Ragnhild Scheifes

Ragnhild is currently working at the Museum of contemporary Aboriginal art in Utrecht the Netherlands. Her interest in the world outside the Netherlands dates back to when she was in grade-school and her parents took her to festivals where dance-groups from all over the world were performing. She decided she wanted to do exactly that and as a member of an international dance-group she performed in countries like, for instance, Hungary and Italy where she stayed with guest-families. The 'other' way of life fascinated her very much and ten years later, when she started studying cultural anthropology at the 'Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen', specialising in the Pacific, a long-treasured dream came true. As a result of the inspired teaching, she got fascinated by this region.

In 2001, while looking for a topic for her Master's thesis, she decided to go and do research in the Pacific, focusing her attention on dance. A Dutch couple, who have travelled to the Pacific numerous times during their lives and whose main interest in doing so is music and dance, advised her to go and visit Rotuma. They brought her into contact with Alan Howard and Jan Rensel, who on their part brought her into contact with an esteemed habitant of the Island: Elisapeti Inia.

In 2003, at last, the day had come. She travelled to Rotuma to do field research and another dream came true. She received a very warm welcome on Rotuma and her stay proved to be both fascinating and instructive. Apart from participating, observing and having conversations and interviews, she also filmed and recorded music. She wrote her Master's thesis on the basis of the fieldwork she conducted on Rotuma. In October 2005, she graduated for my Master's degree in Cultural Anthropology.

She has presented her research several times, backed by audio-visual material (to be found on this site), at the Radboud University of Nijmegen at a symposium called "Modernities in Oceania: Reflections on religion, art and language", and at the The Pacific Arts Association’s 9th International Symposium held at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris, in 2007. The last few years she has also given readings at museums through out the Netherlands and given a few poster-presentations. In June/July 2006, she had the pleasure to visit Rotuma and Fiji for the second time. This time she went to meet everybody again (especially Elisapeti Inia who has been of great help and support), to present her thesis, and to see if she could do more research.



Master-thesis; Untie the dove's cord, when it is free it sings. Fara - dancing and singing on Rotuma
Fara songs
Rotuman topics - video part 1
Rotuman topics - video part 2
Pacific music - Klankenstapper
Explanation of Symbols used