7 Comments

  1. I know you think you’re advocating for the small indigenous ni-Van farmers, but they don’t grow tudei to make a living. You know who does? The “white male European neocolonialist” plantation owners, and they’ve turned you into their puppet.

  2. I disagree. Having been in Fiji, I know that this is wrong. Agricultural products in the Pacific are generally withheld by chiefs if they are desirable, but kava is sold to international markets directly by individuals as young as children. There’s no European dominance among the growers. It’s exactly the opposite. The kava plant dictates this by its growing habits.

  3. It should be acknowledged that the increased tudei cultivation of the late ’90s and it’s sale on the international market, was itself outsider influence on the native farmers/culture. Foreigners who sought profit from kava told the local farmers to plant more tudei, because it was hardier & faster growing, which is understandable, but not representative of the true local tradition. What you are actually advocating for, is maintaining one certain version of foreign interference, over the current version of foreign influence. The difference between the two, is that the international kava industry nearly died in version you advocate for, and it began to thrive again in the version you are opposed to…which also happens to be closer to how the actually tradition was before any outside influence. (Not exactly though, obviously)

    Prior to the ’90s kava boom, prior to “the liver scare”, before any regulation of tudei kava, there was island to island survey done of what kava were grown and how many plants of each variety where grown. “Noble” kavas, were VASTLY more cultivated in all locations. That is the tradition. That is not to say they don’t grow or drink tudei, and it is not to say no humans should grow or drink tudei…but what it does suggest that the Ni-Vanuatu’s tradition, prior to the first major boom/influence, did not include significant tudei cultivation.

    1. I agree that it’s complex and that cultivation practices have changed. The difference is that now technocrats are threatening to push for bans against Vanuatu because the farmers aren’t “staying in line.”

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