I have a presentation to the North American Association of Environmental Educators in a few weeks. Before I launch into the ins and outs of a factor analysis we did on our survey of ocean attitudes and use in Hawaii, I’m going to read Tell Them.

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

Tell Them

I prepared the package

for my friends in the states

the dangling earrings woven

into half moons black pearls glinting

like an eye in a storm of tight spirals

the baskets

sturdy, also woven

brown cowry shells shiny

intricate mandalas

shaped by calloused fingers

Inside the basket

a message:

 

Wear these earrings

to parties

to your classes and meetings

to the grocery store, the corner store

and while riding the bus

Store jewelry, incense, copper coins

and curling letters like this one

in this basket

and when others ask you

where you got this

you tell them

 

they’re from the Marshall Islands

 

show them where it is on a map

tell them we are a proud people

toasted dark brown as the carved ribs

of a tree stump

tell them we are descendents

of the finest navigators in the world

tell them our islands were…

View original post 332 more words