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Film & Photos

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After years of documenting the art cultures of the Pacific Islands in still photographs, Caroline moved into the documentary filmmaking field. With the help of professional friends and her husband she has worked in various capacities on the following programs:


A Collage of still photography images from the 8th Festival of Pacific Art held in New Caledonia, in the year 2000. Photos by Caroline Yacoe.

Pacific Pathways • Caroline Yacoe • 223 Paiko Drive • Honolulu, Hawaii 96821 • Phone/Text (808) 384-5438 • e-mail:

The Drum and the Mask 


Time of the Tubuan 

Producer/Director Caroline Yacoe Video 30 minutes 


This fascinating documentary explores a complex ceremony of initiation into a secret and sacred male society among the Tolai people of Papua New Guinea. The society is known as the Tubuan, as is the extraordinary mask form that personifies its powers and is featured in the initiation ceremony. Afforded unprecedented access into the ceremony, the filmmakers successfully illustrate how the Tubuan underlies all aspects of Tolai life. This outstanding ethnographic study will stimulate discussion and analysis in a variety of courses in cultural anthropology, Pacific Island studies, Asian studies, and art history.


Hawaii Intl. Film Festival honoree

Pacific Arts Association. Symposium honoree


"A wondertul addition to the film repertoire on Oceanic cultures and Melanesia. Provides a rare insight into a Melanesian culture that has

adopted western traditions while maintaining the core of their traditional belief systems. The film features interviews with practicing indigenous members of the society as well as the local expatriate Catholic priest. Another great feature of the film is the inclusion of both urban and rural scenes, emphasizing the duality of contemporary Melanesian lifestyles. Highly recommended!" --Jackie

Lewis-Harris, Prof. of Anthropology, Univ. of Missouri

"Offers a rare and unusual glimpse of traditional ceremony and art in the South Pacific. The drama of the Tolai initiation ceremony, narrated by the participants themselves, captures the sacredness of

daily human experiences and the spiritual strength of the Melanesian peoples. The Tolai's strong reverence for and closeness to the natural world is well-captured by the video, which vividly illustrates a unique way of life and its cultural expressions. At the Bishop Museum, we use the video to set the context for the study of artifacts in our Pacific collections. It brings the objects to life for children and adults alike." -- Richard Duggan, Chair, Exhibits Dept., Bishop Museum, Honolulu


"This was a great success in my undergraduate course on Pacific

cultures. It provided the students with a visually stimulating and well-explained exploration of a Melanesian rite of passage from boyhood to manhood. We really enjoyed the video!"

- Vicki Torsch, Dept. of anthropology, Univ. of Vermont

"A fantastic curriculum resource for courses in cultural and social anthropology, art history, and ethnic studies. It vividly brings to

life the cultural importance of art (in this case, masks) used in Pacific Island initiation rituals. This visually dramatic production demonstrates how traditional Pacific Island ceremonies remain vital today. For all those who think traditional culture and the arts of

Oceania are dead... think again!"

- Tom Barlow, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning;Lori Phillips, Director, Pacific Center for Arts and Humanities in Education

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Face of the Spirits


The Sulka People of Papua New Guinea 

Producer/Director Caroline Yacoe Video 27 minutes 


On a remote area of  New Britain Island, approximately 4,000 Sulka live much as their ancestors did. Ceremonies, both traditional and contemporary, featuring their unique Tumbuan hemlaut and sisi masks, continue today. They are presented here for the first time on film with comments by Sulka leaders giving their insights into understanding how these rituals express Sulka culture.

Selected Screenings

Distributed by:

Pacific Pathways

Caroline Yacoe

223 Paiko Drive

Honolulu, Hawaii 96821

Phone/text (808) 384-5438




“..We were a group of almost 40 from PAA_E (Pacific Arts Association-Europe) and all went very
well. …Congratulations, it was widely applauded ad we will be putting it on permanent view in
the gallerfy just adjacent to the Sulka presentation…..
From Dr. Ingrid Heermann, Curator Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Germany
On the showing of Faces of the Spirits at the opening of the Sulka Exhibition June 2001


"Visuals portray an exotic culture and

society, although context is thin in

scenes of the new church, which

stands mute on the relationship

between mission and masks. The

complicated relationship between self-

sufficiency, development, and global

capitalism is merely hinted at, and

despite their indispensable participa-

tion, women's voices are left out. I

recommend this film for introductory

anthropology or Melanesian ethnog-

raphy courses to explore the integra-

tion of art, religion, and daily life;

concepts of tradition and change;

globalization and development; reli-

gious syncretism; gender relations;

urban-rural connections; and issues

around "doing" ethnography and

making ethnographic films.


Okanagan University College"


Pacific Passages


The Sulka People of Papua New Guinew 

Producer and Director Caroline Yacoe, Wendy Arbeit and GB Hajin Video 30 minutes 


Filled with unforgettable images Pacific Passages is designed to take students out of the textbook and into the sights and sounds of today’s Pacific Island Countries and cultures.. From the thatched huts of Papua New Guinea to the highrises of Honolulu, Pacific Passages interweaves contemporary footage of ritual events and daily activities of the islanders of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia with the world renown collections of the Honolulu Museum of Art and the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum. Dance, art, ritual, the stages of life… these are experienced by all people. In this video, students will come to see how islanders’ lives are at once familiar and unique


Shown at Honolulu International Film festival HIFF and many museums nationally and internationally.

Honolulu Museum of Art Docent Training

National Educational Media Network Gold Apple Award




"in recognition of excellence in treatment of subject matter, creativity, factual accuracy, technical and artistic quality, as well as educational value"


"I marveled at your fine film, it is filled with wonderful ideas and images for our students here. It also has an attitude and outlook I think our multicultural students will appreciate."

Robert P. Edmondson, Honolulu Community College Anthropologist and Art Historian.

"..Pacific Passages is a documentary video that visits sites throughout the Pacific to explore the major life changes--birth to death-that we all experience, and the ways that different Pacific cultures address these

changes.....In the end, the film is less an act of preservation than of celebration. We Wanted to get across the feeling that these cultures are still very much alive,' says Yacoe, 'They are still vital, they're sto; jovog amd creatomg art'

With Paintbrush Not Gun

Featuring Donald Yacoe


With Paintbrush Not Gun commemorates the 50th anniversary of the ending of World War II in the Pacific from the perspective of an Army Artist, Donald Yacoe.


World War II footage, memorabilia and music of the times is interspersed with Yacoe’s sketchbooks, drawings, watercolors of Army life, and traditional     village life  in New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan.


Yacoe’s recollections include being armed only with a paintbrush when encountering Japanese snipers, the excited response to a water color demonstration by color starved New Guinea villages and the sharing of creating art with an old Japanese artist in war torn Tokyo.


An interview with an elderly nun in New Guinea who survived – and forgave – her Japanese captors is a tribute to both the human spirit and a reminder that terrible things can and do occur.  


With Paintbrush Not Gun also presents perspective on what World War II meant and did to the Pacific Islands Countries who had no role in it’s origin but whose lives were forever changed by it’s events.


Caroline Yacoe


Pacific Pathways


Island Worlds

30 minutes 

Explore the thriving cultural and artistic traditions of Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia. Especially designed for Art teaches grades 4-12. Art and Culture in the Pacific a Video in three parts.

Made in connection with Dr. Lori Phillips, Director of the Pacific Center for the Arts and Humanities in Education at Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) Honolulu


Dr. Lori Phillips
PREL St:#402
119 Merchant Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
808 4411300

Image to Word

Word to Image

Video 30 minutes

Learn how to improve Vocabulary and Comprehension through Art. This charming film follows
one teaher’s creative strategies introducing 4 th Grade Pacific Island Children to using art as a
vehicle to improve writing.

Distributed by

PREL St:#402
119 Merchant Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
808 4411300


Art of the Pacific Islands


Art Selection and Content Caroline Yacoe

An interactive searchable collection of more than 100 beautiful artifacts from Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. Oceanic art has long been recognized for its quality and its influence on Western art. This CD presents art examples from the Pacific region in the form of museum photos, contemporary video segments, and music accompanied by historical and cultural descriptions . All can be accessed by country, usage, or keyword, making it possible to easily incorporate Pacific Island art into a variety of disciplines and grade levels.


Made in connection with and distributed by Dr. Lori Phillips, Director of the Pacific Center for the Arts and Humanities in Education at Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) Honolulu


Distributed by:

PREL St:#402
119 Merchant Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
808 4411300

Waikiki Riding the Waves of Change

This is the story of the Waikiki Beach Boys, their past, the present and hopes for the future. Interviews with Beach Boys talking story about the legendary “Ambassadors of Aloha”, combined with archival footage and music bring them to life and tell of their traditions. Interwoven are scenes of Waikiki with all it’s “mana” and aloha for both tourists and locals of all ethnic and economic backgrounds.  Hawaiian culture in the form of chants, music, language and life style accent these themes throughout the film.


“This is a 'must watch' forall Surfers! - You deserve an “Oscar” for relevance & informed perspective!  A work of ART & reflects great commitment and superb research.  You have captured and protected for posterity the most intuitive piece I have ever seen - these are our roots.... Than you for enriching my Surfing life...& Heritage.”

John Nielsen -Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association


“My respect for the Waikiki Beach Boys is unbounded.  I first imagined they were boys who rented surfboards but now I know them as men who teach life lessons.  Travel to Waikiki with this documentary and experience the wisdom and generosity that lives within their Aloha hearts.”

James Bradley, Author: Flags of Our Fathers, Flyboys


“Mahalo nui! What a wonderful piece of work.  The oft referred to but somewhat difficult o exactly define ”Spirit of Aloha”, was visible and almost palpable in the movie, and in the eyes and hearts of those present at yesterday’s screening. You have created an instant classic.  Congratulations”. Aloha, 

Norm Retheford, Waikiki. 


“I just watched Waikiki: Riding the Waves of Change for the third time. Outstanding!! Great job. The part of Aki hoping the new young beachboys will wake up and get the message of Aloha is huge. I hope the new beachboys will get the message. As a member of the Waikiki Surf Club and a longtime member of the gang at the surfboard lockers I've seen Waikiki Beach change.  Maybe your DVD will bring back the aloha.”

Aloha, Anonymous


“You really captured the feeling and the spirit of is a film that all who really love this place should watch, remember and enjoy.  I'll also saw it as more than just about is commentary on what the world has become today.  The film makes one reflect on how to make this world a better place to live.” Regards 

 Marsha and Herb Klein


“Thank you for an absolutely marvelous film. Your endeavor and action to produce such a classically well -captured time capsule of the Waikiki Culture is a mind blower.  Your film is worthy of more than you can imagine….it is perfectly documented… Don’t give up…. the journey has just started.  The rest of the world needs to see it!  You’re marvelous. A Hui Hou!” 

Robert Huberlife longtime member of the Beach and Film Communities

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