Understanding the transformative value of Tongan women's kau toulalanga: mobile mats, mobile phones, and money transfer agents

ʻIlaiu Talei, Charmaine and Memmott, Paul (2014) Understanding the transformative value of Tongan women's kau toulalanga: mobile mats, mobile phones, and money transfer agents Irvine, CA, USA: Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI), UC Irvine School of Social Sciences

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Author ʻIlaiu Talei, Charmaine
Memmott, Paul
Title of report Understanding the transformative value of Tongan women's kau toulalanga: mobile mats, mobile phones, and money transfer agents
Publication date 2014
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Publisher Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI), UC Irvine School of Social Sciences
Place of publication Irvine, CA, USA
Start page 1
End page 39
Total pages 39
Language eng
Formatted abstract
This research project defines 'transformative value' as the potential to move away from an uncontrollable financial situation to a position where one can manage financial challenges with confidence. In seeking to understand the transformative value of kau tou lālanga—a collective weaving enterprise in Tonga—the research asks: How does kau tou lālanga enhance Tongan weavers' ability to financially support themselves and their dependents through weavers' wages and business profits. Furthermore, how do mobile phones and money transfer mediums, contribute to the transformative value of kau tou lālanga?

Ethnographic fieldwork was carried out among two remote island groups in Tonga, and included surveys with seven weaving collectives from four primary villages, leading to more in depth discussions with selected participants over a six to nine month period. Using visual anthropology to document participant and site observations, this research records the progress of each kau tou lālanga, usage of money exchange mediums, mobile phones, and associated economic events. Analysis of the literature continues to inform the ethnography.

This research looks at the transformative value of kau tou lālanga in an economy that moved quickly from subsistence only to include monetization. We suggest that kau tou lālanga can potentially increase household income levels and develop financial confidence amongst Tongan weavers and their families.
Q-Index Code AX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Thu, 12 Mar 2015, 09:21:48 EST by Mrs Erin Lewis on behalf of School of Architecture