Ordinary houses have extraordinary stories to tell. For more than a century, anthropologists have been recording these sagas in an attempt to uncover humanity's relationship with the common dwelling. Fundamental to the interaction of humans and housing is the way people shape their living spaces, even redefining their purposes and meanings; their houses, in turn, influence how people live their lives and perpetuate the cultural structures that produced a given form of shelter. The stories draw attention to colonial and missionary agendas, local and global economies, environmental disasters, cultural identities, social connections, and family continuity, as well as personal choices. And, as the chapter on homeless Hawaiians shows, even those without houses have stories to tell. Anthropologists, architects, environmental designers, geographers, and historians will welcome this diverse volume on a neglected yet important aspect of change in the lives of Pacific Islanders.
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