Department of Social Anthropology

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Everyday Weather. An ethnography of knowledge and environment in a Fijian village

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Master's thesis submitted at Department of Social Anthropology, spring 2014.

By: Nora Haukali
Supervisor: Professor Edvard Hviding

My research focus is on weather in Fiji; more specifically in the village of Malawai, on the island of Gau. Here people lead lives that are closely connected to the cycles in the environment such as tidal water, lunar cycle, precipitation, and sunshine.

With a focus on people’s everyday life the aim of the thesis is to give a deep and thorough understanding of the villagers’ knowledge about weather, and how is it used in their daily lives. What is weather’s effect on people’s daily lives? How, through every day activities, do they gain and use a special knowledge in responses, and adaptation to different weather phenomena?

I found that much of the knowledge was embodied, activated only through engagement with the environment. This creates a unique and interesting knowledge which must be understood to get a grip of the complex vernacular concept draki, which is the Fijian word used to talk about weather.