Volume 76 1967 > Volume 76, No. 1 > Notes and news, p 3 - 6
NOTES AND NEWS
Anthropology and its related disciplines continue to flourish and expand in New Zealand Universities, at four of which courses in these fields are now being offered. At the University of Otago, Dunedin, the Department of Anthropology teaches both undergraduates and M.A. students. Headed by Mr. Peter Gather-cole, it has, with the recent appointment of Dr. Charles Higham and Mr. Hamilton Parker, a particularly strong archaeological section. Dr. John Harré, whose book on mixed marriage, Maori and Pakeha, is reviewed in this issue, and Mr. P. G. Ganguly, represent social anthropology and sociology.
The newly established Department of Anthropology at Victoria University of Wellington, headed by Professor Jan Pouwer, is teaching undergraduate courses in both Anthropology and Maori Studies. Staff include Dr. Joan Metge, Mr. Koro Dewes, Mr. C. B. J. Kernot and the Rev. A. Mahuika.
At the University of the Waikato, Hamilton, Mrs. Zigrid Geoges, a graduate in social anthropology of the University of Sydney, has been appointed as Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, in which Dr. J. E. Ritchie also holds his appointment as Professor of Psychology.
The Anthropology Department at the University of Auckland, established in 1950, now has fifteen full time staff members: Professor Ralph Piddington, Dr. Ralph Bulmer, Dr. A. B. Hooper, Dr. Hugh Kawharu, Mr. B. F. Pierce and Mr. John Canvin in Social Anthropology; Messrs Wilfred Shawcross, L. M. Groube and P. S. Bellwood (newly arrived from Cambridge) in Prehistory; and Associate-Professor Bruce Biggs (on leave for 1967–8 at the University of Hawaii, where he holds a Professorship in the Department of Linguistics), Dr. P. W. Hohepa, Dr. A. K. Pawley, Mr. Rangi Walker, Mrs. M. Penfold and Miss Anne Thorpe, in Linguistics and Maori Studies, to which Mr. D. S. Walsh, our Review Editor, is also attached as Research Linguist until he takes up his appointment as lecturer in linguistics in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Sydney, at the end of this year. Auckland offers undergraduate courses to Stage III in both Anthropology and Maori Studies, and has been producing M.A. graduates for many years now. The Auckland Department's first Ph.D., Dr. A. K. Pawley, graduated in 1967, while we must also warmly congratulate Mr. A. C. Bhagabati, formerly a Commonwealth Scholar in the Department and now on the staff of Gauhati University, Assam, on the acceptance of his Ph.D. thesis on “Social Relations in a Northland Maori Community”.
On the debit balance we record with regret the departure from New Zealand of three scholars all of whom have made notable contributions to Pacific ethnology, and all of whom have now joined the staff of the Bishop Museum, Honolulu. These are Dr. Terry Barrow, formerly Ethnologist at the Dominion Museum, Wellington, Mr. D. E. Yen, formerly of the D.S.I.R. Crop Research - 4 Division at Otara (Auckland), and Dr. Roger Green, formerly Associate-Professor of Prehistory at the University of Auckland. We congratulate them on their appointments, and also the Bishop Museum on their acquisition. The Editors would like to thank all of them for the assistance they have given to the J.P.S., and particularly Roger Green for the work he has done as consultant and sometime member of the Editorial Committee over the past six years.
July 1965 saw the commencement of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum's Polynesian Culture History Project, an ambitious research venture financed by the U.S. National Science Foundation. This project involves both linguistic and archaeological research (see “Notes and News”, J.P.S. Vol. 73, No. 3, September 1965). Much of the linguistic work to date has been done within the Anthropology Department of the University of Auckland under the direction of Associate-Professor Bruce Biggs.
There are two facets to this linguistic work—descriptive and comparative. Information on Polynesian culture history which is derived from linguistic research comes primarily from the comparative work, but linguistic comparison has to be preceded by adequate linguistic description.
Some of the major gaps in the description of Polynesian languages are being filled by the descriptive work at present being done at Auckland. During 1966–67 four senior students from the Anthropology Department have worked with informants in Auckland, Western Samoa and Honiara. Mr. Rangitukua Moeka?a from Ma?uke, has used Rarotongan as his contact language in working in Auckland with informants from Pukapuka (northern Cook Islands). Mr. Peter Ranby has worked on the language of Nanumea (one of the Ellice Islands), using informants in Auckland and in Malua, Western Samoa (where there is a considerable Nanumean community). Mr. Peter Sharples and Miss Anne Thorpe have worked on the Polynesian Outlier languages of Sikaiana and Luaniua (Ontong Java) respectively, using informants in Auckland and Honiara. The work of these graduate students will be presented in their M.A. theses. Dr. P. W. Hohepa has been working with informants in Auckland on a grammatical description of Niuean, and he has supervised the compilation by his informants of an extensive Niuean lexicon. Further descriptive work is to be carried out in 1967 by Professor Biggs and assistants, based on the University of Hawaii and working in French Polynesia on the Marquesan and Tuamotuan languages. Already information from these various descriptive researches is being used in extensive lexical comparison and in the comparative grammatical work being done in Auckland by Dr. Andrew Pawley.
During 1965–67 extensive lexical comparison of the Polynesian languages has been carried out at Auckland by Professor Biggs and Mr. D. S. Walsh and a team of research assistants (some of whom are native speakers of languages which are being compared). This work aims at the lexical comparison of all the Polynesian languages for which information is available, to discover sets of cognates which will allow the reconstruction of a maximum number of Proto-Polynesian and sub-Proto-Polynesian words. This information can then be used to discover facts about the historical relationships of the Polynesian languages. The results of the first year's work on this lexical comparison has appeared in Proto-Polynesian Word List I, by D. S. Walsh and Bruce Biggs, published in Auckland in 1966 by the Linguistic Society of New Zealand. As the results of this lexical comparison become sufficient to be manipulated with a high degree of statistical - 5 validity they will be used at the University of Hawaii by Professor Biggs and Professor George Grace. Their work with this large body of data will be facilitated by the extensive use of electronic computors.
The many friends whom Mrs. Machiko Aoyagi made while she was working in New Zealand in 1962 will be interested in the review of her book “The Kingdom of Tonga” (unfortunately, from our point of view, in Japanese), which is based on her fieldwork in Tonga in 1962–3. However, we are grateful to the author for making available to us (in English) her valuable and detailed paper on “Kinship Organisation and Behaviour in a Contemporary Tongan Village”, which we published in our June 1966 issue. Mrs. Aoyagi is on the staff of the Tokyo Woman's Christian College.
Miss Ayako Yasuda, who reviews Mrs. Aoyagi's book, is a student from Japan at the East-West Center, University of Hawaii. Miss Yasuda spent six months in Auckland in 1966–7 making phonological and grammatical studies of the language of Penrhyn (Tongarava), using informants available here. This work was for her Master's thesis in linguistics at the University of Hawaii.
Personal naming systems are potentially of as much theoretical interest as the kinship terminologies to which they must always bear at least an indirect relationship, but they have received far less attention from social anthropologists. The New Guinea literature is particularly deficient in this regard. We are therefore pleased to publish Karl Franklin's short paper on naming practices among the Kewa of the Southern Highlands District of New Guinea. The additional point that Mr. Franklin makes, that close attention to personal names may be a valuable aid in ethno-historical reconstruction, is probably widely true of the New Guinea Highlands. The Editor in his own field enquiries among the Karam of the northern fringes of the Highlands, found that informants spontaneously dated the introduction of varieties of taro, sweet potato and other crops by reference to ancestors and living people who, as infants, were named after the newly-adopted taxa.
Karl Franklin is a former Field Director of the Summer Institute of Linguistics at Ukarumpa, in the New Guinea Highlands, and was also Director of the S.I.L. Summer Schools in Auckland in 1965–6 and 1966–7. New Guinea specialists will know of the many publications on the linguistics (including ethno-linguistics) of the Kewa which he and his wife Joice have to their credit. Mr. Franklin now holds a research scholarship in the Department of Anthropology of the Australian National University, and he and his family are embarking in mid-1967 on further fieldwork in the Southern Highlands, among people located between the Kewa and the Mendi, the two groups which he compares in his present paper.
Intrigued by press reports of the paper “Pharmacology of Kava” delivered in January 1967 at San Francisco by Professor J. P. Buckley of the University of Pittsburgh, we wrote to the author and he kindly sent us a copy and consented to our printing the abstract and comments by Professor F. N. Fastier of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Otago, which appear in this issue.- 6
For well over a hundred years European observers have been impressed by the effects of kava-drinking in Fiji and Western Polynesia, noting that while muscular control is normally diminished and a soporific state is sometimes induced, mental powers do not appear to be markedly affected and drinkers seldom become quarrelsome. Several anthropologists of our acquaintance speak from personal experience, having become mildly addicted to the beverage. Now Professor Buckley has demonstrated that one water-soluble component of kava has a definite tranquillizing effect, markedly reducing aggression: one can thus well understand the functional importance of this drink at extended sessions of the Samoan fono and other gatherings where political and personal feelings could run high.
At the same time the chemistry of Piper methysticum and related plants is complex, and different components have different effects. Observers have noted, at least superficially, considerable differences in the behaviour of kava-chewers and kava-drinkers in different parts of the Pacific. These presumably relate to the varying methods of preparation reported, including use of different parts of the plant, and possibly also to botanical differences in the forms or cultivars employed. There is clearly room here for more detailed studies by ethnographers and ethnobotanists of modes of cultivation and processing of the plant, folk-taxonomies applied to it, and also of consumption of the end-product and its effects. Interested readers will find useful the note “Kava” by W. D. R(aymond) in Colonial Plant and Animal Products (H.M.S.O., London), Vol. II, No. 1, 1951, pp. 45–8. Those wishing to catch up on the extensive literature concerned with distribution and origins of kava-drinking may be referred to the papers by Professor Ling Shun-Sheng in Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology Academia Sinica, No. 4, 1957 and No. 5, 1958, though Professor Ling misses the references to kava-consumption in Southern New Guinea provided in Landtman's Ethnographical Collection from the Kiwai District of British New Guinea (Helsingfors 1933) and in W. D. Raymond's note cited above.