Volume 85 1976 > volume 85, No. 1 > Reviews, p 113-138
BRADFIELD, Richard Maitland: A Natural History of Associations: A Study in the Meaning of Community. London, Duckworth, 1973. Vols. I and II, xx, 428, 595 pp., figs., appendices; indices. Price (U.K.) £13.25.
This two-volume work of over 1,000 pages is really three or more monographs tied loosely together by a general concern for the bases of integration underlying the “community”. The value of the work lies more in the constituent monographs, each of which is a detailed and scholarly synthesis of the material available on a particular culture or group of cultures, rather than in the ambitious effort to define cross-culturally the “community”. I will review each of these aspects in turn.
The first half of volume one is concerned with a recount of four African societies (Nuer, Yakö and Mbembe, Talense, and Mende) in functional analyses stressing social organisation. These are drawn together in a concluding definition of the commune as based upon integrative institutions and their ecological pre-requisites. The second half of volume one is devoted to a synthesis of materials on the Trobriands and on the Banks Islands, another Melanesian group. Brad-field only briefly returns to his thesis here, concluding that whereas the community as a district in the Trobriands is based on chiefship, in the Banks Islands it appears to have been integrated by secret associations (I:242). Unlike that on the Trobriands, the more extensive examination of the Banks Islands is an original collation of a great deal of scattered information, especially linguistic, depending heavily on Codrington's A Dictionary of the Language of Mota. 1 The result, however, remains a rather unsystematic lexical analysis focused upon ecology (actually, merely several components of the environment), more informative fragments on kinship, affinity, reciprocity, a graded men's society and a secret society and, lastly, an effort to elucidate several highly abstract philosophical notions of Mota. Although this latter effort is courageous, it is hampered by Bradfield's inability consistently to recognise the arbitrary phenomenal and historical bases of our own notions, and by his ethnocentric assessment of the Mota correlatives as falling short of the clarity achieved by our own.
Volume two is an important synthesis of the Hopi materials, emphasising ritual and symbolism and enriched by Bradfield's first-hand familiarity with the Hopi ecosystem. The presentation is strong in detailed description, but lax in pursuit of the central analytic theme of community. This theme is stated most clearly at the outset, where Bradfield proposes that the bases of solidarity in a community composed of highly autonomous kin groups and devoid of authority (a problem originally proposed by Titiev 2) lie in the integrative institutions of marriage alliance, ceremonial cycles and their supervisory associations, and - 114 the strong ethos of the Hopi “road” (II:11-16). Beginning with his examination of the Melanesian data, Bradfield explicitly focuses his concern on the ethos or ideological basis of community, and I feel that this perspective reaches an important climax in Bradfield's appreciation (following Whorf 3) that the Hopi have developed a consciously existential attitude toward their environment (II: 191-2, 264, 300: “. . . to the Hopi, one's desires and thoughts influence not only his own actions, but all nature as well.”). However, in his emphasis on ethos, Bradfield largely leaves behind analysis of the Hopi social organisation of kinship, affinity, economics, and politics, until a belated and incomplete consideration late in the volume (Ch. 19). This is distressing and is bound to mislead analysis of ethos, just as neglect of ideology confuses understanding of organisation. For instance, although “phratries” are admirably clarified as ideological or symbolic wholes (Ch. 15, 16; II:303), these remain unrelated to ambiguous matrilineal clans (II:198) and apparently important ritual roles of patrilateral kin (II:40, 402).
Part way through an otherwise exhaustive description of the Hopi ceremonial cycle (II:94), Bradfield broaches his thesis (first suggested by Eggan 4) that phratry symbolic complexes mediate between man, i.e., social organisation, and nature, i.e., ecosystem (II: 297). In Chapters 12-16 this thesis is supported through explication of phratry symbolism in terms of climate, seasons, agriculture, myth, fertility and initiation, and ceremonial duties. Following Titiev, 5 a subordinate and much less carefully supported thesis is that the ceremonial cycle is crucial to the integration of a community otherwise unstable in the absence of centralised authority (II:11) and dependent upon agriculture despite an unpredictable semi-arid environment (II:196). Bradfield also contends that this symbolic system effectively limits exploitation of the ecosystem (II:197), but, contrary to his promise, he fails to support this contention. The men's and women's societies, marriage alliances, and multiple clan membership could all be similarly considered as integrative of autonomous kin groups, but Bradfield does not do this. On the other hand, any appeal to some inherent instability of the social organisation seems spurious given these manifold bases of community, and the mainly successful rejection of disintegrative European influences for several centuries.
The last half of volume two places the Hopi, as a “local variant of Shoshonian society”, in the wider context of the Great Basin, considering ecological determinants of several levels of socio-economic integration from the Gosiute to the Northern Paiute and concluding with the Hopi. Along with White and Steward, Bradfield argues that the development of unilineal kin groups was dependent upon the availability and distribution of natural resources. However, regarding the Hopi he postulates no original control of cultivated property by females (II:409), and argues that residence of young couples within the same household as parents, not merely in the vicinity, was crucial to this development (II:403-4).
This volume is concluded with an interesting but perhaps credulous argument for the Mayan origins of Hopi ceremonialism, a consideration of the primate and proto-hominid genetic foundations of male associations, and an appendix on population limitation in kin-based societies, some among many other digressions in the two volumes not clearly relevant to the theoretical thesis.
Having reviewed the diverse ethnographic contributions of this work, I am left with the task of assessing its primary theoretical aim. This is not easy, both because Bradfield does not address himself to it consistently but rather in scattered and disjunct discussions (primarily I:151-9, 230, 241; II:336, 339, - 115 492-3), and because I think that it is an important undertaking and deserving of much more careful development. Bradfield argues that any expression for the kin-based community or commune has dropped out of Indo-European languages along with its referent, usually leading ethnographers to overlook it (I:159-69) or, I would add, confuse their conceptualisation of this sort of group through naive assumption about the nature of its boundaries. However, I am not certain that I have interpreted Bradfield's theoretical aim correctly: although his most consistent concern is with the commune, the title addresses itself ambiguously to both “associations” and the “community”, and Aristotle's use of koinônia in reference to several different sorts of social group, translated by Bradfield as “association” (I:1), does not clarify matters. The explicit intent expressed in the preface (vii) and introduction (I:2) is to analyse the role played in societies by the association in the sense of “voluntary association,” “fraternity,” or “secret society.” However, neither the absence nor presence of such associations in the societies examined seems to occasion special analysis; for instance, although a short descriptive chapter is devoted to Hopi fraternities, their relationship to other institutions of the society remains obscure. Indeed, as a review of the index will show, after a brief comparative treatment in chapter five the topic as such is taken up again only in the last chapter (20), where it is treated only very indirectly through primate and proto-hominid societies and the symbolism of rites of passage. This concludes with a distressingly vague proposal that associations are likely to occur “only in societies where the model upon which they are based is comparatively clear-cut,” especially where the commune is coterminous with the ethnolinguistic unit (II:493). But given Bradfield's own definition of these terms (I:158-9), most of the societies he examines must be counter-examples of this generalisation.
Bradfield more carefully develops a working definition of the commune (but neither distinguishes it from, nor, as the title suggests, explicitly identifies it with, the “community”). In the absence of any succinct or final definition offered by him, I am left to abstract, taking as few liberties with the intent as possible, what appear to be the salient criteria noted especially in the several discussions cited above. The commune is a geographic and territorial entity with more or less clearly defined boundaries, traversable on foot in about a day, with a radius varying between less than five and up to 14 miles, and populated with from 3,000 to 12,000 people, depending on ecological and demographic situation. It is a minimal ethnolinguistic unit (defined as “the population speaking a single, distinct, traditional language as mother-tongue”, I:159). Socially, the commune is a component of (or may itself be?) a kin-based society, and is constituted by several corporate or unilineal descent groups (I:169). The autonomous or segmentary tendency of such kin groups “pose a threat to the integrity of the wider community, i.e., the commune,” which is counterbalanced by some or all of the following integrative institutions: (1) marriage alliance, with about 75 per cent endogamy (I:154-5); (2) secret societies, age sets, or chiefships (it is implied that these are alternative modes of integration I:183,242); (3) ceremony or ritual in a common cult; (4) jural organisation based on authority or effective mechanisms of dispute resolution; (5) economic exchange or a common market; and (6) common ethos or morality, anchored in language, and by which socialised members are defined as “persons,” whereas non-members are defined as “strangers” or “outsiders” (chapter 17).
It is appropriate to add some brief tentative queries to this model of the commune or community. It is not self-evident that it is a geographic or territorial rather than a social entity, especially in view of Bradfield's emphasis on sociological characteristics. Certainly the radius of the community may occasionally - 116 be much larger than 14 miles, in so far as regular visits or representations can span several times this distance even in difficult terrain, especially but not necessarily with modern forms of transportation. There are certainly many communities of far fewer than 3,000 people whose contacts in the wider society are not sufficiently frequent or consequential to draw the community boundary more inclusively. Furthermore, even in such small communities, multilingualism occasionally occurs and may even be instituted through exogamous prescriptions. The assumption that kinship organisation will be unilineal or otherwise corporate similarly begs important questions, as well as furnishing merely a priori grounds for further assumptions regarding endogamous connubiums (I:155, 159) and other integrative institutions countervailing against the supposed divisive tendencies. On the other hand, the community is very unlikely to be devoid of political organisation, and to suppose that a kinship base implies “an essay in pre-political theory” (I:2) restricts unnecessarily the notion of politics. Finally, Bradfield does not furnish the systematic ecological analysis of communities which he promises in the preface: “all significant variations in culture, at least between societies dependent on a subsistence economy, rise out of differences in the relationship between the community and the environment it exploits” (vii). Demonstration of this thesis seems most convincing with regard to the broad form and symbolism of Hopi ceremonial cycles (Bradfield's own painstaking research), but it is actually taken up in few of his ethnographic discussions, and nowhere in satisfactory vigour and detail. Particularly distressing is the general neglect of ecological bases of interdependence both within and external to the community. In conclusion, I admit it is easy to criticise such an ambitious undertaking as the clarification of so fundamental a notion as community, and Bradfield must be credited for attempting to do this in the context of several diverse ethnographic treatments.
BROOKFIELD, Harold (ed.): The Pacific in Transition. Canberra, Australian National University Press, 1973. xviii, 32 pp., tables, maps. n.p.
This book, with a foreword by Oskar Spate, is a collection of 12 essays by 11 authors. Harold Brookfield provides an introduction as well as an analysis of Chimbu farming and land use. All the authors have been associated with each other at one time or another at the Department of Geography at the Australian National University, and the book itself emerges from those informed discussions - 117 which colleagues are wont to have over a glass of beer and a sandwich. But despite this interaction it is not an easy book to review: it is an example of empiricism altogether lacking in any systemic of discrimination, excellent empirical analyses waiting for intellectual content and purpose.
Concerned with the hazy notion of “development” in so-called under-developed countries, each of the authors takes a detailed micro-view of particular sets of circumstances known to himself through field work, and each starts and contains his analysis within an idea of man-land relationships subsumed in “ecosystem”. However, when it comes to how these relationships or relations do, should or might fit together or bear upon each other, eclecticism and freedom of choice are complete. Ideas and relations should form ordered hierarchies: in this book they are projected from particular personae as an egalitarian anarchy. Nor is this lack of a basic paradigm or “mode of fit” mitigated by kinds of logic which could be read into the essays or derived from them. Thus it almost necessarily follows — because perceptions of order, orderliness and “fit” tend to evoke particular buoyancies — that the essays are suffused with, and informed by, a sad pessimism and, indeed, despair. The contributions of William Clarke and Isireli Lasaqa, each of whom asks “What is ‘development’,” “Who is it for?”, and “Why?”, underscore and emphasise the fact that analyses of the human condition — and all the contributors are Human Geographers — which lack moral or ideological content can only appear purposeless and so confused.
The fact of the matter is that the notion of “ecosystem”, which at least in the work under review assumes some sort of balanced or dynamic equilibrium in man-land relations, has little to recommend it. So far as mankind has been concerned, historically as today, the resources of the environment are continually being used up. Sometimes this is a slow process, so slow as to make it appear that the law of the conservation of matter really applies; at other times the process is so fast that one can only wonder wryly at the way scientific laws can have such small relevance to human affairs. The ancient Indus civilisation burnt up its supplies of wood, created a desert, and perished — but not because it had used up all the fuel available. One social order succumbed to another in military combat. There was no equilibrium there, nor does it exist elsewhere. Conceptually useful though they may contingently be, neither “equilibrium” nor “dis-equilibrium” can take us very far. Further, without a discriminatory systemic by which particular “adaptations” — a beguilingly useful word which in the end means nothing — may be judged to be “good”, “bad”, “efficient” or whatever, all we can hope for is a “just-so” situation about which (because the resources are being used up, and because there is no discriminatory systemic) we can only be glum.
It is, of course, not simply a question of man-land relations but of the relations between particular resources and a social organisation which, including systems of status and the devolution of power, orders and arranges how selected resources are obtained, processed and distributed. If and when the population gets too large for these resources and that organisation, new resources and/or a different organisation becomes the price of survival. Descent systems, forms of land tenure, modes of co-operation, exchange and so on go along with population size, exploitable resources and constituent groups. On the whole, throughout man's existence, he has been little more than one jump ahead of extinction; the more he uses, the more he has to use; and he keeps ahead of the game by changing resources and forms of social organisation. At no time or place in man's history would the notion of ecosystem have produced more than a generalised pessimism: the secular equivalent of the sandwichman bearing his legend, “Repent — the end of the world is at hand”! In very truth the end of things has always been just - 118 around the corner. Staving off the end is what the history of mankind has been about. Just one more tourist hotel to adapt to tourist demand. . . .
Ecosystem, then, simply does not wash. And one senses that the contributors to this volume are also aware of its conceptual poverty and nakedness, but cannot move away from it: What could one do with all that data? Again, the insistence on asking the picture, rather than oneself or the painter, what is happening, naturally gives rise to a variety of uncertainties regarding the nature of “development”. You cannot both eschew the grand plan and its necessary totalitarianisms and bureaucracy and also deride other forms of development by calling them “piecemeal”. The mind that finds “peasantry” a dirty word but cannot accommodate itself to concrete apartments or clapboard suburbia is in a real dilemma. What kind of intellectual integrity is there in deploring an existing status and political system and shrinking from the revolution and/or coercive action that can change them?
These are the kinds of questions a reader asks himself as he goes through the essays in this book. Sometimes (for example, Clarke and Lasaqa) the authors also approach them. But because, collectively and individually, there is little or no attempt to transform man-land relations into social organisation-resources relations, and no attempt to develop a discriminatory systemic, even the wealth of meticulously detailed empirical material fails to disperse the misty unreality. For — and it needs to be said — reality is constituted and constitutive, not existent. Ideas make reality, and if the ideas are neither coherent nor ordered, reality is likewise. That is why, as I said at the beginning, this is not an easy book to review. Oskar Spate in his foreword gives us no clues, and Brookfield himself in his introduction makes very heavy weather when he tries to do more than make simple summaries of what the essays to come are about. I have mentioned Clarke (on the dilemma of development) and Lasaqa (the islanders' view of development). There is also a piece on development in the Goroka valley by Diana Howlett, a lively essay by Alistair Couper on maritime economies of the Pacific, an essay on population trends and movements in the New Hebrides by Richard Bedford, one on the land shortage in Tonga by Alaric Maude. Eric Waddell writes on adaptive strategies of the Raiapu Enga — a tough one this, with real maze-diagrams — and David Lea takes more or less the same themes in relation to peoples in the East Sepik. Ian Hughes considers ceremonial and trading exchange systems in inland New Guinea, Roger Frazer has some pertinent things to say about Fijian farming, and Harold Brookfield zeroes in on trends and cycles in Chimbu — a varied board.
The best thing about this book is that, collectively, the contributors have not only done excellently well what their teachers taught them to do, but, extricating themselves from the wastelands of empiricism and looking beyond “ecosystem”, “adaptations” — a glue that could stick anything together — simplistic mechanical cause-effect relations and statistical correlates, they have, both explicitly and implicitly, asked “Whither now?” In the end, Human Geography must be or become a kind of comparative sociology. Which means, as Tylor implied in relation to ethnology, that it must, if only for heuristic purposes, take a stand on which kinds of man-land relations are “good” and which are “bad”. This book shows that a turning point has been reached.- 119
BRUNER, Philip L.: Birds of French Polynesia. Honolulu, Pacific Scientific Information Center, Bishop Museum, 1972. vi, 135 pp., illus., maps. n.p.
DIAMOND, Jared M.: Avifauna of the Eastern Highlands of New Guinea. Cambridge, Mass., Nuttall Ornithological Club, 1972. vii, 438 pp., maps, figs. Price (U.S.) $15.00.
These two bird books are very different in intention, scope and style, but both are of interest to at least some students of human activity in Oceania.
Mr Bruner spent a year in 1970-71 collecting birds in French Polynesia (i.e. in the political territory of that name, including the Society Islands, Tuamotus, Australs, Gambiers and Marquesas) and was persuaded by Dr E. H. Bryan, Jr., of the Pacific Scientific Information Center at the Bishop Museum, to write this book. It is welcome; for the only readily available pocket handbook of the birds of the tropical Pacific, Ernst Mayr's Birds of the Southwest Pacific 6, covers the island groups from the Bismarck Archipelago in the west to Samoa in the east, but does not deal at all with Central or Eastern Polynesia. W. B. King's useful identification manual 7 includes species found in Polynesia, but is restricted to seabirds.
Mr Bruner's work is unpretentious and has limited aims — namely to provide an elementary guide to the reader with little or no existing knowledge of the birds of the area, and to stress the importance of conserving some of the very rare endemic forms present in the islands — and to this extent disarms criticism. It will indeed help the newcomer to identify some of the commoner birds that he sees, and it's not every bird-book, however useful to the specialist, that achieves this. It also contains several snippets of information of interest to anthropologists, for example on the continuing importance of pigeons and of tern eggs to the islanders as food resources, on Polynesian fishermen's use of boobies, terns and frigate-birds as guides to shoals, and on the behaviour of certain species which figure in Polynesian folk-tales. It records Polynesian names for a number of species, though surprisingly, French names are not provided.
One intriguing titbit of information is that a Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is present, though in very small numbers, in the Austral Islands. Previously the only generally-known record of an owl in tropical Polynesia east of Samoa 8 was J. R. Forster's mention of the Barn Owl's presence on “Tupai” (presumably Tubai, near Bora Bora in the Society Islands, but possibly Tubuai in the Australs) in his account of birds collected on Captain Cook's second expedition, 9 a record which has been questioned by more recent zoological authorities. 10 Ruru, the Maori name for the common small New Zealand owl (the Morepork, Ninox novaeseelandiae), and lulu, the name for the Barn Owl in Samoan and in some other languages of Western Polynesia and Eastern Melanesia, appear to be related. If this is the case, one had, formerly, to speculate that either New Zealand's early settlers had brought the name direct from Western Polynesia or Eastern Melanesia, or after only a very brief sojourn in owl-less islands elsewhere - 120 (which would be out of line with nearly all recent anthropological opinion); or that owls had formerly been present in Central or Eastern Polynesia but had been exterminated before this region was adequately zoologically explored. Mr Bruner's statements suggest that the second view is probably correct — and also that Forster's record might after all be taken seriously.
Unfortunately Mr Bruner is not explicit as to whether he has seen or collected the Australs owl himself, or if not, on what earlier documentary source or on whose oral testimony he relies. The same criticism may be made of his accounts of several of the rarer species in French Polynesia. The book has other deficiencies. While its informal and discursive style makes it easy to read, it fails to provide in any systematic way certain basic information which one might expect, for example how many inches or centimetres long each species is, a basic datum provided in any modern pocket guide. There are many errors of style and spelling which could surely have been edited out. Worse, where Mr Bruner clearly is drawing on earlier published sources he sometimes misevaluates these, and his retention in much of the text of out-dated zoological nomenclature further confuses the picture and makes it difficult for the reader unfamiliar with Polynesian birds to discover that some of them are present in Australia or New Zealand and well described in standard ornithological handbooks for these countries. 11
Two of several apparent examples of confusion, both applying to birds which are also on the New Zealand list, may be cited. In his section on the rails he implies, but does not state explicitly, that he has himself recorded the Spotless Crake (Porzana tabuensis) on Tahiti; but he also refers to another species, “the Sooty Rail or Tahiti Rail, Porzanoidea nigra or Porzana tahitiensis”, as “on the verge of extinction, and at this writing . . . not seen for two years in French Polynesia” (p. 44). In his Preface (p. iii) Mr Bruner cites the Whitney South Sea Expedition Reports as one of the most important published sources he consulted, but he makes no reference to the fact that Murphy, in the second of these reports, 12 dismissed P. tahitiensis as a separate species, saying that its characters reduced themselves to age variations of P. tabuensis. If Mr Bruner has evidence for the taxonomic resuscitation of P. tahitiensis, even on the very verge of this creature's physical demise, he should surely tell us what this is.
Further, New Zealand readers will be surprised to learn that the Long-tailed Cuckoo (Eudynamis taitensis), which breeds in New Zealand but winters in the Polynesian islands, “sometimes . . . builds nests” (p. 93) — an error presumably derived from Buller's speculations in the second edition of his History of the Birds of New Zealand (1888), which have been dismissed by all recent authorities including, by implication, Buller's 1967 editor. 13
These deficiencies are unfortunate, for when Mr Bruner is unambiguously reporting his personal observations — as for example in his account of the behaviour and call-notes of those beautiful but highly edible birds, the fruit-pigeons and fruit-doves (pp. 62-84) — these are generally interesting and informative. Few will dissent from his pleas for active programmes of conservation of these and other groups, some members of which are already extinct and others very close to extinction.
Anthropologists concerned with the past or present interaction of man with - 121 his environment in Polynesia can, on balance, be encouraged to acquire this book, as can any naturalist fortunate enough to visit French Polynesia.
The work is illustrated by simple but attractive sketches by O. G. Dykes, which, though taken from museum specimens, appear in most cases to be plausibly life-like in their postures.
Professor Jared Diamond's Avifauna of the Eastern Highlands of New Guinea is a work of vastly different intention and scholarly status. This very solid technical monograph reports results of six months' field work in the Highlands Provinces of Papua New Guinea in 1964-66, mainly in the Okapa and Mount Michael areas of the Eastern Highlands Province and in the Karimui Basin in the southern part of the Chimbu Province. It also most usefully collates data on bird distributions throughout the Highlands Provinces, derived from other workers' published and unpublished records. The book is in no sense a field guide for the beginner, but it is of considerable interest both to naturalists and to at least some anthropologists for several different reasons. Firstly, for those doing field work in the New Guinea Highlands who need, for whatever purposes, to get the extremely rich and diverse bird fauna of their areas identified, this is an invaluable adjunct to Rand and Gilliard's Handbook of New Guinea Birds, providing updated and more detailed statements on distribution for many species, and helpful additional information on ecology, behaviour and, especially, on calls and songs. Secondly, for the student of ethnobiology, whether or not he is a New Guinea specialist, Professor Diamond provides a very interesting brief statement on the extent and accuracy of his Highlander assistants' knowledge of birds (pp. 90-92), and for many species he records vernacular names in the Fore, Gimi and Daribi languages. These supplement his well-known paper on Fore bird classification. 14 Thirdly, the theoretical framework in which the book is presented, which derives from the work of the biogeographer R. H. MacArthur, and the conclusions the author reaches about the historical, ecological, and evolutionary processes affecting bird faunas in the island-like mountain chains of New Guinea, complement his writings on the composition of island faunas. 15 These have already attracted the attention of many cultural anthropologists, prehistorians, human ecologists and conservationists. Neither the space here available nor the competence of the present reviewer permits a detailed presentation and evaluation of Professor Diamond's position, but one thing is clear: that students of human history and of man's ecological adjustment in the Pacific Islands, whether or not they have any particular interest in birds, are going to hear a great deal more from him about problems of common interest. They may count themselves fortunate to have a biologist with such energy and such stimulating and provocative ideas to share who is also a specialist in their region of study. Some of those who are intrigued or even infuriated by his suggestions, for example the parallel he has drawn between Polynesians and the bird species he characterises as “supertramps” — good colonizers but not good competitors and thus found mainly on small and remote islands — and Melanesians and avian “overexploiters” — good competitors but poor colonizers and thus found only on large islands close to land masses, 16 — may also be interested to read this technical ornithological monograph, or at least its first 90 pages. In it they may gain some impression for themselves of how well he analyes the very impressive quantities of data he has assembled. 17
However the most immediate and widest relevance of Professor Diamond's - 122 research is to the issue also raised by Mr Bruner's book, namely conservation. As many Pacific Islanders realize better than most Australians or New Zealanders appear to do, a failure to develop effective conservation policies will result in the most lamentable consequences for the quality of their future life. On the basis of his analyses of composition and turnover rates of “island” populations, whether these are separated by sea or by other barriers such as man-made grasslands and agricultural zones, Professor Diamond has gone on to make important suggestions about the scale and location of reserve areas. 18 Any social scientist concerned with social and economic development in the tropical Pacific should be encouraged to familiarise himself with this and other recent contributions by biologists to this debate.
Postscript: After this review had been submitted, Thibault and Rives' Oiseaux de Tahiti came to hand. This little book provides succinct descriptions of 33 native and introduced species in the Society Islands. It is extensively illustrated with colour photographs, many of them very beautiful indeed. Warmly recommended, even to readers with only Third Form French!
CARR, Elizabeth Ball: Da Kine Talk: From Pidgin to Standard English in Hawaii. Honolulu, University Press of Hawaii, 1972. xvii, 191 pp. n.p.
Hawaiian English, or pidgin, as it is spoken in the Islands of Hawaii, is one of the more interesting phenomena that serve to attract the attention of nearly anyone who has any kind of association with the Islands. Unfortunately, much of this interest has been limited to a superficial curiosity from which enterprising entrepreneurs have profited by peddling everything from recordings of “The Three Little Pigs” pidgin-style, to superficial dictionaries for tourists who wish to communicate in pidgin. Indeed, a scholarly approach to the linguistic study of pidgin and creole has not gained serious attention until relatively recent times. Hawaii, however, has been fortunate in having at least two leading scholars in the field of linguistic study who have devoted considerable attention to Hawaiian Island English, namely, John E. Reinecke and Elizabeth B. Carr. Reinecke is well known for his 1969 Language and Dialect in Hawaii1 (this is actually a revised version of his 1935 master's thesis) and for his doctoral dissertation on marginal languages. Reinecke is a sociologist and the major thrust of his work was motivated and influenced from an historical and sociological background.
Elizabeth B. Carr, a colleague of Reinecke, has likewise had a significant influence upon the study of pidgin English, particularly among Hawaiian Island educators. The traditional thinking of many of these educators, plus parents, school board members, and many other segments of Hawaiian society, has been that pidgin English is simply not the approved medium of communication and that it has had a contaminating influence on the communicative skills of the Islanders. Carr has done much to change this attitude and has constantly stressed the viewpoint that Hawaiian pidgin English is a respectable tool of communication. The purpose of her book, Da Kine Talk, is to depict the development of Hawaiian English from its most rudimentary form to the norm of standard American speech. As she states in her introductory chapter, the aim is not “to show what the speakers lack as compared with the ideal, but what they have in their particular forms of speech to make communication possible.”
Carr has divided this broad spectrum of speech into five separate types. Characteristics of speech from each type are described and noted for the reader and transcriptions from tape recordings of actual speakers representing each of the five groups are presented. Briefly, the five types are:
Type I: Speech of the Immigrants. This includes the pidgin of the plantation and speech pattern of immigrants from non-English-speaking countries who have had no formal education in English.
Type II: The Early Creole Remnant. This type is identified primarily among those individuals who were born in homes where one parent was an immigrant and the other a native of Hawaii. The language learned by such children was the pidgin English by which their parents communicated with one another. The language pattern was broadened by peer association.
Type III: Present-day Pidgin. This is Hawaii's own “local-language” developed initially from Types I and II and consequently added to by teenage talk and slang. Whereas Type II may soon be a thing of the past, Type III is a growing, living and changing language.
Type IV: Hawaiian Near-standard English. This type includes the speech pattern of a large segment of Hawaiian society. The distinction between Type IV and “standard” English is extremely fine and hard to identify.- 124
Type V: Hawaiian Standard English. Just as speech patterns and pronunciation differ from one region to another in the United States so does Hawaiian Standard English differ; however “the fully developed spoken English in the Islands, Type V, includes the stress and intonation patterns of standard mainland speech.”
Included in the description of each type of speech is an analysis of phonology, grammar and vocabulary as it applies to the particular type. Beyond this, Carr has included a rather comprehensive discussion of loan words and loan blends as incorporated into Hawaiian English. Also included is an extensive glossary of typical Island expressions with excellent annotations.
Elizabeth Carr's work will be particularly valuable as an introductory assessment of the fascinating and varied speech of the Islands. It will assist in developing an appreciation of the non-standard forms of communication among the Hawaiian Islanders.
DARK, Philip J. C.: Kilenge Life and Art: A Look at a New Guinea People. London, Academy Editions, 1974. 132 pp., 245 plates, map. Price (U.K.) £6.00.
The Kilenge of West New Britain are rapidly becoming some of the better known contemporary art-producers of Papua New Guinea, mainly through Philip Dark's numerous articles. Since his first chance acquaintance with Kilenge art in a Government Officer's snapshots, Dark has been the principal investigator in a well-planned programme of interdisciplinary research concentrating on the integration of art and language in Kilenge culture. The present book is just one result of this continuing programme, but anybody expecting a theoretical discussion of the place of art in Kilenge life may be disappointed.
With more than two-thirds of the book consisting of well-chosen photographs and their detailed captions, the 24 pages of text become almost redundant. But the text does preserve that first exciting taste of New Guinea, so often suppressed in later scholarly analyses. Dark records the personal trials and joys of his first period of field work in West New Britain, even down to the trivialities of transport timetables and a Patrol Officer's boils!
The implicit theory of this study is the familiar one of contextual meaning of art. Put simply, the more we know about how, when and where the art is made and used, then hopefully the better we will understand the art. The general aim of the programme was to attempt to delimit the domain of art in Kilenge culture. Thus the photographs cover baskets, houses, tattoos, personal ornaments, dress, the three types of masks, drums, dance clubs, canoes and their accessories, shields, dances, carved hooks, headrests and bowls. Certainly context is a valid preliminary approach to art, but as well as the external objective environment, context also involves the participants' conceptualisation of that object. Dark's self-centred text brings out only a limited amount of the Kilenge's experience and perception of their world. A few references to the important myth of the brothers - 125 Mooro and Aisipel are scattered in the captions to plates 40-7, 100 and 188. The story of Pora the creator, who left for Australia and America, is briefly related on page 16 of the text. These references provide our only real glimpse of the Kilenge world-view which motivates and informs their art. From Dark's own descriptions, the influence of these beliefs must be much more profound than the Western superstitions with which he compares them (p. 16). Perhaps it is significant that the cover and dustjacket reverse the title to “Kilenge Art and Life”. The art is Kilenge, but the life is rather that of two American anthropologists visiting New Guinea.
Almost the only explicit piece of theory is the statement (p. 17) that “one of the roles of art in Kilenge culture is the reification of sanctions in the form of masks”. In fact, the only spontaneous masking event seen by Dark was the promulgation by a nataptavo masked figure of a prohibition on collecting coconuts, in order to ensure sufficient copra to pay the annual head tax. Other masking parades featuring carved wooden nausung masks and the stately coconut bast and feathered bukumo mask were obligingly staged by the Kilenge. Nausung and bukumo were connected with a boy's circumcision and ear-piercing ceremonies respectively, but under these artificial circumstances Dark had to rely on informants' descriptions of the full ceremonies. The nose-form of bukumo is described variously as a crocodile (p. 18) or a lizard (caption 111). The cultural identification of this animal could add to our understanding of the mask, as would the cultural connotations attached to the mask's eagle, hornbill or cockatoo feathers.
A study of the domain of art begs the question of what is “art” for the Kilenge, since the nature of art in a strange society cannot be defined simply by tracing its boundaries. Dark faced this problem and recognised that in some way the Kilenge concept of “art” was more embracing than in Western culture. However, I am still doubtful whether he managed to approach Kilenge art without a preconceived positivistic notion of art as a given entity. At a preliminary stage of analysis, Dark regarded big man politics as the motivating force impinging on art. 19 But Kilenge art as text is complementary to the Kilenge view of the world as context. One must be defined in terms of the other, not as things reacting on each other. No matter how well context is described it cannot in itself tell anything about the grammar and syntax of the text. Art as a system of symbols has its own rules which need to be elucidated before seeking out the integration with other systems. Dark was optimistic that recent studies analysing domains of culture conceived as cognitive systems could prove applicable to an aesthetic tradition. Hence his programme includes various formal and semiological analyses of the art itself. These will be awaited with interest.
Several sequences of photographs show artists at work. Yet the disconcerting feeling returns that even when the elusive “primitive” artist is tracked down, anthropology still lacks the conceptual toolkit for asking the right questions. It is deceptively easy to describe and record what the artist is doing but the well-springs of his creative act often remain hidden. A great danger of the contextual approach is that the more refined our methods of description become, the closer our model adheres to superficial reality. The analysis may become situation-bound, leaving no way out for valid generalisation or cross-cultural comparison. This need for an explanatory model at some remove from reality does not conflict with the need for a most comprehensive basic ethnography. For art, by virtue of its integrative nature, has connotations which ramify through all the systems of a culture.
Being concerned to trace out the regional and historical relationships of - 126 Kilenge art styles, Dark's method, although field-based, owes much to his earlier museum-oriented studies of Benin art. He very effectively fills in the New Britain gap in Bodrogi's 20 survey of the Huon Gulf-Tami Islands-Vitiaz Strait style area, although a paucity of basic ethnography is apparent in both works. Interesting questions of art styles and cultural boundaries, and systems of areal integration arise here.
Most of the points raised are not due to any deficiency in Dark's field work but rather to the sad fact that Kilenge art is rapidly declining. With the breakdown of the Huon Gulf trading cycle, Kilenge is becoming a more independent, introverted centre itself. Traditionally, rights to particular designs depended on kin-group affiliation but now informants often do not know to which patri-sib they belong, who is its hereditary head, or which mask design they own. Masking occasions have decreased in frequency under the pressure of other demands. Bukumo has not been seen for nine or ten years and hence the ear-piercing ceremony has lapsed.
Some revival was stimulated by Dark's presence and his whole programme has been a most valuable effort to retrieve and record everything possible for the future. Dark's publication plans include a comprehensive monograph with several hundred illustrations. Until this eventuates, the present book provides an invaluable corpus of visual information to match his other writings. Above all, it demonstrates the value and need for many more such studies combining museum and field techniques.
KENT, Harold Winfield. Dr. Hyde and Mr. Stevenson: the Life of the Rev. Dr Charles McEwen Hyde including a discussion of the Open Letter of Robert Louis Stevenson. Rutland, Charles E. Tuttle, 1973. 390 pp. illus. Price (U.S.) $10.00.
The fame of Charles McEwen Hyde rests mainly on the fact that he was the victim of a trenchant attack by Robert Louis Stevenson, the famous “Open Letter”. In 1889 Hyde, a clergyman, wrote to one H. B. Gage criticising Father Damien of Molokai who had recently died of leprosy. Hyde accused Damien of being “a coarse dirty man, headstrong and bigoted . . . and not a pure man in his relations with women”. Gage subsequently published this letter, thereby exposing Hyde to Stevenson's diatribe in defence of Damien.
Harold Kent argues that Hyde deserved — and deserves — a better deal. This may be so, but it is doubtful if he deserved a large, well-produced book such as this one. Certainly he was doubly unlucky in having an ill-informed and indiscreet, but nevertheless private, letter published; and then in having this letter come to the notice of Stevenson who at that time was looking for a “cause” - 127 to boost his morale and his fortune. Yet, even as admiringly described by Mr. Kent, Hyde's achievements were modest. He was a good and learned man, a solid, respectable citizen in touch with, as Mr. Kent says (p. 194), the “top-draw community men” in the Honolulu of his day. He did not, it should be noted, supply the name for the villain in Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde which was published in 1886.
Hyde came to Hawaii in 1877 to take charge of a theological school for the training of Polynesian pastors. He retained this post until his death in 1899. Public spirited, and not a man to flinch from joining a committee, he was also a trustee for various institutions such as the Kamehameha Schools, the Bishop Museum, the Honolulu Library and the Y.M.C.A. Furthermore, he took the lead in founding a discussion group known rather grandly as the Honolulu Social Science Association, and also the Hawaiian Historical Society. The latter was founded in 1892 in affiliation with the Polynesian Society of New Zealand, with which it shared the patronage of Queen Liliuokalani. But at the end of this book one is still left wondering “so what?” It is a detailed and uncritical account of a useful but ordinary life.
Why then was it produced? For the author it was clearly a work of pietas, a tribute to Hyde of whom Mr. Kent may be regarded as a successor. He has held many of the offices formerly held by his subject. For the publishers, presumably, no further justification was needed than that it was something that would be purchased by the insatiable band of collectors of Hawaiiana.
McCORMICK, E. H.: Alexander Turnbull: His Life, His Circle, His Collections. Wellington, Alexander Turnbull Library, 1974. xvi, 324 pp. plates. Price (N.Z.)$10.00.
Dr McCormick's life of Alexander Turnbull is an exemplary piece of work — scholarly and at the same time eminently readable; its main appeal will probably be to the general reader and the librarian, for his interest in the Pacific region was chiefly concerned with amassing material from and about it, rather than with the study of its inhabitants.
Like several of his contemporaries, Turnbull left New Zealand and spent much of his boyhood and early manhood in England; but, unlike them, he came back and, apart from numerous visits abroad, spent the rest of his life here. When he returned, at the age of 24, to join the family firm, he brought with him not only the nucleus of his library but also an invaluable knowledge of contacts in London who could help him to add to his collections. He corresponded indefatigably with ethnologists, collectors, and other specialists in his fields of interest, both here and abroad.
From the beginning, he had set his sights on building up a comprehensive New Zealand collection. “Anything whatever relating to this Colony, on its history, flora, fauna, geology and inhabitants, will be fish for my net, from as early a date as possible until now,” he wrote in 1893 to Dulau & Co., commissioning them to acquire material published on the Continent. Between July 1898 and August 1902 his more than 2,800 purchases created a problem familiar to all libraries — where to put them all. By that time he was buying extensively in the Australian field, while large consignments of bulky voyage narratives - 128 continued to arrive alongside runs of journals, sets of modern British and American authors and individual rare items.
Dr McCormick speculates on the reason for these latter acquisitions: unlike the New Zealand works, the voyages and the Scottish section of the library, all of which could have been linked in some way with the circumstances of his own life, the search for rare Milton and other editions could have originated as a “rich man's indulgence — something which, like his yacht, would be a source both of pleasure and of pride”; whatever the origin of the decision to collect these treasures, the result has been supremely fortunate for New Zealand.
Most modern librarians, reading the story of the collection's growth, will doubtless echo the sentiments of Dr H. R. Mill, at one time librarian of the Royal Geographical Society, who, when he was entertained by Turnbull, “was able to enter into [his] interests in a spirit of comradeship spiced with envy — envy that his host was free to follow his fancies with ample resources and no interference from committees.” It was not, though, only the ample resources which we have to thank for the library he founded; there were also his own zeal and persistence in pursuing the out-of-the-way, the unsuspected treasure; for “he enlisted all and sundry — not only his employees, colleagues, friends and fellow-merchants but associates and heirs of the dead.” Ghoulish as this may perhaps sound, every specialist librarian will recognise his actions as based on sound principles: for have we not all heard of little collections of irreplaceable materials that have vanished forever because “associates and heirs of the dead” have had no idea of their value and have tidily destroyed them before any alert collector or librarian suspected their existence?
From the voyage of his newly-wed parents to New Zealand, through the many family tragedies, the youthful travels, and the purchase of his first book (bought to read on board ship in December 1885), we follow the career of Turnbull to his lonely death in 1918, in the hospital next door to his new home. It is an absorbing story. One can only regret the smallness of the first edition and hope for an early reprint. This is too good a book to be allowed to remain out of print for long.
PEARSON, Bill. Fretful Sleepers and Other Essays. Auckland, Heinemann Educational Books, 1974. vii, 168 pp. Price (N.Z.) $6.00.
The task of reviewing this book in an anthropological journal raises a question about the relation between anthropology and literature. In the main, these essays are literary, but Pearson becomes involved with several more or less anthropological themes: attitudes to the Maori in Pakeha fiction, contemporary writing by Maoris as Maoris, i.e. as members of an ethnic minority group; and—perhaps most important of all—the place of the Maori in what a phenomenologist would call the Lebenswelt of the New Zealand writer.
What is the status of Pearson's comments on these topics? If we regard them purely as literary criticism, their value is obvious: we are given a most useful account of contemporary writing by Maoris and of the ideological problems of the New Zealand writer who has, according to Pearson, a choice between an ideology of geographical isolation and an ideology of relationship with Polynesia. - 129 For an anthropologist, Pearson's discussion is especially interesting as the problems he discusses are shared by many white communities settled from Britain or other colonial countries. The “landfall” ideology in New Zealand is paralleled by the “red centre” ideology in Australia and the “survival” ideology in Canada. Pearson suggests that the “landfall” ideology should be replaced by another one, based on “Polynesian relations”.
Precisely what contradictions are such ideologies designed to resolve? Geographical displacement obviously creates a lag between rapid physical adaptation to environment and a much slower adaptation of mental structures. The various settler ideologies propose to “give meaning” to the new environment by equating it with images (landfall, red centre, struggle for survival) which are in the mainstream of the western cultural tradition, and at the same time take account of the ecology to which the culture has been transplanted.
There are sound anthropological reasons why such devices do not usually produce the hoped-for results. It will be noticed that these ideologies never take account of the total new infra-structures faced by the transplanted writer but only of superficial geographical aspects. Pearson is therefore quite right in proposing that social relationships should also be accounted for if ideologies, specific to New Zealand, are formulated by New Zealand writers. Among these new social relationships, the Polynesian ones have been important to a high proportion of New Zealand writers, though Pearson has shown most authoritatively that the results have not been wholly successful from a literary point of view.
But how does one explain such weakness? Certainly, much of it can be explained by superficial stereotyping by writers who were overt or unconscious racists. But can even the best avoid distortion of what anthropologists might call the ethnographic facts? The question struck me especially when reading James Baxter's splendid last volume Autumn Testament. If anyone followed Pearson's prescription for a relationship with Polynesia, it was James Baxter. Yet what is the essential difference between Baxter's handling of exotic cultural material and what we find in Conrad or even Graham Greene? And while Baxter certainly used Polynesian themes to produce excellent writing, is his work necessarily better than that of Patrick White, who confines his interest to Australian settlers of British stock?
Baxter, Pearson and all the other Pakehas who wrote about Maoris were dealing with issues originating in Pakeha ideology. In this sense, their approach to the Maori world has been basically subjective. But it may well be, as K.O.L. Burridge suggested in a recent book, that anthropology has been subjective in the same sense—that the questions anthropologists ask are likewise a product specific to their own cultural traditions.
An interesting case in point is Pearson's suggestion that New Zealand writers should incorporate the Maori concept of aroha in their work. I think Baxter has already done this. But this in itself was no innovation. Diderot's postscript to Bougainville's journals already implanted the Polynesian concept of aroha very firmly in the tradition of Western philosophy. Diderot's critique of European concepts of love did not even require a journey to Polynesia. A single sailor's journal in the hands of a French philosopher of the “Enlightenment” school sufficed to put the whole idea together. Obviously, this will not be a basis for a New Zealand literature, though no doubt it will continue to inspire some writers.
In the end, however, it is for writers rather than anthropologists to discuss such ideological issues. All the anthropologist can do is to caution against unduly naive constructions. There probably is by now, in a fully objective - 130 sense, a distinctively New Zealand way of looking at the world, and no doubt the attitude to the Maori is one part of it. But this attitude is merely the consequence of other deeper patterns which shape the whole system of social relations and of which the New Zealand writer is only slowly becoming conscious.
Meanwhile, we must be grateful for Pearson's useful analyses of literary works by Maori and Pakeha, and what they reveal about ethnic relations. We feel qualms only when Pearson—very occasionally—ventures to analyse Maori society in a somewhat improvised fashion, as he does in his critique of Noel Hilliard, where he tries to decide whether the characters are “typical”. It is good to see Pearson's essays collected as a book, as only a few were previously accessible to an anthropological public, and these did not include the most lucid and most valuable piece, “The Recognition of Reality”. Above all, Pearson's book reminds us that there is really not yet an “anthropology of literature”, and that perhaps it would be a useful new departure. But even if such a speciality is developed, it would be no substitute for what Pearson has done: the task demands literary judgement as well as anthropological analysis.
ROTH, G. K.: Fijian Way of Life. 2nd edn. with a new introduction by G. B. Milner. Melbourne and Wellington, Oxford University Press, 1973. xxxix, 176 pp. illus. Price (N.Z.) $7.70.
It is unusual, to say the least of it, to find oneself writing a notice for a book first published some 23 years ago, which most of the subscribers to this Journal have probably read, but the Oxford University Press is nevertheless to be congratulated on bringing out a fresh edition of this well known work. Professor Milner, in presenting the late Kingsley Roth's study of Fijian village life, custom and local government as he knew them, has with sensitivity and wisdom left the original text to speak for itself and through the medium of a new preface and introduction examined factors of significance in the years between — for example, constitutional and administrative changes leading up to and associated with the achievement of Fiji's Independence in 1970. Republished in this fashion, the original is preserved not only as a reference source, but also as a mirror of the times in which it was written.
Political developments have moved fast and far since then. It is salutary to re-read Roth's account of the administration and then turn to the new introduction. In covering the controversy over policy which during the final years of the colonial period engaged the attention of administrators and academics (the latter were in the main condemnatory), Milner endeavours to redress the balance. It is refreshing to find an academic taking a more favourable view of the administration and the outcome of its policy and it is a fair comment that — notwithstanding the polemics launched by the expatriate protagonists of those days — the deep waters of Fijian life appear to have been relatively unruffled by it all. This is not to deny the facts of change. They are self-evident to any observer of the Fiji scene, but they are often cosmetic in character and it is arguable how far the actual nature of society is affected.
The governmental activities as detailed in Roth's chapters may be dated but not so the rest of his work. Fijian village life in its essentials has not altered greatly, and though the urban drift continues, there are still many who, having - 131 sampled both ways of life, prefer to live in harmony with the land that gave them birth. This personal identification with the land was rightly stressed by Roth. Vanua (land) is an emotive word in the Fijian language and in certain contexts synonymous with the people. Milner has re-emphasised the intimate relationship between the two and it continues to be a deeply-felt concept. Strong also is the Fijian attachment for their customary ceremonial which is given such weight in the book. Note the tone and content of the following:
You have witnessed the solemnity of the ceremony and its complicated nature. You know the extent to which it is prized in the traditional attitudes of our people. I have been installed as Tui Nayau but you also, each one of you, have drunk in company with me today the cup that confirms your own rank, by which you will be called and generally known until the end of your days.
These words may have an archaic ring about them but they were in fact spoken by the present Prime Minister of Fiji only a few years back after his induction into the Tui Nayau title. Translation cannot adequately convey the nuances of meaning, the sense of communion that would animate the Fijian audience on that occasion. Given suitable circumstances and a spirit of dedication, such ceremonial remains a valid part of the Fijian way of life.
A final word on the book's illustrations. Mainly the work of R. R. Wright, they are examples of black and white photography at its best. My favourite is the frontispiece — the Fijian Councillor judiciously considering a point and obviously not over-impressed by what has been said!
SCOTT, Dick: Ask That Mountain: The Story of Parihaka. Auckland, Heinemann/Southern Cross, 1975. 216 pp. Price (N.Z.) $8.50.
Twenty years have passed since Dick Scott first wrote the story of Parihaka: the second version, Ask That Mountain, reflects his original passionate concern to expose injustice. It is a book which needed to be written. Scott considers that, one day, Te Whiti-o-Rongomai will be recognised as an international figure comparable with Mahatma Gandhi, and that the struggle of his community will be accepted as “the most sustained and remarkable flowering of courage and spirit in our history” (p. 7). Scott's heart is in the right place; it is regrettable that, in the second attempt to relate the saga, he has failed to do justice to his own humanity. The book, with its biased selectivity in its use of sources, with its inaccuracies, and particularly with its lack of analysis and explanation, does the cause he espouses disservice.
The book opens with a disconnected account of the wars at Taranaki in the later sixties. From this armed struggle for land Te Whiti emerged as a religious leader preaching a policy of non-violence. The Taranaki wars and the consequent “reprisal” for “rebellion” — the confiscation of 1.2 million acres there — were unjust. But Scott's account of this period is excessively emotive; the language of anti-imperialism rather than persuading, dissuades belief in his stance. For 20 pages we read of European “marauders” (p. 12), who slaughtered, “hacked”, and “butchered” (p. 23), who pursued a “murderous mopping-up campaign”, - 132 who “shot and bayoneted” men and women in a sleeping village “while their chief was away negotiating terms of peace” (p. 24); of redcoats who split the head of a child with a single sabre stroke and left three others for dead, but who vanished on the appearance of adult Maoris (p. 32); of “volleys of firing squads” (p. 23) fully armed with mortars and “devastating artillery” — all part of the “ponderous imperial machine” (p. 22). These soldiers acted with “impersonal brutality”, yet when we encounter the settlers' militia, they are presented as men of suitably “flexible” consciences. Finally, on p. 34, the first mention of Maori arms occurs: matches for percussion caps, hardwood for bullets. A huge imbalance of firepower was undoubtedly a feature of the wars, as well as European brutality and cruelty, but this account only talks of the excesses: the Maoris defend and die, the redcoats and the settlers attack, butcher, and rape. Moreover, does Scott really expect us to accept, on the one hand, that a champagne party to celebrate the taking of a pa was a figurative drinking of blood (p. 19), and on the other that Titokowaru's boast that he had eaten the flesh of white men, cooked like a cow in a pot (p. 31) was only a metaphorical claim, not to be taken seriously as it would have diminished his “great mana-tapu” to have eaten pakeha? The eating of the flesh of one's enemies was intended specifically to destroy the mana-tapu of that enemy.
Out of this bloody campaign Te Whiti emerges, but the account of the origins of his movement (Chapter II) is somewhat confusing. No clear chronology is established and one finds oneself with a number of questions to ask about the emergence of Te Whiti, by the late sixties, to a position of pre-eminence in Taranaki. We are introduced to some of his prophetic sayings, yet the very first one cited (p. 28) is wrenched from its context, for it belongs to the period after the sack of Parihaka in 1881. It also appears here in an incomplete form. “. . . Ko ta te rino e tukituki ai, ma te rino ano e hanga (1883): what iron [the law] has destroyed, iron [the law of Parihaka] will rebuild”. J. M. Henderson's 21 complete version and translation is more helpful than Scott's. Scott is also incorrect when he writes that the second Maori King dropped his baptismal name, Methuselah, along with Te Whiti in 1867; Matutaera was re-baptised by the prophet Te Ua in 1864 with the new name “bind the people together”, Tawhiao. Soon afterwards, in September 1864, Tawhiao visited Te Whiti and pledged support to him, as well as for Te Ua. From 1865, both Taranaki leaders were urging the Atiawa, Taranaki, and Ngatiruanui peoples to remain at peace. If these two men, with Tawhiao, were links in a “chain of unity”, what is not clear in this account is when Te Whiti emerged as a prophet at the head of a distinct religious movement. It was only after the death of Te Ua in 1866; the Parihaka community and the new faith were founded in the following year. 22
At this juncture in the narrative, Tohu first appears, whose greater importance becomes the new emphasis in the rewritten story, or so Scott tells us in the Introduction. Tohu is elevated to equality and partnership with Te Whiti, but nowhere in the book, except in the words of one of Tohu's later followers, who actually places him in pre-eminence (p. 192, note), is this image sustained. It is directly denied by Scott's own view, put forward in the same Introduction, that “Te Whiti towered over his New Zealand contemporaries” (p. 7). Tohu remains an obscure figure who pops in and out of the narrative. He is variously described in contemporary accounts: in one, he is a rather broad 5 feet 10 inches, a man who “does not have the same effect on you” as the shorter and more agile Te Whiti (p. 120); in another, that he was possessed of a “ringing voice” like a - 133 “ship's cable when the anchor is dropped” (p. 117) — but then we have also learnt that he was a poor speaker, heavy, dull, and monotonous (p. 38). Whatever else, he obviously did not have the magnetism of the justly more famous prophet. The rift which developed between them in later years is left unexplained, except in an inadequate footnote (p. 173) where there is a suggestion that Tohu held extravagant feasts during Te Whiti's imprisonment in 1890. There is no attempt to bring together the various facets of their differences: that they had, from the beginning, separate maraes, that Tawhiao sent them six “apostles” apiece in 1867, that they adopted different insignia for their followers. Was the tension primarily tribal in origin, becoming an overt rivalry for pre-eminence, or was it Tohu's growing social radicalism, hinted at on p. 178 and implied by his refusal, in later years, to occupy European settlers' farms, perhaps as a consequence of his defence of the poor, European and Maori alike? Yet Tohu's followers did not abandon Parihaka, despite a cryptic utterance upon his death in 1907: “the grass shall be allowed to grow on the road to Parihaka”. Tohu's meeting house at Parihaka was rebuilt, we are told, in 1927. None of these issues is examined; the problem is alluded to and then avoided. Yet divisions amongst the oppressed in a colonial society are frequently the direct consequence of that oppression.
Nor are we helped towards an understanding of Te Whiti himself. Scott does little to elucidate the enigmatic sayings of the prophet and indeed conspicuously underplays the religious aspect of his teachings. As with all the major nineteenth century Maori prophets, Te Whiti identified himself and his followers with the children of Israel who would, according to the prophecies, recover their land. They are the chosen ones, with a unique relationship to God, to whom the new Canaan will be restored. By stressing that Te Whiti was a pragmatic and sane man — as indeed he was — Scott forgets to look at the faith he inspired: a faith which explains why men flocked to Parihaka. Again, too many questions are left without comment; it is not that answers can necessarily be expected, but that at least the questions should be posed, the facts should be linked where there are links. We learn almost nothing of who Te Whiti's supporters were, or where they came from. A photograph of Te Whetu, one of the Parihaka leaders, shows him in a costume described merely as “ceremonial”, but it is not the traditional costume of a chief and, with its looped body sashes of different hues and the Germanic cross, shows a remarkable similarity with the drawings of prophet-like figures found on the body of Aporo by Gilbert Mair in 1867. Likewise, there is a mention of playing card symbols decorating some of the buildings at Parihaka and spades, on the apex of a house, appear in one photograph (p. 39). Playing cards, one assumes, were associated with divination: clubs and diamonds had been used on the flags of Te Ua's Pai Marire movement and diamonds and clubs were to be painted, in bright yellow and blue, around the walls of Rua's circular temple at Maungapohatu. But no comparisons or parallels are drawn in this book. Instead we are given what is largely a narrative history of the events, strung between quotations from more-or-less contemporary sources — especially those which evince racial prejudice. Scott's method reveals some grim quotations and these are salutary reminders of our recent past. He also observes that the community at Parihaka did not, in retaliation, indulge in inverted racialism — but unfortunately he himself adopts this rhetoric in a number of places. Can we really accept that Parihaka in the later 1890s was a community “innocent of sin” (p. 173) for, we learn two pages later, gambling and the heavy use of alcohol went unchecked there. Was it only that Europeanisation had intruded on this “little Eden” of Rousseauesque innocence? And what are we to make of Te Whiti's propaganda of this same period; his assertions that the European leaders were pursuing a deep-laid plot to “exterminate” the Maoris? We can - 134 recognise the sad devices of a man attempting to hold his people together, but Scott dismisses the reporter of such tales, the young Te Rangi Hiroa, as merely a politically naive schoolboy. There is no naivety here; rather, there is fairly acute observation of a struggle to bind a community together. Scott's idealised vision blurs his ability to analyse the problems of the people he loves. In his anger he calls nineteenth century New Zealand a “racist-saturated” society (p. 8), an assertion which is not accurate. Racism existed; indeed any society founded by British settlers in the nineteenth century would be racist in many of its attitudes. That the politics of chicanery were pre-eminent in the manipulation of the “rule of law” to oppress the defenders of Parihaka is also clearly demonstrable. But it is odd that, even in Taranaki, a jury found difficulty in convicting the 59 prisoners who were brought to trial, until the judge flagrantly mis-directed them (pp. 81-2). Although this episode reveals an unprincipled judiciary, it is hardly confirmation of the view that New Zealand was in the grips of frenzied racism. To overstress the presence of racism in nineteenth century New Zealand does no service.
There are a number of errors in the book, some of which are scarcely defensible. Scott accepts what was the settlers' view, that there was a Taranaki “Land League” founded in 1854 (pp. 12, 181 note), despite the fact that Keith Sinclair has long ago shown it to be of European manufacture — at least on those terms. Similarly, the Maori land loss was severe enough without it being inaccurately recorded: Scott tells us that, with the loss of another 681,000 acres between 1914 and 1919, the Maoris then held 4 million acres (pp. 198-9); in fact, at the end of 1919, the Maoris held 6.4 million acres (although many Maoris believed it to be less). Ten years later the amount had been reduced to 4½ million, a figure which remained roughly constant until the 1967 Maori Affairs Amendment Act. If Te Whiti's cause is very much alive in 1975, with a further 2 million acres being “lost” between 1967 and 1975, it is still wise to be careful with the evidence.
Because doubts have been raised concerning the reliability of emphasis and selection of material in this book, the inadequacy of the source references gives cause for concern. The index only consists of proper names of individuals and is not comprehensive even in this respect: Te Whiti and Tohu are omitted, while others, listed, are not in practice fully indexed.
The source of the inadequacies lies in the fact that Ask That Mountain is not the “new book” it claims to be. Some of the errors have been taken across from the old book, and certainly many old ideas have not been re-assessed. If this book is “more than twice the size” of its predecessor, it is largely due to the superb design, for which Scott is responsible, and the excellent illustrative material. It is not due to the much publicised new oral sources. The problem is that the job of revision has only been half done and the job of writing the history that needs to be written merely begun.
SHAW, R. Daniel (ed.): Kinship Studies in Papua New Guinea. Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea, Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1974. 246 pp. Price (Aust.)$3.45.
This book is the first volume of a planned series on “topics related to anthropology” from the Papua New Guinea branch of the Summer Institute of Linguistics. It consists of 12 papers on the kinship of specific peoples of Papua New Guinea, a preface and introduction by the editor, and a foreword, stating the purpose of the book (and of the proposed series) by Karl Franklin, Director of the Papua New Guinea branch of S.I.L. Most of the papers apparently originated in a 1972 S.I.L. seminar on kinship under R. Daniel Shaw's direction, although there were no plans at the time to publish the seminar results.
The arrangement of articles is “. . . generally on an east-west axis moving from eastern Papua to the border with Irian Jaya.” That is, it is purely geographical rather than topical. The peoples described and the authors are: Korafe (of Cape Nelson) by Cynthia J. M. Farr; Barai (crossing the Owen Stanleys near Mt. Obree) by Michael L. Olson; Kunimaipa (near Garaina, Morobe Province) by Alan R. Pence; Waffa (Eastern Highlands) by Joyce Hotz and Mary Stringer; Baruya (an Anga people of the Eastern Highlands Province) by Richard Lloyd; Awa (east of Okapa) by Richard Loving; Usarufa (south-west of Kainantu), prepared from notes by Darlene Bee for posthumous publication; Bena-Bena (Eastern Highlands) by Rosemary Young; Alamblak (East Sepik) by Leslie P. Bruce, Jr.; Au (West Sepik) by David P. Scorza; Sepik Iwam by Judith Rehburg; and the Samo (east of the Strickland, western edge of the Great Papuan Plateau) by R. Daniel Shaw.
The papers are quite different from each other, and not strictly comparable in content or approach. This makes commenting substantively on the collection as a whole a bit difficult. All of the articles contain lists of kinship terms; sometimes they are connected to genealogically organised charts (e.g. Rehberg, Scorza, Hotz and Stringer), sometimes presented with componential analysis (Olson), or related almost exclusively to generation (Pence) or geographical location (Shaw). Almost all of the papers contain sections entitled “social organization”, and these are usually quite sketchy, with from one to five or so paragraphs on each organisational unit (mostly varieties of kin groupings). Young's and Shaw's papers are the possible exceptions here, having more detailed organisational material in them. None of the authors, however, provides such basic facts as the number of people and range of size of the various units, methods of recruitment to units, etc. The description is of such a high level in these sections as to be of little use for most anthropological purposes.
Many of the papers touch upon topics which could, if further developed, be of great interest. The information necessary for the reader to develop these topics himself, or to evaluate authors' assertions is, unfortunately, absent. For instance, Shaw, in his introduction, discusses some recent approaches to aspects of kinship. In this discussion, he stresses that he considers location, role, and interaction as “. . . the factors of central importance” in the study of kinship in Papua New Guinea. I found his discussion of these confused, but he further develops this theme of “location” in his paper on Samo kinship. There he asserts the primacy of residence in determining the application of relationship terms — calling into question whether these terms can truly be called kinship terms at all. Unfortunately, not enough information is presented in demonstration of this - 136 position, and the argument is poorly developed. We are left with the conclusion that, “. . . this is not the whole analysis. Genealogy does in some way interact with location to form a social system which interacts with other systems to form the culture as a whole” (p. 243).
Another instance is to be found in Farr's piece on the Korafe. It is the only one to deal at length with recent social change in relation to kinship. The problem of the continuity of kin terminology in conditions of economic and structural change is an intriguing one. It is hardly developed, however, until we are told in the conclusions that “The Korafe kinship system is designed to provide people with maximum emotional security and cultural identity” (p. 51). Again, this is more in the form of an assertion than a conclusion which follows from the rest of the paper.
A third example of a potentially interesting but undeveloped topic is to be found in Lloyd's paper on Baruya. It is the only one to touch upon what might be called the folk biology of relatedness, dealt with in fascinating manner as social ideology by Wagner in his recent book Habu 23 and by Strathern in his paper “Kinship, Descent and Locality: Some New Guinea Examples”. 24 In a short section on procreation, we are told: “The wife is like a garden and allows semen to grow into a child. She does not add anything to the child so that the child is completely her husband's” (p. 110). We are left at this point, moving on shortly to a section on property. It would have been interesting to at least consider matrilateral siblingship in terms of this notion of procreation.
We are told in the foreword that an aim of this collection is to make available for use and evaluation data collected by S.I.L. members in the course of preparing for translation work. Furthermore, each author is said to be “. . . here attempting to present the materials in a readable style, but not with the theoretical bias that is often necessary for publication in a scholarly journal” (pp. 7-8). This purpose does not appear to have been met. The material is for the most part too superficial or disjointed to be of much use to anthropologists. As to the absence of “theoretical bias”, the quotations from Shaw and Farr indicate quite the opposite. There is a general sort of functionalist perspective, but it never finds any real analytic application and ends up resulting in the kind of assertions quoted. Needless to say, I found the book disappointing. All of the authors are without doubt highly familiar with the cultures they describe. They speak the languages fluently. Anthropological description, however, requires more than familiarity. It is unfortunate that an absence of central problems and anthropological perspective for these papers has prevented what might have been a useful, sustained and systematic presentation of ethnographic material.
Finally, I draw attention to what is, for a book on kinship, an ironic bibliographic error. On page 186, an item by Roger Keesing is attributed to his father, Felix Keesing.
WILLIS, Ian: Lae: Village and City. Melbourne University Press. 1974. v, 173 pp., maps, plates.
Lae: Village and City sets out to chart the course of the urbanisation and development of Lae, Papua New Guinea, concentrating on the effects of this development on the indigenous villagers of the Lae area. Willis states that this book is concerned with the adjustments villagers had to make to the presence of the European settlers within their midst and “how the intrusion of Western culture altered the social fabric of the village community” (p. 6).
As Willis mentions, anyone interested in the history of Lae has the initial problem of sources to surmount. Two world wars, seven administrative changes, and the recent period of decolonisation have, despite the town's brief 63 years, given the historian a considerable range of influences to account for in attempting to detail its growth. There has also been no anthropological or ethnohistorical study of the Lae villages and this further complicated the author's task. The success of the undertaking attempted in this work was clearly predicated upon the way in which problems with source material were dealt with.
Aside from some scattered documents and references, mission records and the Lae themselves provide the most useful, and the only unbroken, source of the area's history. Willis unfortunately chooses to overlook the Lae as informants and relies heavily upon the records of the local Lutheran Mission despite his own residence in Lae. This omission affects the entire work and one cannot help but wonder if the Lae seen through mission eyes and quoted through mission records tell the same story they might have related to a researcher prepared to use the techniques of oral history to explore the relatively short history of their contact with expatriates.
The book begins with an account of the pre-contact situation. After noting the placement of various villages, their populations, languages, and areas of origin prior to migration to the Lae hinterland, a brief discussion of indigenous social organisation is given which relies heavily on the work of Professor Hogbin. In the second chapter mention of the activities of early explorers in the area is made prior to an extremely interesting account of the arrival of representatives of the German New Guinea Company in 1907 and the combined effect of their presence, the recruitment of coastal Lae for plantation labour, and the depredations of inland raiders on local power relations. Prior to 1900 inland raiders (Laewomba) had scattered the Ahi (of the lower Watut River), some of whom took refuge with the Kawa-speaking Lae. The Lae villages themselves became inviting targets of these inland raiders because of the cargo returning Lae workers had brought back from periods of plantation labour. Labour recruitment not only created differences in wealth between coastal and inland villages which encouraged the latter to raid, but, by removing young coastal men, changed the entire balance of power, leaving coastal villagers unable to defend themselves adequately against attack. This coastal weakness caused the Kawa and Ahi to consolidate their villages and welcome Europeans into the area as their protectors. Having been driven into the arms of the arriving surveyors, missionaries, and other officials who followed them, the Lae became increasingly caught up in their area's development as a centre of expatriate activity.
The first missionaries, who arrived in 1906-07, succeeded in winning over the inland raiders by leaving trade goods for them, and peace between the Laewomba and Lae was established. This peace made it easier for Europeans to settle, missionise, administer and further penetrate the area.- 138
In the third chapter the growth of the mission and aspects of German administration are covered. Among the most important social changes mentioned for this period are: the effects of the mission's insistence on monogamy, the growing influence of day labour, the beginnings of a generation gap, a sense of greater fraternity between coastal people in the area, and the creation of a nascent elite (teachers) in the villages. Although these are all interesting and relevant aspects of change, Willis' great reliance on mission sources now begins to show its greatest deficiencies. That these changes occurred and affected the Lae considerably is apparent. However, without the Lae themselves evaluating and discussing the changes and their reactions to them, we are left with an essentially vague chronicle of events little different in general form from those which have occurred in many other parts of the Pacific. When the author, citing mission records, states that participation in evangelisation of the interior gave the Lae “a new purpose and direction which they pursued with zest” and a feeling of “group pride and self respect which had disappeared” (p. 53) one cannot but desire a substantiation of this from indigenous oral sources.
The fourth and fifth chapters cover the Australian entry into Lae after the First World War, the military regime, the increasing tensions between labour recruiters and missionaries, the establishment of civilian rule, Lae's growth as a centre of air supply to the goldfields and its destruction in the Second World War. The presence of other New Guineans in Lae town is briefly and generally mentioned, as is the lack of indigenous influence on the course of the town's development.
In chapter 6 the effect of the pre-Second World War growth of the town on the surrounding villages is considered, but little is given aside from gross generalisations about the Lae being drawn into wage labour, suffering on the goldfields, seeing their young turning towards the city lights or prostitution, and away from the traditional values and the mission. In the conclusion of this section Willis presents some circumstantial evidence that prior to the war the Lae were beginning to withdraw from Western influence and become weary of the demands westernisation placed upon them. But as he states (p. 127) without records of their own reactions it is difficult to tell if the Lae were indeed rejecting Western influence or if their apparent apathy meant something else. Perhaps Lae informants could provide definitive answers to such questions.
The final chapter “War and Post War” gives an account of the Lae's return to the Christian faith “which gave them the strength to survive the great dislocation” and the increased importance of the religious congregation in village life. Willis then goes on to briefly summarise the reconstruction and growth of the town, before ending the monograph with a short general account of the development of indigenous assertiveness and attempts by the Lae to gain fair compensation for alienated land and an increased share of the benefits of economic development. The author concludes on a note of confidence saying that Lae society, though substantially changed, has been adaptive and innovative in meeting the forces imposed upon it and, come what may, the people will remain conscious of their identity and the emotional and material bonds which hold them together.
Although Lae: Village and City provides those interested in the history and development of western influence in Papua New Guinea a valuable service by summarising and presenting a very readable condensation of mission records, it is by no means a definitive history of the town's development and interaction with its surrounding villages. The need for a Lae contribution to the story was obvious throughout and one can only hope that someone, perhaps an indigenous historian from one of Papua New Guinea's universities, will take up where Willis has left off.
1 Codrington and Palmer 1896.
2 Titiev 1944:59-68.
3 Whorf 1935:1261.
4 Eggan 1950:301.
5 Titiev 1944.
6 Mayr 1945.
7 King 1967.
8 The statement in Pawley & Green (1971:20) is misleading, and the inferences these authors draw from the distribution of Polynesian terms for owls, bats (peka or pekapeka) and swiftlets (Collocalia spp., also pekapeka) are, in this reviewer's opinion, mistaken — but that is another story.
9 Forster 1844:157.
10 Amadon 1942:12.
11 Bird-watchers in the Pacific Islands from New Guinea to Eastern Polynesia will find Slater's pocket guide to Australian birds, especially the first volume which deals with non-passerines (Slater 1970), very useful; while Falla, Sibson & Turbott (1970) is similarly helpful with regard to many of the birds of Eastern Melanesia and Polynesia.
12 Murphy 1924:4.
13 Buller 1967:74.
14 Diamond 1966.
15 Diamond 1971, 1973.
16 Kolata 1974.
17 For a technical review by another ornithologist with very extensive experience in Papua New Guinea see Schodde 1974.
18 Diamond 1975.
19 Dark 1973.
20 Bodrogi 1961.
21 Henderson 1972:7.
22 Clark 1975: 107, citing “Te Whiti and Tohu, 12 September 1867”, Kingitanga manuscript, p. 14, University of Auckland Library, a document not apparently read by Scott.
23 Wagner 1972.
24 Strathern 1973.