Primitive Polynesian Economy

Primitive Polynesian Economy

Primitive Polynesian Economy

Primitive Polynesian Economy

Excerpt

This book is in a sense a supplement to my Primitive Economics of the New Zealand Maori. Together they provide a comparative analysis of the institutions of two Polynesian communities differing considerably in natural environment, in population, and in political organization. For the Maori I had to use primarily documentary sources, often fragmentary; my own brief field work trips among them filled few gaps. And since the Maori have for a century been participants in an Antipodean variant of European civilization, my generalizations had to be mainly reconstructions, though some of the traditional principles of organization have shown a sturdy vitality to the present day.

Tikopia, on the other hand, is a living Polynesian culture, practically autonomous. This has allowed the analysis of contemporary behaviour, based upon my first-hand observation. The present book compared with that on the Maori therefore gives a more dynamic picture of the economic processes.

I am fully conscious that the exploration of economic theory could be carried much farther than it is here, but I hope to have indicated at least some lines along which both field study and theoretical analysis may be pursued.

I wish to acknowledge the help that I have received from Dr. W. E. H. Stanner, Dr. R. Piddington, and Mr. E. R. Leach in the preparation of this book, and I am grateful to the Committee of the Rockefeller Research Fund of the London School of Economics for making their services available to me. I am indebted also to Mr. V. G. J. Sheddick for preparing the map, and to my wife for much valuable criticism. And finally, I wish to express my obligation to the Australian National Research Council, who financed my field-expedition.

October, 1938.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.