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Tēvita O. Kaʻili
Moana Anthropologist, Author of "Marking Indigeneity"
Tēvita O Kaʻili is the author of the book "Marking Indigeneity: The Tongan Art of Sociospatial Relations" (2017). He is originally from Nukuʻalofa, Tongatapu, with ancestral ties to Tonga, Sāmoa, Fiji, and Rotuma. He is a descendant of Moana deified ancestors Tangaloa, Māui, and Hina. He is the chair of the Department of Culture & History at Brigham Young University Hawai'i and teaches courses in Cultural Anthropology and Pacific Islands Studies. Tēvita received his first degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University Hawaiʻi, second undergraduate degree in Psychology, first Masters in Social Work at the University of Utah, and his second Masters and PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Washington in 2008.
He is a leading proponent of the Indigenous Moana-based tā-vā theory of reality. A theory formulated by the noted historical anthropologist Hūfanga Professor ʻŌkusitino Māhina. Tēvita specializes in the cultural arrangement of tā-vā (time-space), indigenous anthropology, transnationalism, Oceanian mythologies, Indigenous ontologies and epistemologies, and language revitalization.
Tēvita and his wife, Liz, live on the Ahupuaʻa of Kahuku, Oʻahu with their 3 cats and dog. When outside of the classroom, Tēvita loves to farm and swim and indulge his wifeʼs penchant for Star Trek and Marvel movies.