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An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology

Mangarevan Islands, Tuamotus (1934)

Mangarevan Islands, Tuamotus (1934)

The Mangarevan Expedition, as it was termed, was organized by the Museum for the survey in natural history and ethnology of the little-known islands of southeast Polynesia. A converted sampan of 75 tons, renamed the Islander, was chartered in Honolulu and placed under the command of Captain William Anderson. The natural science party, under the leadership of C. Montague Cooke, Jr., malacologist, included Donald Anderson, malacologist; Harold St. John and F. R. Fosberg, botanists; and E. C. Zimmerman, entomologist. Under the direction of Cooke, the sampan visited islands in the Tuamotu, Austral, Pitcairn, Mangareva, Society, and equatorial islands. The expedition resulted in the richest collections ever made in landshells, insects, and plants in Polynesia. The members of the crew assisted in collecting. One of them, Yoshio Kondo, did such fine work that he was afterwards appointed to the staff of the Museum as Assistant in Malacology.

For the ethnological part of the expedition, the schooner Tiare Tahiti, under Captain Robert S. Burrell, was chartered, as the itinerary and length of stay on islands differed from that of the sampan party. The ethnological personnel consisted of Emory, Stimson, and me. Emory sailed in the Islander from Honolulu and spent a few days at Fanning Island to check on archaeological data. Stimson joined in work in the Tuamotus which commenced in Napuka and moved to Tatakoto, where I joined the party on September 5. As the Tiare Tahiti had to go into dock for repairs, the party was transported by the trading schooner Moana to Pukarua, Reao, and Mangareva. Emory and I remained at Mangareva to make a thorough survey, while Stimson returned to Tatakoto to complete investigations there. Emory visited Temoe in a local schooner and later sailed in the Tiare Tahiti for Tahiti, touching at South Marutea, Vahanga, Tenararo, Tureia, Nukutavake, and Pinaki, where he met Stimson. He went on to Tahiti, then returned to Honolulu. Stimson remained in the Tuamotus, and I returned to Honolulu via Tahiti and New Zealand.