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"Symbols & Patterns of Grassroots Culture in the Fiji Islands"

by Mara Jevera Fulmer
Associate Professor/Program Coordinator in Graphic Design
C.S. Mott Community College, Flint, MI
(Formerly Art Director for The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji)

Fiji Symbols

ISBN 0-9758727-0-2
Mara Jevera Fulmer © 2001, 1996
210 pp, wirebound, 11x8.5 in.
270+ B&W Illustrations & Photographs.
Now available for purchase: $30.00US plus $3.50 shipping & handling.

Email Mara Jevera Fulmer for information on mail order or bulk orders.

Excerpt:

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Preface

The idea for the development of this anthology was first conceived upon my arrival in Fiji in September 1991. This was when I began my new post as Art Director and Senior Graphic Artist at the University Media Centre, The University of the South Pacific.

It became immediately apparent that the visual language of my own culture, a tool that I depended upon, was not easily understood by the various cultures of the South Pacific, my new audience. Working with other expatriates who had come to Fiji to be employed by NGOs, diplomatic missions, and educational institutions, I came to the conclusion that the need for a Fiji (and Pacific) "visual dictionary" existed beyond my own office. And so the work began.

Since my return to the USA, I have tried to incorporate the same philosophy that first lead me to undertake this project in the first place. In teaching Graphic Design, especially at the community college level, I teach my students to acknowledge that all visual language has a cultural context. And to attempt to communicate successfully across cultural contexts, one must not only attempt to understand the culture but the visual language as well. This applies whether directing the message to folks across town or across the sea.

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Fiji's Symbols & Patterns: An Introduction

On a few small dots in the Pacific, barely large enough for a mapmaker's tools to take notice of, there lies the island nation of Fiji. Though the mists that once shrouded these islands have risen with the 20th century, understanding of the Fijian culture by the outside world still remains generally in the domain of scholarly research. As the development of this small island country continues, understanding of methods in communication ~ both contemporary and traditional ~ has become important to the successful growth in this Pacific crossroads.

In this publication, the author has attempted to provide an overview, albeit brief, to the visual symbols and patterns of Fijian culture that could be useful in creating more meaningful visual communications. In addition, this work is intended to provide a reference tool to communicators, educators and the general public (both local and foreign) who have a need for a basic visual reference of cultural symbols and motifs.

Read Visual Language:19th Century Comet in Fiji Sample Article republished from the book!

Copyright 2001 © Mara Jevera Fulmer. All Rights Reserved.

 

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