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An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology



Between the native period of the past and the mixed period of the present stretches the period of acculturation during which elements of an invading culture were accepted or imposed upon the native culture. The changes which have taken place have been, of necessity, regarded by students of the historical method as side issues which obscured the picture they were trying to regain. However, acculturation in itself forms a major study in which the changes and their causes form the important items which reveal the results of the continued impact of one culture upon another. In this study, the historical records of the natives are further augmented by the observations and works of various European writers and by official government records. In addition, the student of acculturation applies his knowledge of psychology, economics, and other sciences to interpret the significance of change. Though some works on accultu-page 127ration have been included in this appraisal, acculturation and its literature is dealt with in another report by Felix S. Keesing, who has made intensive studies on the subject in New Zealand, Samoa, and other parts of the Pacific.