Volume 92 1983 > Volume 92, No. 3 > Reviews, p 393-428
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BOWDLER, Sandra (ed.): Coastal Archaeology in Eastern Australia; Proceedings of the 1980 Valla conference on Australian prehistory. Canberra, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, 1982, ix, 151 pp., figs, tables, maps. Price A$10.00 (paper).

Ian W. G. Smith University of Auckland

In her introduction to this volume Bowdler emphasises the coastal focus which has dominated the development of archaeological research in Australia. The 16 papers presented here demonstrate the strength of this tradition, exploring aspects of the prehistoric and early historic cultures in the coastal regions of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. A wide range of topics is covered including economic and technological change, population dynamics and social organisation. Brief reports on the excavation and analysis of a number of coastal middens are included, along with an account of the difficulties of site protection, and a consideration of the origins and adaptations of the apparently distinctive population of the Keppel Islands.

Most of the papers are brief resumés of work completed or in progress and to some extent suffer from the lack of substantive data permitted by their brevity. However, three papers stand out as important contributions. Both Coleman and Hall set out to derive models of subsistence and settlement systems from ethnohistoric sources and then assess the available archaeological information in this light. For the Moreton Bay region of Queensland Hall's preliminary archaeological data suggest strong similarities between prehistoric and historic subsistence and settlement patterns, while Coleman's historically derived model for the north coast of New South Wales appears to diverge somewhat from the patterns proposed for the prehistoric. Bowdler and Lourandos compare evidence for changes in economic orientation on both sides of Bass Strait, and the similarities which they adduce provide a new and compelling explanation for the vexed question of why the Tasmanians stopped eating fish.

For the reader interested in Australian prehistory this book is of considerable value, providing both primary data and a number of synthetic papers. However, it is also of wider interest. The concentration upon coastal archaeology provides fruitful comparisons and contrasts for readers in New Zealand and other regions where prehistoric research is focused upon adaptations to coastal environments. In these days of rocketing book prices this attractively presented volume provides value for very little money.

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CHAMBERS, W. A.: Samuel Ironside in New Zealand 1839-1858. Auckland, Ray Richards and Wesley Historical Society of New Zealand, 1982. 285 pp., illust., geneal. table, maps. n.p.

George I. Laurenson Ex-General Superintendent. N.Z. Methodist Home and Maori Mission Department

In the present climate of book publishing in New Zealand, the appearance of this volume is an event of some importance. Working on a life interest of the late Rev. M. A. Rugby Pratt, of Christchurch, and the late Mr Frank Smith, of Marlborough, both of whom gathered important historical resource material, the author W. A. Chambers widened the research with diligence and expert workmanship. The massive manuscript which first emerged from his researches was almost a sociological history of Britain in the 19th century, and of missionary endeavour and social and political developments in New Zealand. Against this background, every reference to the work of the Rev. Samuel Ironside gains added significance. In selecting the material for this substantial volume, credit must be given to the publisher and the author for their skilful achievement of a workmanlike and well-presented story.

Reading the preface of Sir John Marshall, the reader's appetite is quickly whetted, and this reviewer fully supports Sir John's closing paragraph:

The value of this book is not only in the story of a remarkable man and his devoted wife, but also in the detailed accounts of aspects of life in the first two decades of colonial New Zealand. As such it has great historical interest supported by copious references to source material indicative of meticulous research on the part of the author.

A legacy in the will of the late Frank Smith towards the cost of publication has been a deciding factor in the appearance now of this very readable volume at a price which would otherwise have been prohibitive.

The story reflects inevitably the attitudes of the Christian leaders of the day, and the social and regional origins of the people involved. No covering up of the human-ness of the most committed Christian leaders is done, but some effort is apparent to give a clear understanding of the inevitable strains under which all were placed. Because of the loneliness of their situation, when men and women, probably for the rest of their lives, moved from their homeland to the other side of the world, inevitably they reflected these tensions and strains, and the story is told with candour but with understanding. Considering the social and economic backgrounds involved, and the religious atmosphere and pattern of their training, it is to their great credit that people like Samuel Ironside and his colleagues were big enough and sufficiently flexible to be able to act as a reconciling force between the Maori people and the land-hungry individuals and groups that were formed in England and in New Zealand determined to find a permanent home in - 395 this country. The story also shows the cross currents that emerged between the British Government and the Colonial Government over the rights of the Maori in questions of land occupation and ownership.

The missionaries saw the problems looming up, and at the same time were greatly distressed by the behaviour of the uncontrolled individuals and groups of runaway sailors and convicts and others who were beginning to create chaos. In addition, the upheaval within Maori life because of the intertribal warfare following the introduction of firearms, had reached disastrous proportions. In all this, the missionaries saw “the pressing need for a regular central authority — one which could maintain and enforce when necessary, the peace and order of the community.”

Ironside's presence with a fellow missionary, John Warren, at the Waitangi gathering called by Hobson, and their signing of the Treaty as witnesses with other Europeans were more than just formalities. They returned immediately afterwards with their Maori companions to Mangungu in the Hokianga to report to John Hobbs. All then took a leading part in organising the even larger gathering of over 3,000 Maoris there. John Hobbs was appointed as interpreter for the Governor when the official party arrived, and at this meeting another Wesleyan missionary, William Woon, signed as a witness. This reveals the extent to which the Wesleyan missionaries supported the principle of the treaty, but they were always vigilant to seek to prevent the efforts of the Colonial Government and groups of land-hungry settlers to ignore the basic assurances embodied in the treaty, clearly given to the Maori signatories.

This book, in tracing the later ministry of Samuel Ironside, makes no secret of the disappointment of those who witnessed and encouraged the Maori chiefs to sign at the gatherings at Waitangi and elsewhere. They stood between the disappointed chiefs who had signed in good faith, and the new colonial authorities who were determined to obtain land by all means at bargain prices, so as to use the returns from subsequent sales to finance the coffers of the new local authority. This problem was constantly in the picture.

The author covers in detail only the years 1839-1858 as the years of Ironside's New Zealand ministry, but each phase of this dealt with some of the formative years in the relationships between the two peoples. Ironside is seen as a man with a gift for linguistics. In a remarkably short time he mastered Maori vocabulary and even more importantly he had a feel for the structure and idioms of Maori speech and the thought forms that lay behind it. As a result, he is seen as one who very early moved easily from one language to the other with great competence. His Hokianga experience was an initiation into the troubled waters of race relations and land tensions.

In the Kawhia area, to which he next moved, he met the new challenge of long arduous journeyings over hitherto little known areas, with Maori bush tracks, sometimes interspersed by confusing pig tracks, which could easily mislead inexperienced travellers and add unnecessary wearisome miles. In this he saw the growing influence of Maori converts and the extent to which many young Maori preachers, far from their own homes, were bringing their new faith to these distant tribes, and the growth of a religious life of a new type among people already - 396 suffering from the earlier intertribal strife made even more bitter by the introduction of firearms.

On these long journeys, much time was spent in catechising the groups of converts seeking baptism, and also instructing and encouraging their Maori pastors who were themselves facing a great deal of loneliness. Other journeys were in small coastal vessels, some chartered specially for the trip, others presented by the unexpected arrival of sometimes ill-founded trading vessels.

The next phase of Ironside's ministry opened in the Marlborough area. The story of the promising effective development based on Port Underwood at Ngakuta Bay, and the tragic events of the so-called Massacre at Wairau, are told in detail. It is this section of the story that had been the special concern of the two sponsors of this biography. It is well told, and much light is shed on the whole sad story. The part played in the events leading up to the tragedy and the subsequent contribution of Ironside, are detailed in a way that does him great credit. Here in the Wairau the land question and the historic attitudes of the Maori people to their land ownership sprang into public notice and the events recounted in this book will need to be taken into account whenever the matter is studied. The status of Ironside emerges enhanced by subsequent events, and the tragedy was even greater because of the almost complete collapse of one of the great examples of missionary effort in this country.

When the tribes of that area immediately withdrew to the shelter of their relatives in the South Taranaki area, Ironside was appointed to Wellington so as to be able to keep some personal contact with these erstwhile members of the Cloudy Bay tribes. This brought him into the midst of the ferment in the new settlement and its extension into Porirua and the Hutt. Hence there was an increase of friction again over land matters, and Ironside immediately extended his ministry into these parts with a network of services among both Pakeha and Maori. Again his careful but fearless outspokenness was used to great effect in winning the trust of the puzzled Maori folk and the nervous Europeans. This ministry of Ironside in Wellington was a creative chapter in both areas. As a popular preacher he served the city Europeans well, and at the same time he gave much pastoral attention to the Maori people. His influence was again effective in reducing and in some instances preventing actual strife and the subsequent hysteria in the whole area. “The fire was in the fern”, and long years of unhappy suspicion and unrest were to follow the events in the Wairau. In the midst of his ministry in Wellington there occurred the earthquake of 1848, a story vividly recorded in Ironside's personal account. Modern builders might well take note of the warnings in that story, a city planned and built on an active faultline!

The next appointment for Ironside was to Nelson. Here his training and instincts again led him to seek to strengthen the work among the Maori tribes in Motueka area and in the Cook Strait islands, people whom he had frequently visited when in the Port Underwood station at Cloudy Bay, before the Wairau tragedy. In the midst of this he saw his main task to be among the developing community and church life of this young settlement, but the outlying districts of Motueka and Stoke also found him working among the white settlers. This was a period of unrest among the settlers, regarding the proposal to introduce a - 397 national system of free, compulsory and secular education.

Hitherto, practically all the ordered education of children was carried out by the churches, and naturally it tended to be concentrated and duplicated in the main centres. The outer areas were greatly neglected as the Provincial Councils doled out their meagre funds to subsidise, on a poll count, the existing schools. The problem of the isolated families began to be recognised as a responsibility that could be met adequately only on a national basis. In all this, the question of the subsidising of church schools came under fire from a growing non-religious movement which, very vocal at the time, campaigned for the establishment of the national system. The question was taken up keenly by Ironside in defence of the Christian element in any system, and the Nelson section of this debate makes an interesting chapter in New Zealand's education policy. Ironside also took a strong lead in other public questions, being a strong advocate of temperance, literature and debating, and the Nelson Working Men's Land Association. He speaks of this period in Nelson as his happiest years, in spite of his suffering at one stage a serious riding accident when on a pastoral journey, and being incapacitated for some time with a broken ankle.

In 1855, under the Wesleyan system then in operation, of itinerant ministry of three-year terms, strictly applied to the European side of the work, Ironside moved to New Plymouth. Here again at a critical period he was immediately involved in land problems associated with Maori tribes and the settlers. There was additional uncertainty about the New Zealand Company's purchase which had been disallowed by the former Governor. In the situation, Ironside felt that a wrong decision had been made in granting to the wrong Maori claimant a sum of money in purchase of the land, and that the settlers had been unjustly treated in denying them occupancy when they had acted in good faith. Here his loyalties were placing him in great difficulties, and his seeming wavering from old loyalties was actually a revelation of his fairmindedness, but from each side he was getting flak.

In this situation, with Ironside being heavily involved in the European work at a critical period of its development, the Mission leaders decided that John Whiteley, who had travelled widely among the tribes involved, and was held in high regard by them, should be moved to New Plymouth to give special guidance to the Maori side and to work in a team ministry with Ironside and H. H. Turton. They shared some of their responsibilities but the main task of each was as stated. All three moved in their ministries among the unsettled tribes while conducting their own special tasks. Unfortunately, while Ironside carried the chief responsibility in the European work, there was a measure of disagreement between Whiteley and Turton at the time, and this became reflected among the European church membership. Nevertheless, Ironside threw himself with vigour into social, moral, and educational issues in the young town. The story surrounding these issues in every area where he served provides additional material for understanding the pattern of development in the structure and ethos of our national character.

In 1858, Ironside felt the need to take his young family to Australia for their own sake. His application for a transfer was granted and after a distinguished - 398 ministry in seven areas there, he died in Hobart in April 1897, aged 82.

This book is full of interest, well illustrated and helped with useful regional maps. Each chapter has valuable source references at the end. It is a work which should be of great value especially for research students studying the field of Maori-Pakeha relationships and the regional histories of the districts in which Ironside served so effectively.

COUNTS, Dorothy A.: Ol Stori Bilong Laupu/The Tales of Laupu. Boroko, Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies, 1982. viii, 284 pp., maps, photos, musical exs. n.p. (paper).

Peter Crowe

This is a handsome-looking and substantial book which should have been a very special contribution to the oral literature of Island Melanesia. The stories contained in it are important specimens of their types, richly varied and often of notable length, but the work suffers from a lack of editorial care, internal inconsistencies and amateur musicology. It is, however, pleasing that the book is printed on good paper stock in a binding that will survive in tropical village conditions. The material collected and translated by Dr Counts nevertheless is the substance of first concern.

There are 16 stories, ranging from a few minutes to what I estimate as an hour or more of performance time. Only one of the first category nasinga ‘true history’ is given, but it establishes the authority of Laupu's descendants, Jakob Mua with his wife Sapanga and younger brother Benedik Solou, as the rightful executants of the tales that follow. Jakob recorded his nasinga in 1967. On later dates he recorded the four pelunga ‘legends’ — Counts uses the term “legend” as the Grimm brothers did (p. 159) — while the three of them each contribute to the 11 ninipunga, a third category which “does not contain historical or legendary truth.” The transcriptions from the Tok Pisin are in the first part of the book, the translations in the second (in the same order). In between are photographs captioned both in Tok Pisin and English, the only place where the two languages are laid out for comparison, apart from formal pages at the beginning. Thus, the book appears primarily intended for Tok Pisin readers, but I should think that those literate enough for this book will also be partly versed in English, and such people might wish to improve their English by comparing texts. Comparisons will be hampered by the physical distance of 150-odd pages between original and translation.

Comparisons will sometimes also be startling, because Counts adds a lot of information in her renderings. She does not follow the originals exactly but adds specificity whenever she can, the kind of specificity that would be known to ordinary hearers of these stories: e.g. brata as ‘mother's brother's son’, bikpela man as ‘the father of the groom’, while i sutim planti pis moa becomes ‘speared - 399 fish from the prow, many fish’, with “from the prow” as added information. Other surprises will be upon the ears of those not familiar with North American vernacular: “A, sori ol bikpela man, mi laik dring tru hia” I would be inclined to render as ‘“Um, excuse me gentlemen, I really need to drink now”’ which Counts gives as ‘“Say, guys, I'm really thirsty.”’ Shades of the spaghetti western, eh chaps? One notes disparities like Niu (Gini) and Nu (Briten). Ornamental repetitions are often omitted in translation, and idioms such as i gooooo ‘going on and on and on and on . . .’ lose length in the English. Phrase repetitions which have an important musical quality in the original are given elegant variation in the English in some places, which I have to say I hear as unidiomatic. For all that, the renderings are done with care — at times flair — for the information. Counts reduces the printed space by 15% in her translations, but she thereby throws into relief the incredible density of narrative in the Tok Pisin which a careless reader or listener might be lulled into thinking of as rather redundant recitation, full of samting nating ‘something nothings’, which of course it is not. This is an achievement.

I was rather excited by the stories, passages and elements in this work cognate with material collected in northern Vanuatu. Performance manner seems totally familiar. It would be interesting to learn local reactions if an enterprising radio producer broadcast some of these stories along with others from elsewhere in Island Melanesia. To do this from Radio Vila would require an announcer to give a short explanation of Tok Pisin special idioms and “foreign” words, and vice versa for Bislama from Radio Rabaul. My impression is that Neo-Melanesian speakers quickly learn the variant dialects.

Counts republishes here the story “Akro and Gagandewa” which she has analysed (1980) so well in these pages (JPS 89:33-65). Some of her remarks about the nature of these folktales and what analysis reveals are summarised in her introduction. It is valuable that this is here in Tok Pisin too, at the beginning of the book where it will be noticed. It will set many people thinking and support the status of customary lore. But, an omission in the Pidjin introduction, which proves to be fortunate, is a paragraph of “musical analysis” (see the English at the bottom of p. 163).

Count's remarks about the uses, functions and context of songs in these stories are useful and well put. I take it she asked one Timothy J. Keenan to transcribe the tunes and make some musical analysis (see credits p. ii) which are incorporated as “her” text. The musical transcriptions are badly written as to calligraphy, wrong use of Western key signatures, absence of speed and dynamic indications and so on. The examples on pages 268 and 282 have been placed with the wrong stories. The comments on the music structure (scales) do not make sense. Rather than give a catalogue of faults, this is what the (inadequate) transcriptions reveal: ranges from a minor third to a minor thirteenth (!), tessitura low (down as far as B below the bass clef) at times, scales from two to six notes (up to 10 pitches if octaves are to be disregarded), contours downward or balanced, use of formulaic non-semantic openings, word prolongations through syllable repetition and possibly “song language” phonetic alterations. There are more features, but these are some of the same as those also found in northern Vanuatu (cf. above).

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Given the importance Counts acknowledges that song has in the story context, it is imperative oral tradition workers and those who publish their stuff get music dealt with professionally if they cannot do it themselves.

It has been frankly disappointing to handle a book which offers so much splendid material, but has suffered in presentation by a lack of editorial vigour and the basic skills of book design. For example, why no full list of contents giving each of the stories by title, and why misinterpret the “C” in front of the author's name on the title page (a copyright claim improperly notated)? Apart from the music, there are so many design faults and such apparent ignorance of standard conventions that it seems to me the typescript — and this would surely have been delivered in a thoroughly professional package — went straight to the printer, in the expectation a printer could do an editor's work. The printer would have had a good read, but he should not have to do a final proof-read.

DE VARIGNY, Charles: Fourteen Years in the Sandwich Islands 1855-1868. Translated and with an Introduction by Alfons L. Korn. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, and the Hawaiian Historical Society, 1981. xxviii, 289 pp., plates, app., index. n.p.

Char Miller Trinity University

The meteoric career of Charles de Varigny in mid-19th century Hawaiian politics tells us as much about his ambition and luck as about the complex nature of the Islands' political life. He arrived in the Islands from San Francisco in 1855, reportedly on his way back to Europe, but Emile Perrin, French Consul to the Islands, convinced his countryman to stay and become his secretary: Perrin needed Varigny's help in renegotiating commercial treaties with the Hawaiian Government. He remained for 14 years and his career blossomed. Although he turned down what he considered a premature offer of a Hawaiian Government cabinet post in 1858 (he said he was not well enough prepared), Varigny assumed Perrin's position as consul when the latter died in 1862, and, one year later was asked by Kamehameha V to become Minister of Finance. While holding that position, he also secured important seats on the board of immigration, which oversaw the importation of Asian labour for the burgeoning sugar-cane plantations, and on the board of public instruction, which managed the nation's education system. In all of these endeavours, Varigny proved the consummate bureaucrat and deft politician; even the American Protestants came to accept this French Catholic. And there is more. Once again death opened the way for advancement: When Prime Minister R. C. Wyllie died in 1865, the talented Varigny assumed his position. Clearly this was a swift rise, one explained in part by his abilities and in part by his nationality; as a Frenchman Varigny was strongly opposed to American annexation of the Islands, a posture that both he and - 401 Kamehameha V used to their mutual political advantage. Varigny's ascension was all the more remarkable because of his age: he was but 34 when he became Prime Minister.

Varigny's memoirs offer one of the few internal assessments of the daily workings of the Hawaiian Government under the Kamehamehas, which makes his comments about royal aspirations and the political steps taken to achieve them all the more valuable. This is particularly true of his in-depth discussion of Kamehameha V's constitutional coup d'etat in 1864. That summer the king unilaterally revised the 1852 constitution, which had granted universal suffrage, so that an individual could vote in Hawaiian elections only after meeting certain residency and property requirements. This alteration was essential, Varigny believed. Universal suffrage not only was “too little adapted to the instinct and understanding of the natives” but it was also incompatible with monarchy, and thus served only the interests of those he called the American missionary party. (And when Kamehameha V's constitutional coup proved successful, his finance minister crowed that “the yoke of the missionaries” had finally been lifted.)

The value of Varigny's memoirs would have been greater, however, had they been replete with such insights; he can be frustratingly silent at crucial times. He indicates, for instance, that the public records of the financial and foreign affairs ministries were in a shambles when he assumed those offices, and that he immediately instituted sweeping reforms to correct the disarray. But he then fails to mention what those reforms were, how his bureaucrats responded to them and whether they were useful in the subsequent management of the office. Silence too surrounds his admission that Kamehameha V's offer of the portfolio of the Finance Ministry was not a surprise; he does not, however, enlighten us as to what earlier overtures had been made and by whom. Nor does Varigny do more than speculate on one of the critical issues confronting the Hawaiian Government in the 1860s: Kamehameha V's unwillingness to marry or to name a successor, a decision that undermined the legitimacy and hampered the effectiveness of future rulers. Fourteen Years in the Sandwich Islands, in short, does not contain enough political gossip to give the reader an intimate feel for Hawaiian governmental affairs at mid-century.

One aspect of Hawaiian life about which Varigny was not reticent was his vision of the Islands’ future. At the heart of that vision lay a philosophic (and Eurocentric) premise: that the Islands were gradually passing away from “extreme barbarism, from the most appalling paganism, to a state of civilisation,” a process ordained by “providential law” and sanctioned by European experience. Once civilised, Hawaii would take its rightful place among the nations of the world, an achievement that would ensure that it would not be absorbed into the American union. Modernisation, Varigny believed, meant political survival.

But did it? Some of Varigny's pet projects, for example, actually facilitated American annexation of the Islands, and none more so than his effort to revitalise Hawaiian agriculture. When he first entered Kamehameha V's cabinet, he assessed the Islands’ economic future and concluded that its dependence on whaling revenues was dangerous; not only did that industry draw off large - 402 numbers of Hawaiian youth but also its seasonal character and uncertain prospects jeopardised Hawaiian financial affairs. Varigny felt that a renewed emphasis on agriculture would provide social and economic stability, would help “quicken the moral and physical regeneration of the Hawaiian people.” Once back on the land, the Hawaiians could develop it for their own benefit. Despite this rhetoric, Varigny spent most of his time aiding the development of large sugar-cane plantations owned and operated by haoles and worked by hundreds of Asian labourers. As an active member of the board of immigration, he did much to shape the growth of large-scale agriculture, an industry that would quickly dominate the Hawaiian economy and whose needs would perforce alter the Islands’ political future. This became clear to Varigny in 1867-8 when, under his direction as Prime Minister, Hawaii and the United States negotiated a reciprocity treaty which would temporarily abolish trade barriers between the two nations, giving a much-needed boon to the fledgling Hawaiian sugar industry. While Varigny understood that enormous short-term economic benefits would accrue, he now recognised that, if the treaty were annulled by a future American president, then a commercial crisis would ensue in Hawaii; the agricultural experts would then probably demand annexation to save their industry. Rather than assuring the moral regeneration of the Hawaiian people and guaranteeing their political independence, the new agricultural forms that Varigny had promoted instead limited the Hawaiians’ control over their own lands, increased the nation's dependency on the American economic and political situation and foreshortened Hawaii's political viability.

Varigny did not witness the final transformation leading to annexation. He took a leave of absence from his post as Prime Minister in 1868, and returned to France to restore his health. While there he sought to renegotiate commercial treaties between Hawaii and various European nations; failing to do so, he officially resigned as Prime Minister in 1869. It was during the next tumultuous decade, during the Franco-Prussian War, the Paris Commune and the rise of the French Third Republic, that the former Hawaiian cabinet official began to compose his memoirs. And this background is critical to understanding one major thrust of the book. He did not write it simply to provide a picturesque glimpse of life in the exotic Pacific; with the exception of his powerful description of the devastation wrought by the eruption of Kilauea in 1868, he barely notices his Hawaiian surroundings. Instead, he used events in Hawaii as a mirror in which his countrymen could catch a reflection of the future. Time and again he breaks off his narrative to lecture his readers on the advantages of absolute freedom of the press or of the necessity of separating church and state or on the evils of an overblown bureaucracy. Most of all, he challenged his readers to copy the Hawaiian system of education which did not separate the sexes but which none the less raised more morally “firm and upright children” than did its segregated French counterpart. Hawaii, then, held the solution to many of the “urgent problems facing the French people,” Varigny acknowledged. Alas, few of his contemporaries would agreed that the Pacific had anything to teach those who inherited the Western tradition.

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EWINS, Rod: Fijian Artefacts: Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection. Hobart, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 1982. 124 pp., 189 illus., 12 in colour. Price A$14.90.

Charles Hunt Anthropology Museum, Aberdeen University

This well-meaning book makes an attractive introduction to Fijian crafts and will be a popular companion to related museum displays. It lists some 200 Fijian artefacts in the collection of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. All of them are described in detail, most are illustrated and some general information about their functions and cultural background is provided. Few of the objects have provenances or associated documentation and the author's allocation of individual specimens to districts within Fiji (and, in some cases, beyond Fiji) is based on comparisons of style. The book is divided into sections which describe the manufacture and use of bark-cloth, wood, pottery, fibre and miscellaneous materials. Useful summaries of these several technologies, with supporting photographs, contain information mined from the rich seam of 19th century writing on Fiji as well as references to more recently published detailed studies and the author's own field observations. A short introduction describes the historic ties between Tasmania and the islands and, especially, the role played by Hobart as a base for missionary activities leading to the evangelisation and colonisation of Fiji.

The book fulfils its own limited objectives, although a meticulous catalogue of a small collection of unexceptional and unlocalised material can represent only a very small advance in our understanding of Fijian culture. Even the continued accumulation of details about the practice of crafts and industry might be seen as a distraction from the many outstanding questions in the study of material culture which have little or nothing to do with the minutiae of technological processes.

Although Rod Ewins aims to “provide some general information to explain the artefacts and, to some extent, the culture which gave rise to them” his overriding interest is in the physical qualities of the individual objects and the skills involved in their creation. This leads him to make oversights which might be disturbing to an anthropologist. Thus, in the chapter devoted to bark-cloth (masi), with which the bulk of his own research has been concerned, he summarises the various ways in which the cloth is used but does not state the obvious and most important fact that its manufacture was in the hands of women. The fundamental significance of this characteristic is illustrated by an insight of Marshall Sahlins (1976:26), “The specific quality of Fijian chiefly power (kaukawa or mana) is masculine potency, or virility that has more than one representation in common custom. It appears directly, for example, in the paramount's priviledged access to nubile women of his domain; symbolically, in the correspondence between the rites of chiefly investiture and the initiation of young men to sexual and warrior status by circumcision. Yet both these ceremonies are marked by the assumption of the - 404 bark-cloth (masi), the most valuable of “women's goods” (yaya vakayalewa). Hence the passage to higher male status is mediated by a female element— in logical converse of the chiefs bestowal of fertility upon the land.” In another chapter, Ewins describes how Fijian pottery is made by women of the fishermen (gone dau) and comments that the inferior social status attributed to this subgroup by some writers is questionable. What is unquestionable is that the position of the gone dau vis-à-vis other groups is anomalous and the implications of that anomaly for Fijian social relations is analysed in the same essay by Sahlins. Indications of ritualised behaviour towards pottery made by the gone dau, reflecting the ambiguous feelings towards the people, are touched upon in another paper (Hunt 1979). It is, of course, legitimate to “explain” objects in terms of the technology employed or by reference to ecological factors. But it may be especially fulfilling to relate them to the logic of the social situation, if only because this has been for so long the central concern of anthropology.

The apparent irrelevance of artefacts to the theoretical interests of social anthropologists meant that for half a century the study of material culture was relegated to museums, separated from the world of ideological controversy and debate. It is significant that when Alan Tippett's book on Fijian material culture (Tippett 1968) was published, it caused a disproportionate excitement among curators who saw it as an intellectual justification of their specialised study because it used an outmoded Malinowskian functionalist approach to demonstrate the interaction of artefacts with social needs and customary behaviour. In recent years the acceptance of structuralism, new interest in symbolic meaning, the renewed strength of comparative studies and the retreat of empiricism have created an opportunity for material culture to be re-integrated into social philosophy.

  • HUNT, Charles, 1979. “Fijian Pottery and the Manufacture of Cooking Pots on Kadavu Island.” Artefact 4:27-35.
  • SAHLINS, Marshall, 1976. Culture and Practical Reason. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.
  • TIPPETT, Alan Richard, 1968. Fijian Material Culture; a study of cultural context, function and change. Honolulu, Bishop Museum Press.
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FEINBERG, Richard (Forward by Sir Raymond Firth): Anuta: Social Structure of a Polynesian Island. Laie, Hawai'i, Institute for Polynesian Studies and the Polynesian Cultural Center with the Danish National Museum, 1981. xviii, 373 pp., figs, tables, maps, genealogies, photos, glossary.

Ann Chowning Victoria University of Wellington

In fewer than 200 pages, supplemented by almost 150 pages of appendices, Feinberg analyses the social structure of the tiny Polynesian island of Anuta. At the time of the study, the resident population was only 156, with another 50 living overseas. Linguistically and culturally the Anutans strongly resemble their nearest neighbours the Tikopians, with whom they often intermarry, though they actually trace descent from migrants from several other parts of Polynesia. Firth, who originally suggested that Feinberg go to Anuta, points out that “its autonomous, strongly marked social structure offers almost a minimal case . . . of how many people does it take to make an independent viable community.” He also commends the potential usefulness of Feinberg's quantitative data “for studying the relations between demography, environment and society in small units” (p. xiv). Feinberg does give a sketch of the environment and economy, drawing partly on the work of a Bishop Museum expedition which preceded him on the island. In this book, however, the primary focus is on social categories and norms — social structure in Firth's sense — as these are manifested in the domains of kinship and of various corporate groups, the most inclusive of which is Anutan society as a whole. The pervasive theme is that “adherence to a code for conduct involving the giving and sharing of labor, goods, and particularly food is . . . essential to the definition and conception of ‘kinship’ and group structure” (pp. 1-2). A person who behaves properly becomes kin, or a member of other units ostensibly based on descent or residence; if he behaves improperly he is excluded, regardless of where he was born or who his parents were.

Feinberg describes the social categories in considerable detail, with few concessions to readers not thoroughly familiar with Polynesian kinship terms, though the book mercifully includes an almost complete glossary. In addition, one appendix contains genealogies of all the residents, which the reader is invited to compare with the kin terms that 14 Anutans “apply to a substantial cross section of the island's population” (p. 213) in order to understand the bases for the analysis. Other appendices contain residential data, keyed to a map; lists of canoe owners; participants in a “marriage rite”; and personal data on not only the living but also those dead in the past “two to three decades”. These data include not only the individuals involved in the various rites of passage but also overseas travel and the putative cause of death for the deceased.

The main text is usually clear, apart from the numerous Anutan words, but decidedly repetitious. Feinberg does not always express himself with care, as when he several times says that certain Anutan terms include “cousins of all - 406 degrees” (pp. 44-5), whereas the context makes it clear that only cousins of the same generation are included. Elsewhere he says that Anutans “identify a child with a parent of its own sex” (p. 55) when explaining that if both a child's parents are equally related to Ego, Ego derives the term for the child from that used for the same-sex parent; the child and its parent are not called by the same term. In view of the discussion of genealogies, I also found “social” unsatisfactory in such phrases as “purely social as well as genealogical kin” (p. 56). In support of his main theme, Feinberg insists that certain Anutans regarded him a true (not adoptive) kinsman, because he behaved as one. He notes Firth's scepticism about such claims (see p. xi), but points out that the Anutans can only establish close relations with individuals as kin, in contrast with Tikopia, where some may just be called “friend”. At the same time, Feinberg complicates his argument by going on to talk of the “behavioural properties distinguishing kin from non-kin” (p. 67) just after having noted that in the traditional society it was impossible to be both a resident and non-kin (p. 65; see also p. 68). Clearly there is some justification for distinguishing, on behavioural and sometimes genealogical grounds, between near and distant kinsmen, but not for labelling a category non-kin rather than foreigner. On Anuta it is possible to gain kinship or to alter the strength of certain ties, but primary kin cannot be disavowed (p. 71). Were it not for the recent presence of some foreigners who stay aloof, there would be no non-kin on Anuta.

Feinberg has some difficulty with the general (not Anutan) concept of patrilineality, judging from his assumption (p. 124) that marriage to a FZD would be forbidden if incest prohibitions had a “patrilineal bias”, and from his uncertainty about whether to call the api a group, a category, or a class, having rejected the label “patrilineage” because he believes that by definition a lineage is a corporate group of fixed membership (pp. 128-9). Although he discusses some of the Melanesian material in his concluding chapter, he could usefully have made use of the abundant comparative data on the incorporation of migrants into “descent” categories in his discussion of lineages and clans. He also sometimes writes as if inclusion of a migrant as a link in a genealogy is an extraordinary Anutan practice (see pp. 133 and 167), sounding as if full adoption did not exist in other societies. Yet, in his comparative discussion at the end of the book, he goes on to argue that in many other Oceanic societies — though perhaps not in Tikopia — behaviour (the “appropriate code for conduct”) is grounds for assimilation into kin groups. The data he cites are not always so comparable as he suggests; to say that people who share land claims or who live in the same neighbourhood are likely or assumed to be kin indicates little about their behaviour. In addition, the societies also differ notably on such matters as attitudes towards immigrants. Nevertheless, one could hardly disagree with the conclusion “that in one way or another the presence of a code of conduct in which solidarity is expressed by sharing food, land ownership, and/or membership in a social unit is common among Oceanic kinship systems” (p. 186) — but of course one could also argue that such a code is common as regards social relations which are not necessarily defined as kinship.

It seems unlikely that apart from the Anutans themselves, anyone other than a - 407 few dedicated Polynesianists will make full use of all the material in the appendices. Feinberg notes that he received discrepant accounts but does not explain whether he called these to the attention of the Anutans; he simply states that as “a distillation of Anutan views . . . they have importance independently of their ‘objective’ truth or falsity” (p. 215). One might say the same of some of the personal data. Despite Feinberg's hope that the information might be useful for a variety of students, “perhaps even (those of) epidemiology and population genetics” (p. 262), a suspiciously large number of children are listed as dying at the same age (see p. 334), and there are many for whom the cause of death is only the so-called “children's disease” (te mate o nga tamariki) — data which seem to contradict Feinberg's statement that “Anuta is rather a healthy island” (p. 39). The author has collected a great deal of information on various matters, as his other publications indicate, but in this book the major point of interest seems to me to be the one noted by Firth and by the author himself (p. 40), the ways in which the Anutans have kept a complex hierarchical system functioning with so few people (the population having been virtually eliminated more than once in the recent past), even in the face of impinging Western institutions.

FIRTH, Stewart: New Guinea under the Germans. Melbourne, University Press, 1982. xiii, 216pp., maps, plates, apps, index. Price A$25.00.

Nigel Oram La Trobe University

In his New Guinea under the Germans Stewart Firth sets out to answer the following questions:

Why did Germany annex the territory? Why did the chartered Government of the New Guinea Compagnie fail? When the imperial administration took over in 1899, what were its policies on land, labour, shipping, colonial finances and controlling the population? How influential were planters? In what way did the colonial experience change villagers’ lives?

He sees the main reason for the declaration by the German Government of “The Protectorate of the New Guinea Company” in 1884 as the need to provide a supply of labourers for the German plantations in Samoa. The New Guinea Company was formed by Adolph von Hansemann, who exercised a powerful influence on New Guinea affairs until his death in 1903. A man of vast wealth for whom New Guinea was a hobby, his colonial schemes are described as “grandiose and impractical”.

The activities of the company on the mainland in Kaiser Wilhelmsland and in the Bismarcks and other islands are treated separately. In the former, large plantations were established and Hansemann sought to “prepare the way for settlement”. The plantations, including tobacco plantations, were a failure and - 408 no settlers came. Nearly half the island labourers working on parts of the mainland from 1887-1903 died during their period of contract. Losses among imported Asian coolies were described in the Reichstag as “pure mass murder” and many Germans died.

In the New Guinea islands, traders of many races, Germans being in a minority until the end of the century, either established some rapport with the local populace or were killed by them. People such as the Tolai were skilful traders and the island traders achieved much more economically than the mainland plantations, their export of copra, for example, being many times as great. Yet the traders were largely unprotected by the company's administration and there, also, many New Guineans died of introduced diseases.

Firth remarks that “the Germans were in New Guinea first and foremost to make money and only secondarily to impose a system of ordered administration on the inhabitants”. The company's administrative organisation was ineffectual. Imperial officials were instructed to support company interests and their careers might suffer if they took their duty to protect New Guineans too seriously. They had little force at their disposal and there were only 48 police for the whole colony in the 1890s. The Navy provided little protection. Administration was limited largely to making punitive expeditions: when naval vessels bombarded villages, or naval parties went ashore, the inhabitants disappeared into the bush.

If, as Firth says, “the Neu Guinea Compagnie was one of the great disasters of late nineteenth century colonialism”, improvements under imperial rule, established in 1899, were real but limited. The main problem was lack of finance. With a limited imperial grant, a significant part of which went for many years as compensation to the company, and a tendancy on the part of the Reichstag to reduce the grant, Hahl as governor was restricted in the developments which he could achieve. It was not until 1912 that funds became adequate. Hahl, however, was able to establish new stations, provide greater security for whites, and greatly increase the supply of indentured labour. Between 1901 and 1914, the area under nonindigenous cultivation increased from 4,500 to 34,190 hectares. His efforts only extended to the coastal area. Punitive expeditions continued to be mounted against the people of the interior. Innocent people were killed because another group was able to mislead the Germans into attacking their enemies, a ploy also used against the British in British New Guinea (see e.g. Lutton 1978:64).

Firth sees Hahl as a humane man who felt it his duty to shed blood to maintain order. In later years he fought hard against planters to maintain reasonable conditions for labourers and to save the indigenous populations from extinction. But it is surprising to learn that “. . . in his view New Guinea did not belong to the New Guineans. Its ultimate destiny was to become a truly Asian colony of the German Empire, populated by millions of Asian peasants”.

The chapter on the missions illustrates the different approaches to the work of colonisation which they adopted. The colonial administration expected them to behave as an adjunct which would lay the foundations of German civilisation. The Methodists in New Britain, who “identified Christianity with respectability”, had a small mission staff and their area was invaded by the rapidly expanding Sacred Heart Mission. The latter employed many European - 409 missions and established large plantations which brought them into conflict with the Tolai over land. The Neuendettelsau Lutheran Mission formed a “state within a state”, situated in isolation near the Huon Gulf. They developed Christian villages where they imposed secular punishments such as “imprisonment, thrashing and hard labour” to enforce the new order. The Rhenish Mission suffered from proximity to Government centres and the underlying “hatred of Europeans by the people of Madang and the Rai Coast”.

In a brief concluding chapter Firth states fairly the good and the bad sides of German rule. Exploration, not so adventurous as that in British New Guinea and not mainly designed to expand administrative control, yielded a rich scientific harvest. The level of economic development impressed the Australians who took over in 1914. Rudimentary schooling was widespread in controlled areas. On the debit side, the regime was often brutal and callous and much loss of life was caused by Government action and disease. Moreover, the writ of the German administration did not extend far from the coast.

This account of German colonisation is deeply researched, including an extensive study of documents held in the German Democratic Republic. It is well ordered, clearly written and dispassionate. Yet this book of 200 pages is too short to give a full picture of the German regime. The author's concluding thought is that “no single picture of the German impact on New Guinea emerges” as each clan community had its own history of contact. This lack could in part have been remedied if the book had been longer. We are not brought down to ground level although we are given an admirable account of activities and policies from a territory-wide viewpoint. While the difficulties faced by the administration as a result of a rugged environment are mentioned in the Introduction, there is no further account of the terrain. The nature of indigenous societies is only briefly discussed in passing. Accounts of district administration are limited to the establishment to a general description of the introduction of local government agents, the luluais. It would be valuable to know how a Government station functioned and something of the background and personalities of the officials stationed in them. Some account of Boluminski, whose methods of administration appear to have been colourful (McCarthy 1963:78), and of the background and character of others like him would be enlightening. Something might have been said about urban centres, which excelled those of contemporary Papua. The considerable medical efforts made by the Germans deserve more attention. Valuable insights into indigenous concepts are provided, such as the contrasting attitudes to work of New Guineans and Germans or the regarding of Germans as just another tribe to be manipulated. An attempt, however, to uncover the perceptions of New Guineans and Germans towards each other would be welcome. The question: “In what way did the colonial experiences affect villagers’ lives?” is not really answered.

In six appendices, useful statistics are provided relating to labour and economic development. As a result of cost-cutting pressures, it is less than lavishly produced, especially in relation to the photographs. It is enlivened by the symbolic illustration on the front cover, in which an immense German eagle dominates a small and cross-looking New Guinean bird of paradise.

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This is a much-needed and valuable book which should be read by all interested in colonial administration or the recent history of Melanesia. It is to be hoped that one day Stewart Firth will expand on this theme which he is admirably qualified to do.

  • JACOBS, Marjorie, 1972. “German New Guinea,” in The Encyclopaedia of British New Guinea, Vol. I, Melbourne University Press, pp. 485-98.
  • LUTTON, Nancy, 1978. “C. A. W. Monckton,” in J. Griffin (ed.), Papua New Guinea Portraits. Canberra, Australian National University Press, pp. 48-74.
  • MCCARTHY, J. K., 1963. Patrol into Yesterday: my New Guinea Years. Melbourne, F. W. Cheshire.

FORTH, Gregory L.: Rindi: An Ethnographic Study of a Traditional Domain in Eastern Sumba. The Hague, Nijhoff, Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 1981. xvi, 519 pp., figs, tables, maps, plates, glossary, indexes. Price D fl. 145.00 (paper).

Eric Schwimmer Université Laval

The chain of islands stretching from the lesser Sundas to the southern Moluccas has lately become the subject of a series of monographs of remarkable quality. Forth's book will be a treasured addition to this collection. The author frankly admits he was attracted to eastern Sumba by reports of asymmetric prescriptive alliance there but it should be said from the outset that the arcana of kinship algebra make up a very minor portion of this subtle and penetrating ethnography. For the most part, Dr Forth is concerned to show how this form of alliance is related to general “principles of order” and how these principles “govern diverse areas of Rindi life”.

The book appears to fall into three parts, the first of which is intended to set up what the author calls his “analytical framework”. This opens with a description of the Rindi house, village and “domain” from the viewpoint of the conceptualisation of space. He derives from this a “conceptual order” founded upon certain analogically related paired categories such as male/female, above/below, right/left . . . older/younger. A chapter on space and cosmos widens this scheme to include cosmology in general, the first ancestors, the dead. This leads into an analysis of other religious concepts: soul or spirit, the conception of the sky-gods and the powers of the earth. It comes as no surprise to the reader that this analysis yields two aspects of divinity, in opposition to one another, and that they are “an analogue” to “two basic forms of Rindi social relationship” — the agnatic framework and the wife-giving affines.

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The second part tests these fundamental categories in a number of contexts that offer a wealth of symbolic data, notably birth and death ritual, and the system of initiation, but we are also presented with a good many more pragmatic data, researched with great precision, on class stratification, the division of authority and descent groups. Of special interest here are the pages that deal with the institution of slavery among the Rindi. Considering the great historical importance of slavery in South-east Asia, our knowledge of it is surprisingly sketchy. Forth has skilfully reconstructed the elaborately stratified slavery system of the Rindi, thus providing a key document on this institution. The chapter on the division of authority is perhaps less novel, but does make some very useful analytical distinctions that seem lacking in previous monographs of this region: religious and secular authority appear to differ systematically in the relative importance they assign to age, seniority of descent and class. The chapter on descent groups provides a welcome discussion of “corporateness”, a concept in which the principles of descent, residence and alliance each have a part to play.

The final part, comprising seven substantial chapters, deals with what is to Forth the key issue: asymmetrical prescriptive alliance. Here, the author follows rather rigorously the tradition set by Needham and continued by R. H. Barnes. He opens with a general chapter of the “alliance relation” which presents, for the Rindi, a model already familiar from other works of this Oxford school. We are grateful, however, for a detailed description of the strong pressure on the wife-taking group to maintain reserve towards the wife-givers (pp. 296-7). The chapter ends in a polemical note which is fortunately rare in this monograph. He remarks:

The Rindi do not articulate pronounced contrasts of attitude or affect with regard to the relation of opposite sex siblings and that of spouses. In fact, both relationships appear to manifest mainly positive qualities (p. 301).

He follows on from this by suggesting that it would be “difficult” to draw up for the Rindi “a scheme of the sort Lévi-Strauss has called the ‘atom of kinship’”. The present reviewer feels bound to recall here how arid have been the debates between those who give priority to “positive sentiments” and those who give priority to “rules designed to maintain reserve”. It is only the latter who would use concepts such as the “atom of kinship”. No ethnographic data will show conclusively whether they are right or wrong. On Forth's data, Lévi-Strauss would probably be inclined to class the relation of spouses as less positive than that of opposite sex siblings. Yet, we would be ready to believe the Rindi's ethnographer when he proclaims that the sentiments between spouses were “mainly positive . . .”.

The relationship terminology, to which a chapter is devoted, follows rigorously the general model laid down by Needham. It is so neat (p. 313-20) that it might well become a textbook example of “asymmetrical prescriptive” address and reference terms. In the chapter on marriage, the most novel part is, again, the section on marriage among slaves. The analysis of the symbolics of incest is also meritorious, but it is unfortunate that the author was unaware of Francoise Héritier's essay on the same subject, as this provides perhaps a more powerful model that would apply to Rindi material as much as to her own, and that ex- - 412 plains incest symbolically as horror of the identical. Thus, WBW/HZH would be an incestuous relationship because both have been previously touched by ‘the identical’ sexual substance. This explanation due to Héritier seems simpler, hence more convincing than the inside/outside opposition proposed by Forth.

After two meticulous chapters on prestations and on forms of contracting marriage, we come to a highly important statistical analysis of the Rindi marriage data (Ch. 19). One of the most interesting statistical demonstrations here shows that, in spite of the classical terminological model, the Rindi have “no enduring pattern of alliances, as unions of this sort accounted for only 49.1% of correct marriages there” (p. 400). Rindi, suggests the author, is “an instance of an ‘open system’ of asymmetric alliance, that is, which favours the formation of new alliances” (ibid.) There is not even general preference for marriage within the domain. It is especially the higher class that is apt to marry “established” affines, i.e., marry lineages already established as “wife-giving” or “wife-taking”. Yet, such relationships between lineages do not endure for ever, as they appear to do on Tanebar-Evav (Barraud 1979, not quoted by the author). They fade out after three generations or a little longer unless actual marriages take place between them. Moreover, genealogical memory is not very long.

Forth gives no clear explanation how the “cycles” are closed in this system, but we would suggest it appears to happen by mere forgetfulness. They consider “circular” alliance to be undesirable, for the obvious reason that any “wife-giver” who admits he is “closing a cycle” would thereby admit that his brother-in-law is of unsuitably humble status. Hence, one may suppose that circles are constantly being closed, but it would happen beyond genealogical reckoning.

While the ethnographic reporting and analysis are of the highest quality in this monograph, and while the coherence of the symbolic classifications is remarkably strong, yet never unduly artificial, there are three general comments that must be made. First, it is dubious whether one can ignore historical and economic factors in a study of this sort without thereby weakening the structural arguments that are offered. What were the historical vicissitudes of this slave-class? How did the slave-raids transform the “classical” system of relationships? How do economic circumstances and land ownership affect marriage choice? What are the relations of production between the “social classes” Forth mentions so frequently?

Secondly, one is struck by the absence of any serious comparative perspective. There are many comparative references but nearly all of these illustrate merely that the cultures of Lesser Sunda —Southern Moluccas are rather similar and that asymmetrical prescriptive alliance yields a “type” of society with constant characteristics. On a few occasions, Forth notes differences between Rindi, Kédang, Atoni, Ema, etc., but he never studies these differences systematically. Nor does he consider communications between the cultures of the region. Like his predecessors, he was content to accumulate data on resemblances.

Thirdly, and most seriously, this lack of comparative perspective calls into question the very thesis Forth and Needham appear to be committed to. How important is it that the Rindi have prescriptive alliance? What difference does it make except to provide them with a very fine terminology system? To mention only one example, Tanebar-Evav (Barraud 1979) lack special terms for the - 413 various categories of wife givers/takers, hence have no “prescriptive” marriage rules in Needham's sense. They do, however, have asymmetrical connubium and relations of “established” affines are more enduring than among Rindi. Moreover, the “fundamental categories” derived by Barraud are extremely similar to those derived by Forth. Stratification, division of authority, descent groups are also of similar kind. Is the range of sociological difference between Rindi and Tanebar-Evav greater than the range of difference between Rindi and the other cultures that have asymmetrical prescriptive connubium? Unless this is demonstrated, we cannot be sure that prescriptive alliance, as defined by Needham, is a useful category in social anthropology. If this is what Forth wanted to demonstrate, he failed. But did he want to? We noted that he did not refer to prescriptive alliance even once in the book's “Concluding Remarks” (p. 415-21).

  • BARRAUD, Cécile, 1979. Tanebar-Evav: Une Société de Maisons Tournée Vers Le Large. Paris, Editions de la Maison des Sciences de 1' Homme.

GEDDES, W. H., A. CHAMBERS, B. SEWELL, R. LAWRENCE, and R. WATTERS: Atoll Economy: Social Change in Kiribati and Tuvalu. Islands on the Line: Team Report No. 1. Canberra, Australian National University, 1982. xix, 216 pp., figs, tables, maps, appx, glossary. Price A$12.00 (paper).

Hugh Laracy University of Auckland

Between 1971 and 1975 a team of five geographers and anthropologists carried out a socio-economic survey of four islands in Kiribati and one in Tuvalu. Their reports were published between 1975 and 1979. The purpose of the exercise was to provide the government of the then Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony with information to help it in dealing with the problems threatening village life on account of increasing population and the loss of earnings consequent on the end of phosphate mining on Banaba in 1979. These reports, with some updating, have now been reissued by the Development Studies Centre in a more manageable (and far more attractive) format. The book under review, although No. 1 in the series, is a synthesis of the main findings of the particular island reports.

The need for a team report derived from the fact that the particular reports were intended not just as ends in themselves (although they do stand as independent works of high merit) but also as case studies from which could be drawn generalisations pertinent to the whole colony. Logically, therefore, this volume contains a substantial list of practical recommendations for the government - 414 —and its successor governments —to take into account when framing policy and formulating development plans.

In presenting these recommendations, the report achieved the primary purpose of its being when it was first published in 1979. Since then it has been superseded by a plethora of advice from other sources so that its republication seems intended to serve the interests of academics rather than the needs of administrators. As such, its main value lies in the comparisons it makes between the various islands, and in serving as an introduction to the particular reports; all of which are richly detailed and which will be of enduring use to anyone interested in the history and social evolution of Abemama or Butaritori or Nanumea or Tamana or Tabiteuea North.

Few, if any, such comprehensive and co-ordinated social studies have been carried out on any other Pacific Islands groups. For that reason alone (and independently of the high quality of the individual researchers’ findings) the republication of this series of reports is to be welcomed.

GRACE, George W.: An Essay on Language. Columbia, South Carolina, Hornbeam Press, 1981. v, 200 pp., glossary, index. Price US$14.50(hard cover), $9.95 (paper).

Stephen A. Tyler Rice University

Linguistics and anthropologists alike will profit from reading this critical examination of fundamental concepts in ethnolinguistics, for it challenges many widely accepted notions of linguistic research. Anthropologists who have long since become bored with the irrelevancies of formal grammar will welcome Grace's dethronement of grammar and applaud his conviction “. . .that the most important thing to be learned about language is how it relates to thought and culture” (p. 3), and linguists who have been revolted by those parodies of language served up in the guise of formal logic will find comfort in his argument that such formalisms are misleading.

The book consists of four parts dealing with: language as an instrument for “saying things”; content, form and thought; contextual relations; and diachrony and diversity. A useful glossary, bibliography and index complete the book.

Part One attacks the commonly held belief that a language is just its description. Grace's argument is that the concepts “grammar” and “lexicon” are parts of a model of description and not parts of languages. He proposes instead that a speaker knows his language in two different ways: analytically and holistically. The grammar-lexicon model focuses on the first to the exclusion of the second, and obscures what Grace calls lexification and content from, the former being the labels attached to concepts and the latter the conceptualisation of the message. Content form is thus grammar plus the meanings of words plus the way things are - 415 worded. These two components evolve independently, and translation between languages involves relexification and the reduction of dissonance between content and forms.

Part Two addresses the issue of what goes into content form — what is to be said. Grace calls this the “idea”, and distinguishes between the “fully-formed idea” and the “basic idea”. The latter, being what is left when all wording —representation—is deleted, is neutral as to content form, but is preserved in translation. The meaning of an utterance, then, is the basic idea plus the fully formed idea or its partly formed representative. Speaking consists in imposing a content form on a basic idea, and since different content forms can be construals of the same basic idea, different languages are only different ways of saying the same thing.

Thought is most often a partly formed idea, its degree of formedness being relative to its unfamiliarity, to its not having been heard or said in a similar way before. Here Grace argues that most sentences, rather than being novel, as current speculation holds, are trite—similar to ones we have heard or said before. This sense of similarity is not derived from constructing exact replicas of previous sentences, but comes from the ability to perceive patterns of similarity between non-identical instances.

Grace distinguishes between word meaning and sentence meaning, the latter representing ideas, and the former categorisation. He contrasts ordinary categorisation with the classifications of experts, arguing that ordinary categorisation is based on exemplars and the chaining of bounded categories, whereas expert classification, which is based on defining attributes, is artificial and does not reflect the organisation of reality.

A consideration of language functions opens Part Three. Grace endorses Jerison's view that language evolved as a system of representation, as a means of integrating sensory experience by constructing models of what is there. The communicative functions of language are secondary, being superimposed on the representational function merely as means of transmitting models of reality. Language evolution, then, is in no way paralleled by the expression functions of animal signalling systems.

In his discussion of idiolect and languages (langue) Grace argues that both are systematically integrated, the first at the level of the individual speaker, reflecting his personal synthesis, the second as an abstraction representing the linguist's synthesis of some unspecified set of idiolects. As such, the langue is not“ . . .a well defined object readily identifiable in nature”(p. 117).

Chapter Eleven is concerned with the relation between two abstractions —language and culture. Grace distinguishes between two questions: the relation between language and culture as wholes; and the relation between a particular language and its culture. He rejects the idea that language as a whole is part of some particular culture, and concludes that both language and culture, as wholes, may be different abstractions from a single evolutionary event. The real problem, then, is the relation between a particular culture and its particular language. The infamous noncongruence of a language and its associated culture seems to imply that a language is independent of a culture. Grace points out, however, that - 416 classification of cultures by culture area is based on adaptive, easily diffusable traits, whereas the genetic classification of languages is based on the most maladaptive feature of language—its lexemes. This disparity in classificatory emphasis creates the illusion that languages are independent of cultures. The real object of comparison is between the ideational aspects of culture and the content form (the way things are said) of language. Both language and culture are thus forms of knowledge and can be related appropriately, but Grace rejects the still-fashionable idea that they are both collections of explicit rules which speakers or cultural performers follow. He argues instead that this knowledge is more akin to the kind of knowledge that enables skilled performance— a “knowing how” rather than a “knowing that” in Ryle's terms.

Part Four, on diachrony and diversity, begins with a chapter on linguistic change in which Grace maintains that the factors determining linguistic change are to be found in the interaction of the content form of language and changing cultural perceptions. As people have different things to say, they find new ways of saying them. He thus rejects “drift theory” — the notion that changes in a language can always be traced to prior conditions within the language itself.

The next chapter, devoted to the topic of linguistic diversity, opens with a paradox; if languages are mainly for communication, then why do they diversify and reduce their communicability? Grace proposes two answers: (1) diversification serves the function of group identity; (2) reduction of communicability assumes that monolingualism is the general case. Both of these points derive from recent sociolinguistic research which illustrates the use of special language forms as group emblems and documents the fact that multilingualism is the normal circumstance in many parts of the world.

In the final chapter, entitled “What Is To Be Done”, Grace discusses three topics: content form, idiolect, and langue. The first focuses on the problem of representation —on how it is possible for the same information to be represented in different languages. The solution to this problem calls for a theory of translation. The problem of idiolect entails a theory of competence that takes into account the differences between factual knowledge and skilled performance, between holistic and analytic modes of knowing, and between the abilities of mono-and multi-linguals. The problem of the langue is how a linguistic description provides a model of the langue that exists in the minds of speakers. The solution suggested here calls for an expanded idea of “discourse” as the mode of patterning representing ordinary use of language in speech and writing. Grace concludes that “ . . . we have prejudged the nature of language” (p.169). The prejudgments come from our cultural tradition of developing precise forms of categorisation and our overemphasis on analytic modes of reasoning, both of which produce a preoccupation with closed systems.

This is a refreshing book, which, if taken seriously by linguists, would go far in dispelling the fog that now shrouds much of contemporary linguistics. This is not to say that all of Grace's analysis is correct or that his specific solutions will work, but that by mapping out these topics he helps us find those islands of reasoned discourse which had been obscured by the dominant linguistic ideology.

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KIRCH, Patrick Vinton and D. E. YEN: Tikopia: the prehistory and ecology of a Polynesian Outlier. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin 238. Honolulu, Bishop Museum Press, 1982. xviii, 396 pp., figs, maps, tables, col. plates, app. Price US$28.00 (paper).

Peter Bellwood Australian National University

This is a lengthy and highly detailed report, and one of the most successful to join the annals of Pacific archaeology in recent years. The Polynesian outlier of Tikopia, in the south-eastern Solomon Islands, has two remarkable advantages for archaeological research — it is extremely small (4.6 km2), and it has a very simple geomorphic structure centred on a breached volcanic crater. It also has a 3000-year sequence of human settlement, quite long by remote Oceanic standards, and all-in-all it provides a superb location for the study of many aspects of Melanesian and western Polynesian prehistory. The island is now, of course, classified culturally as a Polynesian outlier with a language of western Polynesian derivation, and it also has one of the best-known traditional societies in the whole Pacific as a result of the voluminous research and writings of Raymond Firth. But has Tikopia culture always been basically what it is now, or have different peoples occupied and influenced the island in the past? The remarkable “laboratory-like” nature of Tikopia has allowed Kirch and Yen to extract a prehistoric record of unusual precision which they have used to support some very clear and convincing hypotheses.

The approaches of Kirch and Yen are balanced; they consider environmental changes and developing subsistence strategies as well as a basic framework of artefact-based cultural periods. Some of the environmental changes have been quite dramatic — they include a continuous and considerable extension of the surface area of the western lowlands of the island, and the fairly recent transformation of the central crater from a salt-water bay to a closed brackish lake. The subsistence changes are well in accord with expectations for such a small island. The initial pattern was one of coastal agriculture combined with exploitation of a wealth of natural marine and terrestrial resources. This was later transformed through agricultural expansion into the inland hills, decreasing returns from wild resources, and, until recently, an increasing dependence on pig husbandry. Clearance of the interior also caused the erosion which has helped to build up the western colluvial farmlands. Today, both shifting cultivation and pig husbandry have given way to the prevailing system of arboriculture, which Yen regards as a system of risk-minimisation against cyclones and other environmental hazards.

Culturally, three prehistoric stages are recognised, viz. Kiki (Lapitoid) from 900 to 100 B.C., Sinapupu from 100 B.C. to A.D. 1200, and Taukamali (outlier Polynesian) from 1200 to 1800. The Kiki phase represents settlement by a Lapita community at a date quite late in the period of Lapita expansion in this region. The two known sites of this phase lie on the now-inland Rotoaia Paleodune on - 418 the western side of the island, and contain plain pottery (one site has a small quantity of dentate-stamping), shell fishing gear and ornaments, shell adzes, bones of pigs, dogs and fowl, and fragments of coconut. In general, this Lapita assemblage is similar to that found on Anuta and on several other Melanesian islands at about this time.

The Sinapupu phase represents a fairly sharp change from the Kiki, with pottery, now much less in quantity and apparently imported rather than produced locally, having close connections with the Mangaasi style pottery of Vanuatu and the Banks Islands. Wild resources such as turtles and megapodes virtually vanish from the record, and the authors claim that increasing stress was being placed on the inland mountain environment owing to expanding shifting cultivation and the burning of vegetation. One eventual result of this stress has been that the lowlands west of the mountain zone have received sufficient colluvial sediment over the past 1500 years to enable them to develop from swamps into fertile agricultural lands.

The Tuakamali phase, after 1200, represents the aceramic end of Tikopian prehistory and the rather gradual crystallisation of the Polynesian outlier culture which exists today. The changes from Sinapupu to Tuakamali are not sharp, and there is no sign that newly-arriving Polynesians simply pushed off or exterminated previous inhabitants. Polynesian outlier cultures in general are, of course, quite varied and by no means “pure” Polynesian, so an increase in the rate of occasional settlement from the east, offset to some extent by the continuously important contacts with Vanuatu (e.g., for obsidian imports), may suffice to explain the present Polynesian outlier culture of the island. It is also interesting that several events in recent Tikopian ethnohistory seem to be reflected in the archaeological record.

This, the first Bishop Museum Bulletin to be published since 1978, is in many respects a model of clarity and credibility. Some of the data sections seem unnecessarily long, and a rather detailed analysis of shell adzes seemed to me to be a little unnecessary in printed form. I have always tended to regard these objects as being very complacent when it comes to typological and chronological classification, and I fear that the muted fanfare of a varimax rotated factor matrix did little to change my views in the case of Tikopia. But overall I did find the book to be pleasant and stimulating reading — unusual for an archaeological report these days — and it does present a 3000-year record of prehistory which forms a very important piece of the western Pacific jigsaw.

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LANGDON, Robert and Darrell TRYON: The Language of Easter Island: Its Development and Eastern Polynesian Relationships. Monograph Series, No. 4. Laie (Hawaii), The Institute for Polynesian Studies, 1983. v, 82 pp., figs, tables, maps. n.p. (paper).

Ross Clark University of Auckland

Historian Langdon and linguist Tryon here propose a new hypothesis on the position of the language of Easter Island (or Rapanui, henceforth RAP) within the Polynesian family, and a corresponding historical scenario of migration and settlement. Chapter 1 is a detailed review of the literature on RAP; Chapters 2-5 discuss respectively phonological, morphological, syntactic and lexical evidence; and Chapter 6 offers non-linguistic arguments.

The most widely accepted view as to the position of RAP relative to the other PN languages, which I will refer to as the “standard theory”, is shown in Fig. 1.

Family Tree. Polynesian, Tongic, Nuclear Polynesian, Samoic-Outlier, East Polynesian, Central Eastern, Tahitic, Marquesic, Tongan, Samoan, Tahitian, Marquesan, RAP, Niuean, East Futunan, Tuamotuan, Mangarevan, East Uvean, Rarotongan, Hawaiian, Rennellese, Maori, etc.

The evidence has been presented by Elbert (1953), Pawley (1966, 1967) and Green (1966). Figure 2 shows the revision proposed by Langdon and Tryon. 1 They postulate a Futunic subgroup of Nuclear Polynesian consisting of East Futunan, East Uvean and Rennellese (all members of the Samoic-Outlier subgroup according to the standard theory) along with RAP. In other respects the subgrouping remains the same.

Chapters 2-4 consist in the main of a review of subgrouping evidence from Pawley (1966). Not surprisingly, there is nothing here to overturn the standard

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Family Tree., Polynesian, Tongic, Nuclear Polynesian, SO-CE, Futunic, Samoic-Outlier, Central Eastern, East Futunan, East Uvean, Tahitic, Marquesic, Rennellese, RAP, Tongan, Samoan, Tahitian, Marquesan, Niuean, etc. Tuamotuan, Mangarevan, Rarotongan, Hawaiian, Maori

theory. RAP is clearly Nuclear Polynesian. It shares some of the innovations of the Central Eastern languages, but not all, which is the basis for its position in Fig. 1. Langdon and Tryon barely note in passing (p. 24) the morphological innovations presented by Pawley (1967) to support the Samoic-Outlier subgroup. Under the Futunic hypothesis, it becomes difficult to explain why these innovations appear in the (reduced) Samoic-Outlier subgroup as well as in East Futunan, East Uvean and Rennellese, but not in Central Eastern languages or RAP.

Only one piece of phonological evidence is offered in support of the Futunic hypothesis. The Futunic subgroup includes all four Nuclear Polynesian languages which retain the Proto-Polynesian glottal stop. Grouping them together in this way means that only two separate losses of this consonant need to be postulated (in Niuean and in PSO-CE), as opposed to at least three (Niuean, PCE and some daughter of PSO) in the standard theory. Not only is this a very small advantage, given the general susceptibility of glottal stop to loss; it is not even strictly correct, since the “Old Ra'ivavaean” language, which, according to Langdon and Tryon, belongs to the Futunic group, also loses glottal stop (p. 59). Thus, either theory requires a minimum of three losses.

Chapter 5, on lexical evidence, is by far the longest, and the only one which introduces new linguistic data. The authors have apparently undertaken an exhaustive study of published lexical data on RAP (though one could wish they had been more explicit about their procedures). They eliminate words “common throughout Polynesia”, as well as modern loanwords from English, French, Spanish and Tahitian. There remain four categories of lexical items of possible relevance to the position of RAP:

  • 1. Words with cognates in non-CE languages only (19 items) 2
  • 2. Words with cognates only in the proposed Futunic group (6 items)
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  • 3. Words with cognates in CE languages only (57 items)
  • 4. Words without known cognates, i.e. unique to RAP (61 items).

Clearly categories 1 and 4 are compatible with either subgrouping hypothesis. Both recognise Central Eastern as a subgroup (which would have lost the items of category 1), and both naturally allow for unique innovations in RAP. Category 3 is consistent with the standard theory, but might seem to present some difficulty for the Futunic hypothesis. However, as we will see, the authors are willing to postulate at least three different episodes of borrowing to account for it.

Only category 2 (significantly the smallest) appears to present any challenge to the standard theory, and even this evidence is less impressive on closer inspection:

  • (a) RAP mahore “fish sp., family Kuhliidae (flagtails)” is probably cognate with EUV mafole “fish sp.”. Most other Polynesian terms for this kind of fish reflect PPN *(s,h)afole. The irregular change of initial consonant appears to be unique to EUV and RAP. (EFU and REN cognates are not known.)
  • (b) RAP ka?ika?i “sharp” is simply a retention of PNP *(ka(i))kai. 3 The PNP form is retained regularly also in EUV, EFU, REN, Tuvalu, Tikopia and Anuta. 4 Some Samoic-Outlier languages reflect *matakai (cf. PPN *mata “point, edge”). A group of northern Outliers reflect *kaa, and the Central Eastern languages *koi. In order to count this as a Futunic innovation, Langdon and Tryon are obliged to make the highly implausible claim that *matakai is the original form, and that the *kaa and *koi forms are completely unrelated.
  • (c) RAP Rano Kau, name of one of Easter Island's crater lakes. Langdon and Tryon associate this name with EFU and EUV kau ano “a ditch made at the side of a swamp where taro is planted”. But there is no evidence of any common innovation here. RAP rano and EFU EUV ano reflect PPN *rano “lake, swamp”. (The absence of initial consonant in the latter form suggests borrowing from Tongan). The EFU and EUV phrases are explainable as meaning “edge of swamp” (PPN *kau “side, edge”, cf. Niuean kauhala “roadside”, kauvai “riverbank”). As for the RAP place-name, there is no evidence that Kau means “edge” or has anything to do with cultivation. Englert (1978:168) explains the name as meaning “broad, or large lake”.
  • (d) RAP ma?a “know, understand”. This is compared with REN na'a “know, understand” and ma'anga “intelligent, clever”.
  • (e) RAP ua “type of club” is cognate with REN ua and SAM uatogi “id.”. Cf. SAM togi “carve (clubs etc.) in low relief”.
  • (f) RAP mamara “charcoal” (recorded only by Roussel in 1865-71) agrees with EUV and Tuvalu (most dialects) m(a)mala, an irregular development from PPN *malala.

Discarding (b) and (c) as of no value, we are left with two irregular formal innovations [(a) and (f)], one shared with EUV only and the other with EUV and Tuvalu; and two lexical items of very limited distribution [(d) and (e)], one shared only with REN and one with REN and Samoan. There are formal problems with cognacy in (d), and the innovation in (f) could well have taken place more than - 422 once independently. All in all, this hardly adds up to much of a case for Futunic. The dearth of support for the Futunic hypothesis contrasts sharply with the large amount of lexical evidence in category 3, as well as the corresponding East Polynesian grammatical innovations, all of which Langdon and Tryon have to account for by borrowing. They deserve considerable credit, at least, for presenting faithfully a body of evidence which is so unfavourable to their hypothesis.

The authors conclude at the end of Chapter 5 that the linguistic evidence in itself is inconclusive, but argue that their proposed subgrouping is preferable to the standard theory on grounds of simplicity. The standard theory, they argue, “calls for substantial losses of features in the PCE subgroup whereas the other [i.e. the Futunic hypothesis] requires no losses at all ” (p. 48). This is clearly wrong. The features shared by RAP and non-CE languages but not found in CE (group 1) are in almost all cases reconstructible as PPN, having cognates in Tongic and/or non-Polynesian languages. On either account these must be lost in PCE.

This brings us to the non-linguistic evidence of Chapter 6. Langdon and Tryon observe that traditions of a homeland called *Sawaiki are widespread in the Central Eastern islands, but unknown in Easter Island. Taking the original referent to be Savai'i in Samoa, they conclude that the CE speakers ultimately derive from Samoa, but the Easter Islanders do not. The latter, they reason, must originally have derived from somewhere in West Polynesia, and made some intermediate landfall en route to Easter Island. Futuna is selected as the most likely homeland other than Samoa, and Ra'ivavae in the Austral group as the most likely East Polynesian transit point. The choices here are based partly on navigational possibilities, partly on a variety of other complex but not particularly convincing arguments.

Once settled on Ra'ivavae, the Futunic-speaking population were conquered by invaders from the north, whose Tahitic language had a profound influence on theirs. After a time, a group of these Ra'ivavaeans, now speaking a mixed Futunic-Tahitic language, sailed away and eventually reached Easter Island, which they found already inhabited.

A god named Hiro was known on Easter Island, and since Langdon and Tryon believe this Hiro to have been a historical figure of about the 16th century A.D., it follows that the Polynesian settlement of Easter Island could not have taken place before that date. (It is assumed that not more than one Polynesian settlement took place, by a principle of parsimony not noticeably observed elsewhere.) But since radiocarbon dates indicate that Easter Island was settled by about A.D. 400, there must have been more than a millennium of occupation by a non-Polynesian people. During this 1000-year period, it is quite likely that one or more westward voyages would have been made to CE-speaking islands, where more borrowing could have taken place.

The Futunic-Tahitic Polynesians from Ra'ivavae settled on Easter Island and eventually imposed their speech on the earlier inhabitants, but not before absorbing a large amount of non-Polynesian vocabulary, including the lexical items of group 4, and the mysterious numerals collected by the Spanish in 1770.

All this reasoning is at times highly ingenious, but the ingenuity seems largely - 423 wasted, in view of the vanishingly small amount of linguistic evidence in support of the Futunic hypothesis. Nothing in Chapter 6 presents any serious difficulty for the conventional interpretation of the linguistic facts. The authors argue, for example, that direct voyaging from the Marquesas or Society Islands to Easter Island is extremely unlikely given the prevailing winds and currents, and thus that the Easter Islanders could not have originated from the East Polynesian homeland. But nothing in the linguistic evidence gives us a specific location for this homeland — it could just as well have been Ra'ivavae. Or the Easter Islanders could have made their way there indirectly from a homeland further north (Finney 1979:349). As for the legends of *Sawaiki, it is not hard to imagine their being lost during the 1000 years that elapsed before anyone came along to write them down.

I should like to conclude this review by returning to three further aspects of the lexical data presented in Chapter 5, the most interesting part of the book.

The postulated “Old Ra'ivavaean” (Futunic) language is a key point in Langdon and Tryon's argument. It seems to be generally agreed that some earlier Polynesian language spoken on Ra'ivavae has been largely replaced by Tahitian, but the almost total lack of published linguistic data on this area makes it difficult to say more than this. Langdon and Tryon base their claims on a manuscript dictionary of Ra'ivavaean compiled by Stimson in the 1930s (pp. 58-9), in which they claim traces of the pre-Tahitian language can be discerned. Given that, according to their hypothesis, Old Ra'ivavaean is the closest relative of RAP (they have been separate for only about 400 years), one would surely expect to find some uniquely shared features between them. The fact that they do not mention any 5would seem rather damaging to their case.

The number of RAP words without known cognates elsewhere in Polynesia is taken by Langdon and Tryon as evidence of a non-Polynesian substratum in the language. They argue that RAP is “remarkably archaic and conservative in many respects” (p. 63), but this is very doubtful. RAP preserves the glottal stop, to be sure, and retains a certain number of features that have been lost by the highly innovative Central Eastern group. But in many other areas its structure is quite deviant. If there are Polynesian languages that are “archaic and conservative” in some global sense, RAP is not one of them. Thus, the unique lexical items are not inconsistent with anything else we know about RAP.

Langdon and Tryon reject my suggestion (Clark 1979:265-6) that name-avoidance or some such linguistic tabooing practice may account for the high proportion of anomalous vocabulary in Tuamotuan and some other languages. They note that some of the replacement words in Tahitian appear to be borrowed from Tuamotuan (p. 64), but this does not affect the argument at all. Taboo replacements appear to be derived in a variety of ways, including idiosyncratic phonological and semantic shifts, borrowing, and creation ex nihilo. Whether the number of anomalous words in RAP is “simply too large” to be explained in this manner (p. 63) is, I suppose, a matter of opinion. Sixty-one words does not seem too large to me. 6 It is worth recalling, too, that advocates of “non-Polynesian” substrata have conspicuously failed to deliver the evidence which would warrant the use of the term. Thirty years after Heyerdahl, kumara remains the only word - 424 for which a plausible external etymology has been offered.

Since merely defending an established theory is an unglamorous role for a reviewer, I should like to call attention to some facts which point to a possible revision of the standard theory, though in a direction different from that which Langdon and Tryon propose. Of the lexical items confined to RAP and small groups of Central Eastern languages (pp. 42-4), a striking number involve either Marquesan alone, or Marquesan and Mangarevan. This agrees with Emory's finding (1963:82) of a large number of uniquely shared items between RAP and these two languages, compared with Tahitian and Maori. As far as lexical resemblances are concerned, recent borrowing from Mangarevan into RAP cannot always be ruled out. (See p. 4 for the historic connection.) But it is interesting to note that the same three languages apparently uniquely share a peculiar syntactic development: generic objects, at least in ki te-type complements, precede rather than follow the verb:

RAP he turu te tanata ki te ika hi “the man goes to catch fish” (Englert 1978:70)
MQS me te hano ‘i te pukava ‘umihi “she went to look for shellfish”(Lavondès 1966:51)
MVA ao i te ika hi “to go fishing” (Tregear 1899:20)

These common innovations cannot be accounted for, along with those noted by Pawley, without going beyond the strict family tree model and allowing for some type of secondary contact, whose nature remains unclear.

By their choice of title and order of presentation, Langdon and Tryon have placed the language evidence at the centre of their work. The linguistic support for the Futunic hypothesis, however, is so slight that it is difficult to believe it could have been the point of departure for the whole enterprise. Rather it would appear that an original hypothesis about migration and settlement inspired them to set out on their arduous quest for this much-prized form of evidence. Though they have returned not much better than empty-handed, they have my gratitude for reopening the discussion. Although I believe the standard theory continues to provide the best framework for explaining RAP's relation to other Polynesian languages, facts such as those alluded to in the previous paragraph suggest that further research would produce most interesting results.

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  • CLARK, Ross, 1979. “Language,” in Jennings 1979, pp. 249-70.
  • ELBERT, Samuel H., 1953. “Internal relationships of Polynesian languages and dialects.” Southwest Journal of Anthropology 9:147-73.
  • EMORY, Kenneth P., 1963. “East Polynesian relationships: settlement pattern and time involved as indicated by vocabulary agreements.” Journal of the Polynesian Society 72:78-100.
  • ENGLERT, P. Sebastian, 1978. Idioma Rapanui. Santiago, Ediciones de la Universidad de Chile.
  • FINNEY, Ben R., 1979. “Voyaging,” in Jennings 1979, pp. 323-51.
  • GREEN, Roger, 1966. “Linguistic subgrouping within Polynesia: the implications for prehistoric settlement.” Journal of the Polynesian Society 75:6-38.
  • JENNINGS, Jesse D. (ed.). The Prehistory of Polynesia. Canberra, Australian National University Press.
  • LAVONDÈS, Henri (ed.), 1966. Récits Marquisiens (2ème Série). Papeete, ORSTOM.
  • PAWLEY, Andrew, 1966. “Polynesian languages: a subgrouping based on shared innovations in morphology.” Journal of the Polynesian Society 75:39-64.
  • —— 1967. “The relationships of Polynesian Outlier languages.” Journal of the Polynesian Society 76:259-96.
  • TREGEAR, Edward, 1899. A Dictionary of Mangareva. Wellington, Government Printing Office.

SYKES, W. R., J. M. MILLER, J. E. DAVIN, J. BADDELEY, A. B. HOOPER and I. A. M. PRIOR: Bibliography of Research on the Cook Islands. New Zealand Man and the Biosphere Report No. 4. Lower Hutt, New Zealand Soil Bureau of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (for the New Zealand National Commission for Unesco), 1980. 164 pp., maps. n.p. (paper).

C. N. Taylor Lincoln College

Unfortunately, I cannot write a complimentary review of this book. It contains too many inadequacies, inconsistencies and omissions. Moreover, I have an - 426 unpleasant impression that the title is a misnomer. Despite the introduction by Cook Islander George Cowan, the bibliography largely covers expatriate research on the Cook Islands. Either there is clear evidence in this publication of the paucity of research by Cook Islanders on their own environment and society, or perhaps Unesco's Man and the Biosphere programme aims to help remedy this inequality by making the lack of Cook Islands authors and researchers as obvious as possible. Why, for example, omit Okotai from the tourism section?

The layout of the bibliography is inconsistent and difficult to use. Sykes introduces the first section on botanical sciences, and an annotated bibliography follows with some authors summarised at length and considerable botanical information included. This is a comprehensive introduction to Cook Islands botany, but there are problems with it. Why is only one of Gerlach's several reports on agriculture in the 1950s mentioned? The introduction covers “cultivated” plants but omits some, such as the famine food Cordyline terminalis. Miller introduces the marine science literature with a review article followed by a list of references. Davin returns to the format of the first section with the earth sciences and again key authors such as Grange and Fox are dealt with at length. Baddeley and Hooper change the format for social science references with a new proviso: a selected bibliography in line with the themes of the MAB project 7 regarding management of the environment and impacts of external forces such as tourism and introduced plants and animals. Social sciences are divided into four sections: economics, demography, tourism, education and social change. One is left wondering why, despite the proviso and a frustrating search through each subsection, important research such as Bollard (1977) in economics, Hayes (1979) in demography and Baddeley's own valuable thesis (1978) were left out. The final section is a skimpy look at the area of medical science. No proviso exists here, so why omit the important research of Raoult (1977) and Raoult and Jabre (1976) on nutrition and related medical problems on Aitutaki, or Faine and Hercus (1951) even if this last reference is a little more obscure?

Perhaps my next set of criticisms might be termed quibbles, but surely an internationally-funded and organised bibliography should be accurate and well presented. Some examples include Mark (1976) incorrectly cited as a Ph.D. thesis (p. 43). Allen (1968) is correctly cited on page 131 but on page 18 his masterate becomes a Ph.D. dated 1969 with a different reference layout. Crocombe (1964) appears on page 29 dated 1964 but reappears on page 134 dated 1965 with slightly different publication information. Accuracy and consistency are important, especially when publications and manuscripts are hard to trace and often have to be obtained by interloan. I am sure many of these problems could have been avoided by provision of an author index. In preparing an author index the editors should at least have found some of the mistakes and removed the unnecessary repetition of references between sections.

My final comment is a query. How many of the publications and manuscripts recording research on the Cook Islands are publically available there? From my own experience in trying to trace research, reports written as part of foreign aid work in particular are difficult to find in the very country they consider. Aid pro- - 427 motes technological, social and economic change to the human environment. Even when projects fail or ideas sit “collecting dust” it is important that feasibility studies, project reviews and similar material be available for retrospective research and future planning. Perhaps Unesco could have a role ensuring that all reports and data are available in a central location — the environment with which they deal. Funds could be made available for modern information storage and retrieval systems and for making past and present research by Cook Islanders themselves available to other local researchers, rather than for inadequate bibliographies.

  • BADDELEY, J. G., 1978. Rarotongan Society: The Creation of Tradition. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Auckland.
  • BOLLARD, A. E., 1977. Design and Evaluation of Projects with Variable Labour Response: Case Study of Agricultural Aid on Atiu. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Auckland, 2 volumes.
  • CROCOMBE, R. G., 1964. Land Tenure in the Cook Islands. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
  • FAINE, S. and C. E. HERCUS, 1951. “The Nutritional Status of Cook Islanders.” British Journal of Nutrition, 5:327-343.
  • HAYES, G. R., 1979. “Population Change in the Cook Islands 1966-1976.” Occasional Paper No. 1. Cook Islands Statistics Office, Rarotonga.
  • MARK, M. V., 1976. The relationship between ecology and myth in Mangaia. Unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Otago, Dunedin.
  • RAOULT, A., 1977. “A Contribution to the Study of Metabolic Disorders in the Pilot Area of Aitutaki.” South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia.
  • —— and B. JABRE, 1976. “Nutritional Problems in the Pilot Area of Aitutaki (Cook Islands).” South Pacific Commission, Noumea, New Caledonia.

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1   Actually the position of the (reduced) Samoic-Outlier subgroup in this scheme is not clear. Figure 2 corresponds to the diagram on p. 19, where the loss of glottal stop is under discussion. But on p. 48 Samoic-Outlier is shown as subgrouping immediately with Futunic rather than with Central Eastern. It is not clear which version the authors favour, but the point does not seem to be material to the rest of the argument.
2   Strictly speaking, “cognates or shared innovations” should be understood in the first three groups.
3   I am assuming the RAP glottal stop in this form to be a local development. For some other examples of this process see pp. 29-30, though the conditions stated there will hardly do.
4   The Tikopia form koi cited from Williams is an error for kai or kkai.
5   On p. 59 the authors cite Ra'ivavaean re?o “to speak”, which apparently retains glottal stop from PPN *le?o. If this is the correct explanation, it would be of interest, albeit a shared retention rather than an innovation. However, Stimson's Ruamotuan dictionary gives reko “to speak”. A hypothetical Tahitian cognate of this (*re'o) could perhaps account for the anomalous Ra'ivavaean form.
6   The authors appear to have overlooked a few likely cognates, e.g. with RAP kio “defeated person” compare Marquesan kió “refugee”, Hawaiian ‘io “to flee”.