Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ann Dunham - Mother of our President

A L O H A !

" “We read to know we are not alone.” 

C.S. Lewis


" A lot of parents pack up their troubles

and send them off to summer camp.  "

Raymond Duncan

History is, strictly speaking,
the study of questions; 
the study of answers 
belongs to anthropology and sociology.  "

W. H. Auden 

" Anthropology
is the most humanistic of the sciences 
and the most scientific 
of the humanities.  "

Alfred L. Kroeber

" Anthropology is the science
which tells us that people are the same
the whole world over - 
except when they are different.  "
Nancy Banks Smith

President Barack Obama's mother,
Stanley Ann Dunham,
accomplished significant work as an anthropologist
when she and young Barack lived in Indonesia.

Last Sunday, at the East-West Center
here in Honolulu,
an exhibit opened which includes
photographs of Dunham
which were never displayed publicly before.

The exhibit is called:

"Through Her Eyes:
Ann Dunham's Field Work In Indonesia."

On display are also Indonesian crafts
and art indicative of the young scholar/mother's
life and work.

The photos are mostly non-professional 'fieldwork'
shot by colleagues working alongside her.

Here is a look into her pioneering work
among laboring Indonesian people,
including masters of various indigenous crafts.

Some of the crafts on display
were even collected by Dunham herself.

Though an academic anthropologist,
she hoped that her scholarship would make a difference in the lives of the people she came to like and admire.

Dunham had met Indonesian scholar
Lolo Soetoro
at the same East-West Center
while both were students
at the University of Hawaii.

They married in Hawaii in 1965.

Soetoro is the father of the President's sister,

Maya Soetoro Ing

Young Barack attended kindergarten
from 1966 to 1967 at Noelani Elementary School
near the University campus here in Honolulu.

Soetoro, a geographer,
returned to Indonesia in 1966,
to help map Western New Guinea
for the Indonesian government.

Dunham and her son
lived with her parents in Honolulu
(where young Barack had been born
at Kapiolani Hospital)
while she completed her studies
at the University of Hawaii.

She earned her B.A. in anthropology in 1967.

( The young mother had filed for divorce
from her estranged husband, Barack Obama Sr.
In January 1964. Barack senior had left Hawaii
in June 1962.)

In 1967, Dunham and her six-year-old son,
our future President,
moved to Jakarta to rejoin Soetoro. 

There Dunham taught English
and was an assistant director of the Lembaga Persahabatan Indonesia Amerika (LIA)
–the Indonesia-America Friendship Institute–which was subsidized by U.S. government.

Young Obama attended the Indonesian-language Santo Fransiskus Asisi
(St. Francis of Assisi) Catholic School around the corner 
from their house for 1st, 2nd, and part of 3rd grade.

The exhibit on the campus of my alma mater, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, 
will be on display until January, 
which includes the time when the APEC conference
will be meeting virtually under my window
at the Hawaii Convention Center in early November.

Thanks so much for visiting!
kindly leave your comment
   Warmly, cloudai


FrancescPhoto said...

Nice pictures!!! Excellent!!!

Salut, Francesc

Anonymous said...

I probably won't see the exhibit, but I think it's wonderful to show something like this to honor the president's mother. Mahalo, Cloudia!

Filip Demuinck said...

Like the hats.


bobbybegood1 said...

So that's where he got his empathic, intelligent, compassionate, studious traits from? And might I add good looks. Marvelous. It's nice to know this information President Obama. Cheers Cloudia!!

Jo said...

Wow! Interesting!

How are you liking your new digs, by the way? :-)

Windsmoke. said...

Bonza history lesson about the president's mum. I like the quote by C.S. Lewis :-).

Milanblogger said...

thank to show me an amazing sunset on the 1st pic

oceangirl said...

I had always wondered about her. She must be was quite a person.

The Elephant's Child said...

Thank you. Information that I did not know. Love, love, love your first photo.

Carol said...

Thank you for your kindcomments today andover the years. I heard about Stanley Ann on NPR. She was one of a kind.

SandyCarlson said...

How wonderful, my friend. Wow!

Rudolph Aspirant said...

I had no idea that Pres. Obama studied at some point at a Catholic School. Given that it seems that most people I sincerely admire these days are graduates of some form of Catholic school really makes me think that there is true value in Catholic Education.

Did you guys know that it was forbidden by Norway's Constitution for Jesuit monks to establish residence in the Kingdom of Norway until 1956 ! They had allowed Jewish people and other types of Catholic monks in earlier, at the end of the XIX-th century, but it had to be 1956 until they let the Jesuits in ! And the reason they actually did it then was because of the Hungarian anti-communist uprising of 1956, in which there had been some Hungarian Jesuit monks who had participated in that revolution, who needed the protection of poltical asylum in Norway, so they had to finally change the Constitution for their sake !

Hattie said...

This sounds really interesting. I'm talking over the idea of making a day trip to Honolulu to see the exhibit.

Beach Bum said...

" Anthropology is the science which tells us that people are the same the whole world over - except when they are different. "
Nancy Banks Smith

Yogi Berra would love that one.

Scarlet said...

Great quotes and celebration! Aloha, amiga, from Miami!

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots.

magiceye said...


namaste /\ from mumbai!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

So you will have to just pop downstairs to the exhibition, lucky you Cloudia. Very interesting post about Pres. Obama's parents and early years and as always gorgeous images.

Karen S. said...

Xcellent- I bet Through Her Eyes is fabulous...thank you!

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

I like those cut women costumes !

Anonymous said...

What a fascinating exhibit.

Your photos are lush and gorgeous!

Samantha said...

Loved the quotes. I would really like to see the exhibit..

Lynn said...

Wow - I wish I could see that. And thank you for singing the praises of this heroine who we haven't heard enough about.

Lori Skoog said...

Thank you for a closer introduction to Ann Dunham.

You have a quote from a RAY DUNCAN. We have a friend, Ray Duncan (retired Political Science Prof.) who lives in Brockport and has written 1 book working on another. Could he possibly be the same person you quoted?

the walking man said...

Does it feel weird saying "will be meeting virtually under my window" or are you totally on your land legs now?

Bob Bushell said...

Lovely photos, and I love the sayings.

Daryl said...

Fascinating stuff ...

Charles Gramlich said...

didn't know this about his mum.

Reader Wil said...

How eventful Barack Obama's life has been! I hope he will remain your president for a long time.
Dutch "groeten"!

Lifecruiser Travel said...

Lovely blog you have here - I regret not coming over earlier as I have seen your comments at our blogger friends for quite a long time!

I sooo wish I could go to the exhibit! When I had my 50th birthday I planned to go to Hawaii somewhere around, (during the nifty-to-be fifty-campaign), but something else come in between and then we left for Prague instead... I must admit now afterward that I regret that too...

Cloudia said...

Don't know the fellow who made the quote. If it IS your neighbor do let us know.

Yes, we are settling in nicely thank you.

Your dear comments are appreciated, believe me!

Fotokarusellen said...

This is really a very beautiful blog. Bravo! I like your work very much.