In “Where You Are” Chief Tui of the island of Motunui is explaining to his daughter, Moana, how the islanders work and live together. Chief Tui sings: “The village of Motunui is all you need… We share everything we make.” However, the village’s resources are scarce – there are no more fish to be caught in close proximity to the shore and the coconuts and edible plants are dying. Moana wants to sail farther out into the ocean to find more food but her father will not allow it.

Motunui may be lacking well-defined property rights since Chief Tui emphasizes that the villagers share everything they make. Furthermore, a founding belief of communism is the idea that each person produces according to their ability and consumes based on their needs. The islanders may be struggling to find food since they are abiding by this belief – thus, workers feel discouraged to work hard to produce/find more food since they do not directly benefit from their own individual labor.

Additionally, “Where You Are” alludes to potential benefits from trade. Most likely, other surrounding islands could specialize in food production, and Motunui could have traded their, for example, baskets for another island’s coconuts.

Discussion Questions for “Where You Are”

Link to Lyrics for “Where You Are”