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Four years ago, I was stranded off-the-grid on the remote Pacific island of Banaba. While I was there, the elders asked me to find and return a skull that had been stolen from the island nearly a century ago. I made a podcast to document the search.

remains.substack.com

Remains Janice Cantieri

    • Dokumentär

Four years ago, I was stranded off-the-grid on the remote Pacific island of Banaba. While I was there, the elders asked me to find and return a skull that had been stolen from the island nearly a century ago. I made a podcast to document the search.

remains.substack.com

    Episode 5: A Story from Rabi

    Episode 5: A Story from Rabi

    I hope that you all are staying safe and healthy. This is a tough time for everyone, and it’s especially important to practice kindness. I am grateful for our healthcare workers, teachers, those in the food industry, mailmen & delivery drivers. I’m sorry for the delay in putting this episode out, we were moving and then preparing to shelter in place.

    I figured now would be a good time to put out Episode 5, in case you wanted to take a little break from the coronavirus news cycle. In this episode, we’ll hear from Tekana Timeon, a Banaban living in Buakonikai Village on Rabi Island, Fiji.

    Tekana’s grandfather was Tanaera, the older brother of Tekiera, the man who was tricked into giving away the skull. Tekana will recount the chain of events leading up to Dr. Gould removing the skull from Banaba. 

    Rabi (pictured) is the island that the Banabans were displaced to in 1945, to facilitate further British phosphate mining. Most of the Banabans live on Rabi today.

    Thank you all so much for listening, and if you have any leads or a story to share, please email or message me!

    -JC

    Get full access to Remains at remains.substack.com/subscribe

    • 12 min
    Episode 4: Inheriting the Search

    Episode 4: Inheriting the Search

    Welcome to Episode 4 of REMAINS. In this episode, Ken Sigrah and Stacey King will join us from Australia again to share their journey and their connection to Banaba’s history and culture. Ken will also share a legend about the great warrior Teimanaia, so we get a sense of who this ancestor was and why his skull is so important to the Banaban people. 

    We heard from Ken and Stacey on the last episode, but today they’ll be sharing more with us about their efforts to help preserve the Banaban culture and story, finding and returning Banaban artifacts from museums, and staying connected to the Banabans while living in Australia. We’ll resume the search in the next episode!

    Ken and Stacey’s book about Banaban history and culture, Te Rii Ni Banaba, can be found here. Stacey’s new historical fiction set on the island, Naaka’s Awakening, can be found here, and you can visit their website here.

    To Banaban listeners—please reach out to me via email or messenger if you have a story to share—I am trying to include as many perspectives as possible on the show. Thank you all for listening!

    -JC

    Get full access to Remains at remains.substack.com/subscribe

    • 40 min
    Episode 3: The Search Begins

    Episode 3: The Search Begins

    Welcome to Episode 3 of REMAINS. In this episode, I’ll come back on the grid and we’ll find out who removed the skull from Banaba. My parents, Carol and Tom, will share their experiences trying to track me down after I’d been missing for over a month.

    We’ll also hear from Ken Sigrah and Stacey King, who will tell us how they came to learn about Dr. Eben Coleman Gould, the American doctor who stole the skull. Ken is a spokesman for the Te Aka clan and Stacey is an author and businesswoman whose ancestors worked for the mining company. They’ve published several books on Banaban culture and history, including Te Rii Ni Banaba. The second edition of this book has just been released and is available here. We’ll hear more from Ken and Stacey next week as well!

    Dr. Gould, who removed the skull from Banaba, and the hospital staff on Banaba, including Matron Harkness and hospital dresser Tekiera. Image courtesy of the National Archives of Australia.

    Please let me know if you’re listening and have any ideas or potential leads. I’m also inviting Banabans to share their stories on REMAINS. Feel free to message or email me. If you liked this episode, please consider sharing and subscribing.

    Thank you for listening!

    —JC

    Get full access to Remains at remains.substack.com/subscribe

    • 14 min
    Episode 2: Te Aonoanne

    Episode 2: Te Aonoanne

    Hi! Welcome to Episode 2 of Remains, where we’ll learn more about Teimanaia and journey to the sacred burial ground in the middle of the island, where his skull was taken. Listen now in the Podcasts App or on Spotify.

    To my Banaban listeners—I’d love to use this podcast as a space for you to share your stories. Please message or email me! Also, if any listeners have any tips or leads, don’t hesitate to reach out.

    Thank you!

    -Janice

    Get full access to Remains at remains.substack.com/subscribe

    • 17 min
    Episode 1: Off the Grid

    Episode 1: Off the Grid

    Welcome to Remains, a podcast by me, Janice Cantieri, documenting the search for a stolen skull. Four years ago, I was on a Fulbright-National Geographic Fellowship and was stuck off-the-grid for two months on the remote Pacific island of Banaba.

    While I was there, I was asked by the island’s elders to find and return a skull, belonging to one of their most important ancestors, that had been stolen from the island sometime in the 1920s. This podcast tells the story of the search for the stolen skull, the ongoing impacts of Western colonialism and extractive industries, and the resilience of the Banaban people. 

    Throughout the series, we’ll invite Banabans on to share their stories about their missing ancestor, along with experts in the trade of stolen cultural artifacts, and whoever else we might meet along the way!

    Please consider subscribing!

    Thank you,

    -Janice Cantieri

    Get full access to Remains at remains.substack.com/subscribe

    • 24 min

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