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Maori and Polynesian: their origin, history and culture

The Fire-plough Must have entered Polynesia Before — the Patriarchate was developed by the — Caucasians

The Fire-plough Must have entered Polynesia Before
the Patriarchate was developed by the

(11) A third art that is on the borders of the palaeolithic, if not actually confined to it, is that of the stick-and-groove method of producing fire, also a household art. But here it is the man that does the work; the woman has only to stand and keep the horizontal piece of wood firm on the ground with her foot, whilst the groove is being rubbed into it. It is clearly a relic of a different constitution of the household from that which obtained in Polynesia; the woman has the attitude of master, the man is the worker and subordinate, although father-right or masculine predominance was almost universal throughout the region. Now, though mother-right has remained the principle of the household in all the regions adjoining, they have advanced to the fire-drill, in which the woman has no part.

(12) Clearly the women of the conquered in entering the households of the conquerors made effort to retain some relic of their primeval mastery within the house. And if page 250as facts seem to indicate, they came from the north, they must have come into the isolated island-world in very early times, before the matriarchate had passed into the patriarchate amongst Caucasian peoples. Polynesia is one of the domains of father-right, though hedged in by regions on both sides of the Pacific that are more or less dominated by mother-right or inheritance through the mother. The expeditions, chiefly of men, that sailed later from the Japanese Archipelago and from India and Indonesia into the islands of the Pacific, substituted the patriarchate for the matriarchate, just as they must also have introduced not only neolithic culture, but that section of neolithic culture which, because of its ability to quarry, transport, and erect enormous blocks of stone, should be specialised as megalithic. In the earlier chapters we found reason to think that this latter section came from the north-east coast of Asia, and not from its southern coast, on account of the megalithic track being continuous from the continent only through the Japanese, Ladrone, and Caroline Islands.