. Power (1861-1955), who travelled extensively through the Pacific, probably collected these artefacts and kept them jointly with Stephens (1829-1890) at the University of Sydney with which both men were associated. John Stephens was also a Trustee of the Australian Museum.

It is interesting that the donation of Banaban artefacts in 1901 took place eleven years after Stephens’ death. Probably the artefacts were collected before Stephens died and both men considered themselves equal custodians of the collection. In any case, the Power and Stephens’ collection originated in the 19th century, when the Banaban culture was essentially intact. So, this small collection is part of the Banaban heritage that may contribute, if only in a small way, to fostering their identity and some aspects of traditional culture.


More information is available on the Australian Museum's - Banabans and Their Story:

http://australianmuseum.net.au/Banabans-and-Their-Story/

and we will be linking the details of this collection with the main Banaban website www.banaban.com as more information becomes available.
Mauri riki Ken,

If you look at my contribution to this issue....it easy to say that I do not deny the Banaban identity.....what I was trying to say is that the Banaban identity should be compared within our national borders so that we could improve much better as a nation. The unique Banaban identity must be compared to other Islands in Kiribati because the people of the other islands in Kiribati among other Banaban people are the only people in this region that have more connections or related to the Banaban story and surely they can contribute more to that point.

The UK High Court has made a ruling on the Banaban issue as you know it so we don't have to revisit healed wounds, ....if I am right.. lols. What I propose is that it wise that the Banaban Identity should be promoted on the basis that it's more appealing to the general public in Kiribati so that the people in Kiribati should understand and play more active roles to assist the Banaban people to preserve their identity. They are the only people apart from UK government, Australia government, and NZ government that do know more about the Banabans. We are caring people and sure the Banabans have places in our hearts but if the Banabans put it in a way that is not so reasonable and appealing to our human side, then they cannot get what they want. Its human nature and doesnt relate to your colour and sex...A good example is in the motion raised for the 'M'ane ni Kara irouia unimwane ake akoro 70 years of age iaon Rabi, by the nominated member of the Banaban community in Fiji during parliament session in 2005. We (the people of Kiribati plus the Banabans in Fiji) must work together to build our houses. It goes to the old saying UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL....lols!

Now for the Constitutional rights of the Banaban people, yes it well expressed in the Kiribati Constitution and I'm happy that it is protected in the Supreme law of the land.....with entrenched clauses...lols? It is a very unique and extra ordinary position of the Banaban people in our society.........However there are so may reasons as to why the Banaban provisions under the Constitution is included. Among others....it appears that at the time Kiribati is preparing to gain independence, the Banaban issue on separation becomes a headline and this could delay granting Kiribati independence, therefore this inclusion of the Banaban provisions in the Constitution is meant to speed up the process by letting what the Banaban people really want about their lands on Banaba Island. Yes as a law it legally different......but it is just a law that still subject to current changes to our society!....Personally for me, I would rather see the Banaban rights and interests enacted under a different and separate legislation other than the Constitution....... Lets leave it to the Kiribati government to decide it.....

Ken Sigrah said:
Mauri riki Arita,

Just a short brief inregard to ideas and questions you've put forward. I cannot speak for anyone but for myself as a Banaban and to slot myself within your clarifications here are me points that might broaden our insights on Banaban Identity.

Even though I was born a Fiji citizen I can never call myself a Fijian, here we have to be very careful not to compromise the meaning of the words CITIZEN and INDIGENOUS. The word IDENTITY is a term used to identify a cheracter or person of an Indigenous background. In our case as Banabans living in Fiji this is a fact that even the Laws of Fiji recognised in the Banaban Settlement Act 123. ( if you have a chance try and find out what the defenition of the word Banaba and Banaban under the above Act). I am very proud to live and have a good bond with our Fijian hosts even though Iam not indigenous Fijian.

My above comment also apply to Banaban situation in Kiribati. You might not aware but Kiribati Laws too have a definition of a Banaban and Banabans. Check Chapter ix of the Kiribati Constitution chapter 125 which says." Banaban and Banabans means the former indigenous inhabitants of Banaba......" with these legal facts I am confident that I am Banaban living under these 2 very different countries as CITIZEN but not INDIGENOUS. To be indigenous I have to be a Banaban which I am.

My question is that,"if the Banabans are IKiribati then why would the Kiribati Constitution differentiate us from an IKiribati?". Think about and let me know.

Arita how about we clear this first then you and I will discuss the Kranga etc.

Ke kanga? Tau teke raoi ao tia boo moa.

ARITA NATHAN said:
Thanks Ken,

To clarify further on this issue......I would like to say that Banabans who never prouds to be called I-Kiribati people may be surely Citizens of Fiji and that why they always take this issue negatively. They may prefer more to be Banaban Fijians despite that some or most rather be called Banaban Kiribatise....lol. It their rights and we can't force anyone.

So when it comes to identify a Banaban person.....it is wise not to compare with the I-Kiribati because the word 'I-Kiribati' is too general, and includes all people from the other 32 islands that make up the republic of Kiribati. Lets compare ourselves with other islands in Kiribati, so we know our differences and similarities...lols and from there we know where to improve ourselves...Let me give you an hint....are you differently sure only the Banabans perform te karanga and play te Karemotu and te katua......have you make thorough a research/investigation in other islands of Kiribati?....that's challenge! For me, I'm not 100% sure of that so lets investigate further......(what you think?)

The more a Banaban or Beruan pushed himself out of our circle, the more he/she isolate himself so lets take this opportunity to overcome this issue on rational basis

Ken Sigrah said:
Well defined Arita. It is good to know that there are people out there who know what they are talking about and have agut to say so.

Cheers

ARITA NATHAN said:
I give credits to those who contribute this long standing issue. Well done! I just want to add some thoughts of mine that can be further clarified. First, I agree that Banaba was annexed separately and at a later date compared to the Gilbert Islands. I do not dispute that fact. However, if you dig further, one could find that all of the islands that have been annexed by the British colonial government which includes Banaba, were all incorporated as one nation (Kiribati).....despite that that island is Beru, Makin or Tarawa. This means that as a nation, Banaba is still seen as one of the islands of Kiribati legally and politically. For example, Banabans on Rabi Island in Fiji are today catogarized as citizens of Fiji whereas Banabans on Banaba still categorized as I-Kiribati people.

So in arguing for Banaban identity.....that is good in order to preserve the unique culture of the Banaban people to remain survive. I encourage other islands of Kiribati to do the same like the people of Banaba Island. The people of other islands in Kiribati should look at the people of Banaba Island and think what is left to maintain to show eitheryou are true Tarawan or Beruan person. I cannot agree that all Tarawans and the Beruans have the same identity.... lols

The Banaban people occupy a unique position in the Kiribati society today as a result of colonial exploitation of their island by the British government in partnership with Australia and New Zealand. Anyone who knows the story will feel sorry for the people of Banaba island. However that unique position must not be abused today and should remain as it is when it was first enforced.

Finally, I would like to say that the people who prouds to call themselves I-Kiribati should also look at their respective islands they originally come from and try to do something that will not show only you as an I-Kiribati but also as a true Tabiteuean or Beruan person.
In 2005 I did a field survey work on plant diseases caused by microscopic eelworms (technically known as nematodes) in the northern Pacific starting from the Marshall Islands then to Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Chuuk. From there I went on to Guam for few days then to Cairns, Brisbane then back to Fiji. It was a long field work, very tiring, but also full of opportunities and interesting events. Amongst those was meeting my relatives in these countries particularly Marshalls, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk. Yes, I have the Marshallese and Pohnpeian blood in my veins from my elders but I don’t call myself a Marshallese or Pohnpeian or the other bloods I have. I am a Banaban and no-one can take that away from me. Truth is almost every race on earth today are mix-blood but the one you have ancestral ties to culturally and traditionally and lived is what you belong to.
Anyway, whilst in Pohnpei I was fortunate to watch the respective traditional dances of the northern Micronesians performed by students from these different countries and states of FSM and RMI. It was very interesting to note the similarities and dissimilarities which of-cause identifies the various races. Then, my attention was fully attracted to what I saw as “te karanga ni Banaba” performed by the Chuuk students. Well, I need not go into detail of our ancestral Banaban dance but you can imagine and contemplate my confusions. We, as Banabans know that no-one within or outside the Pacific Islands dance “te karanga” the way we Banabans performed it. It is “our” very own ancestral, traditional and cultural dance. How on earth did this people performed it almost exactly as we Banabans? I brought my confusions back home and some days later I had few bowls of yaqona with Tekana Timeon, one of the known members of the Banaban Dancing Group. I mentioned to him what I saw in Chuuk and then he related to me the very same confusion he had during the Tahiti Festival of Arts when he saw the very same “karanga” performed by the same people. Even the lance or spear used was exactly the same as that used by the Banabans. To settle his confusion he made a point in meeting with the leader of the dance group from Chuuk and enquired about “their karanga”. What she told him was that the dance was not ancestral to them but a gift given to their elders by a sea drifter cast on their shores in the 1500s. Because their people have been performing the dance for centuries they have included it as part of their traditional dance. All they knew about that man was that...he came from the south. Interesting, don’t you think?


Stacey King said:
Sorry to correct you Ken... but relating to Arthur Mahaffy describing the uniquely Banaban dance te Karanga that he had seen nowhere else in his Pacific travels.... being between 1910-1913.

In fact these were the dates his report was published and he actually saw the te Karanga preformed back in the late 1800's while he was working on one of the whaling ships that visited Banaba. This was well before the arrival of the discovery of phosphate in 1900. I think it was even before the Missionaries arrived. He wrote quite a lot of detail about the te Karanga in his report and it is well worth reading.

For those interested I have a scanned copy of it. If you would like to get a copy email me at: admin@banaban.com

Regards Stacey
Quote: “annexation for easier administrative purposes...”. Sorry I just came about this discussion few days ago and I found this very funny, I presume, from an educated man like Albert William Smith. What is there to administer that Banaba qualified for? The natives who had lived on Banaba peacefully for centuries, probably dating back to the initial Pacific Islands migration period? The land, which is very insignificant in size and isolated location in the mid-Pacific Ocean? Or just for the sake of administration? A hobby for those colonial superpowers then. People need to do more historical research when it comes to dealing with our ancestral homeland...BANABA...we know our history.

Albert William Smith said:
One thing we should be fully aware of is that the Kiribati nation is a creation of contemporary development - a by product of Colonialism which I am sure you agree that the Banaban situation is also a by product of that. Before the notion of a Kiribati nation - there was Island identity i.e. Onotoans, Beruans, Tarawans etc no Kiribati and each Island was seeking dominance over the other islands - refer to their legends and myths. The classic example is Abemama - which under Binokas rule was able to annex Kuria and Aranuka, 2 nearby Islands.
Auriaria came and according to legend there were people already living on Banaba - darker in complexion and have a language. Auriaria raira Banaba - literal meaning change the customs/culture and posiibly to some extent language i.e. enforce his own customs/culture/language, dominate those people and then left Banaba travelled to Tarawa, Onotoa etc and also influenced the culture/customs/languages of those people. Maybe he was the first to create a link between these Islands. This is the same case to the Beruans - Te Matawarebwe came and aslo enforced his customs/culture to the people already living on Beru before his arrival. His descendants travelled to nearby Islands and to some extent enforced similar changes hence the similarity in some of the cultures/customs.

The point is before europeans arrive on the scene there were a lot travelling between the Islands hence the similarities which leads to the annexation for easier administratvie purposes ... you extend this
well..can I add something from here...I for one strongly believes that we do still have the right to say 'I am a Banaban'. Talking about identity.... I think it is about time that we should find ways to revive our 'almost' dead language. This is something we need to upbring as the Banabans and to be honest am not proud to call myself 'kain Kiribati'. I apologise for that but I need to let the whole world know that there is 'Banaba' and that we should be proud of.
Good day Materina,
Though, you have more than millions and millions reasons for being called a Banaban, Banaba will always be "atimwakoron" part of Kiribati. It will never be isolated from Kiribati. Sorry but this is the true fact and no one can deny it. thanks

Materina Tom said:
well..can I add something from here...I for one strongly believes that we do still have the right to say 'I am a Banaban'. Talking about identity.... I think it is about time that we should find ways to revive our 'almost' dead language. This is something we need to upbring as the Banabans and to be honest am not proud to call myself 'kain Kiribati'. I apologise for that but I need to let the whole world know that there is 'Banaba' and that we should be proud of.
Mauri Ken
l am really at peace in reading this articles of yours since i am a proud Banaban it means a lot in knowing more from reading... Well there are still some of our own Banaban vocabulary that are still being used by us like KAKA (grandpa/ma) in Kiribati they use te TIIBU but most are using the English vocab now... Another word that we normally use in our everyday saying te BAKATU which is not a Kiribati word. Not quite sure if these words come from our original language, but somehow links us to our lost language.
That is what i what to share as a proud Banaban... Only one request to u and your wife if you could send Saint Louis High School some copies of your books on "Te Rii ni Banaba" cos it would be a great help to our history students.
Tia boo
Tekeraoi...
Teburenga, my apologies for not coming back to you earlier as I've been busy travelling to Fiji,Tarawa and Banaba during these past months not mentioning my work in our business so ani bon kabwara te bure.

It will be hard for me to sent you the book Te Rii ni Banaba from here but you can purchase a copy from USP Suva in the IPS department book shop. That way it will be cheaper as there will be no freight cost if bought in Fiji.

Thanks for your comments and keep in touch.

Tia boo moa.




Teburenga Betero said:
Mauri Ken
l am really at peace in reading this articles of yours since i am a proud Banaban it means a lot in knowing more from reading... Well there are still some of our own Banaban vocabulary that are still being used by us like KAKA (grandpa/ma) in Kiribati they use te TIIBU but most are using the English vocab now... Another word that we normally use in our everyday saying te BAKATU which is not a Kiribati word. Not quite sure if these words come from our original language, but somehow links us to our lost language.
That is what i what to share as a proud Banaban... Only one request to u and your wife if you could send Saint Louis High School some copies of your books on "Te Rii ni Banaba" cos it would be a great help to our history students.
Tia boo
Tekeraoi...
Mauri ngkami ni kabane,

I have read all comments on this discussion, it is very interesting. The one comment that prompt me to write is a reply to Materina's input. The reply reads, Banaba will always be "atimwakoron" part of Kiribati. This is very true because it legally recorded and constituted under Kiribati.

I have nothing against the political side of the reply but, I have a question to raise here. I have been to Banaba, the land scape, the formation and the make up of Banaba is totally different from the low laying coral atolls of Kiribati. What I want to ask is, if Banaba is different from the coral atoll then, what about their identity? Two different components make two different indentity, hmhmhmhmhmh I might be wrong but, equation wise, I might be right.

My humble request to the contributors to please, don't spoil a good discussion. Thanks Itinteang for a good topic.

Cheers!!

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Slides of Banaba from the 1960's

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Ken

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