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Title   Aati o e Lea Tonga Heliaki Tufunga mo e Faiva Lea Heliaki : The Art of Proverbs Materials an Performance Arts of Proverb 

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Author   MAHINA O  ISBN   9780958267809  Add to shopping cart   
Publisher   Tvedt Publishing  Group   New Zealand View shopping cart
Binding   Paperback Category   Pacific  Terms and conditions
Edition   1 Type   Go back
Publication Year    
Subject   Tongan History 
Stock Status   Not currently in stock - contact store for availability 
Order Status   Not currently on order 
Synopsis This new book (trans. Art of Proverbs: Material and Performance Arts of Proverbs) by Dr `Okusitino Ma-hina (Anthropology) and Kolokesa Uafa- Ma-hina-Tuai (Te Papa Museum Tongarewa) records, all in the vernacular, some 1695 most beautiful Tongan proverbs, lea heliaki, reflecting on both the breadth and depth of Tongan conceptual and functional sense of creativity, originality and objectivity in connection with language, with the foreword by Te-vita O. Ka`ili and conclusion by Dr Viliami Uasike- La-tu-. Unlike Dr Mahina’s first book of proverbs, which featured some 600 proverbs, having more old than new proverbial sayings, this book consists of more contemporary lea heliaki than customary ones, confirming the fact that, like all things, in nature, mind and society, language does change ceaselessly.

In their joint original essay, Dr Ma-hina and Ma-hina-Tuai make some critical observations of the nature of Tongan proverbs which are considered an art form, divided temporally-spatially, formally-substantially into tufunga lea heliaki and faiva lea heliaki, material and performance arts. Moreover, they observe that proverbs can be regarded as one-line, one-verse poems, while poems are taken to be a collection of proverbs. Furthermore, they also discover that, like the Tongan arts of myths and legends, Tongan proverbs can be classified aesthetically either as a form of comedy, faiva fakaoli, or a type of tragedy, faiva fakamamahi, or a mixture of both, thereby yielding to their functional value as an instrument for moral instructions. This is related respectively to laughter and shame as outcomes connected with comedy and tragedy, which function as a form of self-knowledge, celebrating the fact that one is now conscious that an error of judgement has been committed in one’s thinking about reality, be they nature, mind or society.

Featured in the 10 March 2008 New Zealand newsletter.
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