Volume 109 2000 > Volume 109, No. 3 > [Front matter] p 225-232
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Volume 109 SEPTEMBER 2000 Number 3

    Review Editor
    Editorial Assistants

Published quarterly by the Polynesian Society (Inc.), Auckland, New Zealand

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Published in New Zealand by the Polynesian Society (Inc.)

Copyright © 2000 by the Polynesian Society (Inc.)

Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism, or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part of this publication may be reproduced by any process without written permission.

Inquiries should be made to:

Hon. Secretary

The Polynesian Society

c/- Center for Pacific Studies

The University of Auckland

Private Bag 92019, Auckland

ISSN 0032-4000

Indexed in CURRENT CONTENTS, Behavioural, Social and Managerial Sciences, in INDEX TO NEW ZEALAND PERIODICALS, and in ANTHROPOLOGICAL INDEX.


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Volume 109 SEPTEMBER 2000 Number 3

  • Notes and News 229
  • MAUREEN MOLLOY “Lords of an Empty Creation”: Manus, America and the Depression 233
  • PETER DWYER & MONICA MINNEGAL El Niño, Y2K and the “Short, Fat Lady”: Drought and Agency in a Lowland Papua New Guinea Community 251
  • ATHOLL ANDERSON, ET AL. Towards a First Prehistory of Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, Republic of Kiribati 273
    Shorter Communications
  • PER HAGE The Conical Clan in Micronesia: The Marshall Islands 295
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  • Forbes, David W.: Hawaiian National Bibliography 1780-1900. Volume 1 1780-1830. JON OSOIRO 317
  • Hakiwai, Arapata and John Terrell: Ruatepupuke: A Maori Meeting House. NGARINO ELLIS 318
  • Heider, Karl G.: Seeing Anthropology: Cultural Anthropology Through Film. SARINA PEARSON 320
  • Kiste, Robert C. and Mac Marshall: American Anthropology in Micronesia: An Assessment. ROGER J. SULLIVAN 322
  • Maxwell, Ann: Colonial Photography & Exhibitions: Representations of the “Native” People and the Making of European Identities. NGARINO ELLIS 325
  • McLean, Mervyn: Weavers of Song: Polynesian Music and Dance. ALLAN THOMAS 327
  • Scarr, Derek, Neil Gunson and Jennifer Terrell (eds): Echoes of Pacific War. PHYLLIS HERDA 329
  • Publications Received 331
  • Minutes of the Polynesian Society 109th Annual General Meeting 333
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The Polynesian Society Web Site

The updated site is at a new address: .

JPS Centennial Index still available

All readers of the JPS should be aware that there is a complete index of the first 100 years of Journal issues available. The Author-Title-Subject index includes not only the named author, but also the name of the person who supplied the information to that author. Thus, numerous contributions to the JPS by Polynesians, mainly Māori, from whom S. Percy Smith and others gleaned knowledge are acknowledged. Likewise, material published that was “collected” by named correspondents is indexed to the collector as well as the author. For readers interested in traditional texts, these identifications indicate who really knew and provided the accounts. Copies of the Index are available from the Society's Office for $NZ30 plus postage and packing.

Māori Maps

Phil Barton alerted the Editor to an article on “Maori maps” in the Canadian Cartographic Association journal Cartographica (vol.36, no.2:l-30). Jan Kelly, the author of the article (j.kelly@auckland.ac.nz), has provided the following brief description of its contents:

Four Māori maps made at the point of contact with Europeans are examined cartographically for their symbolism, selection of elements, and use of text; and historically for the circumstances in which each was made. The maps show an fine facility with map-making, and reveal elements which differ from European maps being made at the same time. They appear also to be sketches made to accompany more detailed oral maps.

The oral sayings are then examined for evidence of a tradition of map-making that had no, or only transitory, material form. The discussion demonstrates that Māori had an acute geographical and navigational ability, and were able to relate their own sense of being, expressed in cosmology, genealogy, history and lived experience, in the oral map that is laid on the landscape. They were able also to readily communicate the map to an incoming culture that possessed a different language, history and perception, and had different needs.

While there are apparently no “Māori maps” in the material historical record that predate European arrival, it is felt that the maps made at the point of contact reflect a long tradition of map-making.

Pacific History Association Millennial Conference

The following report on the conference, held in the Coombs Building (Australian - 230 National University) at the end of August, was provided by Bronwyn Douglas co-convenor with Donald Denoon, both of the Division of Pacific and Asian History.

The theme of the conference was “Bursting Boundaries: Places, Persons, Gender and Disciplines”, encouraging Pacific historians to engage with forms of history-making very different from the conventionally academic. Other media (cultural performance, art, photography, film, the Internet, participant histories), other disciplines (anthropology, archaeology, art history, and cultural, development and literary studies), and other settings (global, ethnic and religious) were included. Highlights included sessions on the negotiation of varied indigenous identities in Australia—a first for the PHA, which has previously excluded indigenous Australians; a lively keynote address by Marshall Sahlins on “The Polynesian War: with Apologies to Thucydides”; a dance and multimedia performance by representatives of the Oceania Centre at USP called “The Boiling Ocean (Struggle and Survival in Oceania)”; a panel on Art and Art History called “Re: Visions” with Papua New Guinean and Kanak participants and an online contribution from Niue: an after-dinner address by Greg Dening; updates on the current crises in Fiji and Solomon Islands. The conference ran over five days. It was exhausting, sometimes confrontational, always stimulating, and by general consensus a great success.

The Skinner Fund for Physical Anthropology, Archaeology and Ethnology

The Fund is sponsored jointly by the Royal Society of New Zealand, the Polynesian Society and the New Zealand Archaeological Association. Funds granted range from $500 to $1000 and applications normally close in mid-March.

The purpose of the fund is to promote the study of the history, art, culture, physical and social anthropology of the Māori and other Polynesian peoples, particularly through the recording, survey, excavation and scientific study of prehistoric and historic sites in New Zealand and the islands of the southwest Pacific.

For further information, contact The Executive Officer, The Royal Society of New Zealand, P.O. Box 598, Wellington.

Elsdon Best Memorial Medal

The Council of the Polynesian Society considers possible recipients of this award at the end of each year, but does not make an award annually. “The Medal is for outstanding scholarly work on the New Zealand Māori. The research for which the Medal is awarded may be in the fields of Māori ethnology, social anthropology, archaeology, prehistory or linguistics.” The Medal is normally presented at the Society's mid-year Annual General Meeting and the recipient is asked to present a paper on that occasion.

The Nayacakalou Medal

The intention and conditions of the award are as follows (as recorded in the Polynesian Society Council Minutes of November 1991):

The Nayacakalou medal honours the late Dr Rusiate Nayacakalou for his outstanding ethnological writing on Fijian and Polynesian society and culture. - 231 The Medal will be considered, but not necessarily awarded, annually for recent significant publication on the Island Pacific relevant to the aims and purposes of the Polynesian Society and the interests and concerns of Dr Nayacakalou. The recipient may be asked to present a paper on the occasion of receiving the Medal.

Contributors to This Issue

Atholl Anderson is Professor of Prehistory and Director of the ANU Centre for Archaeological Research at the Australian National University. He is a graduate of Canterbury, Otago and Cambridge Universities, and has worked extensively in New Zealand and the tropical Pacific, most recently in Fiji, Norfolk Island and French Polynesia.

Geoffrey Clark, an Otago University M.A. graduate, has recently graduated Ph.D. at The Australian National University with a dissertation on the middle period in Fijian prehistory. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Archaeology and Natural History, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at ANU.

Peter Dwyer is an Honorary Fellow in the Anthropology Programme at the University of Melbourne. Dwyer has a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of New England (New South Wales). He moved to Melbourne in 1997 after lengthy association with the Department of Zoology at the University of Queensland. Since 1986, together with Monica Minnegal (see below), he has been working among populations of the Strickland-Bosavi region of lowland Papua New Guinea. This long-term and comparative research is concerned with ecological and social processes, and their interconnections, and with the role of agency in societal transformation.

Barry Fankhauser is a graduate of Otago University and has longstanding research interests in archaeological science, including luminescent dating, residue analysis and lithic sourcing. He is currently working as a consultant in Canberra.

Per Hage is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah. His research on Oceanic kinship systems is directed towards the integration of comparative ethnographic and linguistic data. Recent publications include “Linguistic Evidence for Primogeniture and Ranking in Proto-Oceanic Society” (Oceanic Linguistics 1999) and “Reconstructing Ancestral Oceanic Society” (Asian Perspectives 1999). This research is part of a larger project on the structure and evolution of human kinship systems, supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation.

Geoffrey Hope is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, and Professor and Head of the Department of Archaeology and Natural History in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. He is well-known as a geomorphologist and palynologist, and has worked widely in the Pacific, but especially in Papua New Guinea and eastern Indonesia.

Maureen Molloy is currently Professor and Head of Department of the Women's Studies Programme at the University of Auckland. For the past three years she has been researching the intersections between anthropology and popular culture in America.

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Monica Minnegal is a Lecturer in the Anthropology Programme at the University of Melbourne. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Queensland and continued an association with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology there for a number of years. Since 1986, she and Peter Dwyer have conducted longitudinal and comparative research among populations of the Strickland-Bosavi region of lowland Papua New Guinea, focusing on the interconnections between ecological and social processes, and the role of agency in social transformation.

Paul Wallin is the Head of the Research Department of the Kon-Tiki Museum. Helene Martinsson-Wallin is Curator at the same institution. Both are graduates of Uppsala University with interests in the archaeology of stone structures. They have worked particularly on marae in French Polynesia and Easter Island.

Trevor Worthy is an independent researcher with Palaeofaunal Surveys, Nelson, and has been working recently on the fossil vertebrates of Fiji.