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An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology

General Works on Polynesia

General Works on Polynesia

Apart from the logs of the early explorers, works dealing with Polynesia as a whole were not attempted until toward the latter end of the nineteenth century. Abraham Fornander, a school inspector in Hawaii, brought out the first volume of "The Polynesian race" in 1878. In 1890, J. Edge-Partington and Charles Heape published the first series of their "Ethnographical album of the Pacific islands." It contained line drawings of artifacts in various museums and private collections throughout the world. A second series followed in 1895 and a third in 1898. The work is of great value to museum workers and students, but locality errors occur due to primary error in the inaccurate labeling of so many museum specimens. Tregear's "Maori-Polynesian compara-page 76tive dictionary" was published in 1891 and Ratzel's "History of mankind," with a comparative study of the Oceanic area, was published in English in 1896. The first edition of Percy Smith's "Hawaiki: the whence of the Maori" was printed in 1898, and though the title seems to restrict it to New Zealand, it is based on a comparative study of the traditions and genealogies from various Polynesian islands.

After 1900, the number of works on Polynesia began to increase materially, and those of J. Macmillan Brown, published in 1924 and 1927, excited a good deal of interest at the time. Though Brown visited various Polynesian groups, including Easter Island, his theory of sunken archipelagos had been evolved before his travels commenced, and his investigations were directed toward interpreting material to support a preconceived theory. Another voluminous writer was R. W. Williamson, who wrote principally upon social organization and religion, but his work was based entirely on library material of which he was not always able to appraise the value correctly. However, his works contain an excellent review of the literature that was available at the time of writing. His posthumous works, edited by Ralph Piddington, contain references by the editor to the later research work conducted by Bishop Museum. Myths and traditions aroused the interest of such well-known authorities as Sir James Frazer in England and Professor Roland Dixon in America, and they contributed comparative studies on the Polynesian area. They were followed in this field by Andersen, Mackenzie, and Luomala. Traditional material regarding origins and voyages received further attention from Elsdon Best, and religion was studied by E. S. C. Handy. Various other topical subjects were dealt with by authors whose names are included in the accompanying list on the general literature of Polynesia. Excellent studies on topical subjects in material culture were made by Hornell (canoes), Beasley (fishhooks), and Dodge (gourds). Some studies on museum and private collections are included in the list of general literature.



Andersen, J. C., Myths and legends of the Polynesians, London, 1928.

Andersen, J. C., Maori music with its Polynesian background: Polynesian Soc., Mem., vol. 10, 1934.

Beaglehole, Ernest, Culture peaks in Polynesia: Man, vol. 37, no. 176, 1937.

Beaglehole, Ernest, Polynesian anthropology today: American Anthropologist, vol. 39, pp. 213-221, 1937.

Beaglehole, J. C., The exploration of the Pacific, London, 1934.

Beasley, Harry G., Pacific islands records: fishhooks, London, 1928.

Beckwith, Martha, Polynesian mythology: Polynesian Soc., Jour., vol. 49, pp. 19-38, 1940.

Best, Elsdon, Polynesian voyagers: Dominion Mus., Mem. 5, 1923.

British Museum, Handbook of the ethnographical collections, Oxford, 1910.

Brown, J. Macmillan, The riddle of the Pacific, London, 1924.

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Brown, J. Macmillan, Peoples and problems of the Pacific, vols. 1-2, London, 1927.

Buck, P. H., Emory, K. P., Skinner, H. D., and Stokes, J. F. G., Terminology for ground stone cutting-implements in Polynesia: Polynesian Soc., Jour., vol. 39, pp. 174-180, 1930.

Buck, P. H. (Te Rangi Hiroa), Vikings of the sunrise, New York, 1938.

Buck, P. H. (Te Rangi Hiroa), Anthropology and religion, New Haven, 1939.

Burney, James, A chronological history of the discoveries in the south sea or Pacific Ocean, vols. 1-5, London, 1803-1817.

Burrows, E. G., Western Polynesia, a study in cultural differentiation: Etnologiska Studier, no. 7, pp. 1-192, 1938.

Burrows, E. G., Breed and border in Polynesia: American Anthropologist, vol. 41, pp. 1-21, 1939.

Burrows, E. G., Culture areas in Polynesia: Polynesian Soc., Jour., vol. 49, pp. 349-363, 1940.

Burrows, E. G., Polynesian music and dancing: Polynesian Soc., Jour. vol. 49, pp. 331-346, 1940.

Carr, Denzel, A note on Polynesian orthography: Polynesian Soc, Jour., vol. 49, pp. 564-568, 1940.

Churchill, William, The Polynesian wanderings: Carnegie Inst.Washington, Pub. 134, 1911.

Churchill, William, Club types of nuclear Polynesia: Carnegie Inst.Washington, Pub. 255, 1917.

Davidson, J. W., The Pacific and circum-Pacific appearance of the dart game: Polynesian Soc., Jour., vol. 45, pp. 99-114, 119-126; vol. 46, pp. 1-23; 1936, 1937.

Dempwolff, Otto, Vergleichende Lautlehre des Austronesischen Worterschatzes, vols. 1-3, Berlin, 1934-1938.

Dixon, Roland B., The mythology of all races, vol. 9 (Oceania), Boston, 1916.

Dixon, Roland B., The problem of the sweet potato in Polynesia: American Anthropologist, new ser., vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 40-66, 1932.

Dodge, E. S., Gourd growers of the south seas, Salem, Massachusetts, 1943.

Edge-Partington, J., and Heape, Charles, Ethnographical album of the Pacific Islands, ser. 1-3, Manchester, 1890, 1895, 1898.

Ellis, William, Polynesian researches, vols. 1-2, London, 1829.

Firth, R. W., The analysis of mana: Polynesian Soc., Jour., vol. 49, pp. 483-512, 1940.

Fornander, Abraham, The Polynesian race, vols. 1-3, London, 1878-1885. Index by J. F. G. Stokes, B. P. Bishop Mus., Special Pub. 4, 1909.

Frazer, James G., The belief in immortality and the worship of the dead: vol. 2, among the Polynesians, London, 1922.

Gudger, E. W., Wooden hooks for catching shark and Ruvettus in the south seas: American Mus. Nat. Hist., Anthrop. Papers, vol. 28, pp. 212-343, 1927.

Handy, E. S. C., Perspectives in Polynesian religion: Polynesian Soc., Jour., vol. 49, pp. 309-330, 1940.

Hogbin, H. Ian, Law and order in Polynesia, London, 1934. (Based on Ontong Java.)

Lanyon-Orgill, P. A., The origin of the Oceanic languages: Polynesian Soc., Jour., vol. 52, pp. 25-45, 1943.

Lovett, Richard, The history of the London Missionary Society, 1795-1895, vols. 1-2, Oxford, 1899.

Luomala, Katharine, Documentary research in Polynesian mythology: Polynesian Soc., Jour., vol. 49, pp. 175-195, 1940.

Luomala, Katharine, Notes on the development of Polynesian hero-cycles: Polynesian Soc., Jour., vol. 49, pp. 367-374, 1940.

Macdonald, D., Oceania: linguistic and anthropological, Melbourne, 1889.

Mackenzie, Donald C., Myths and traditions of the south sea islands, London, 1931.

Makemson, Maud W., The morning star rises, New Haven, 1941.

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Ngata, Apirana T., Anthropology and the government of native races: Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, vol. 16, no. 1, 1928.

Oldman, W. O., Oldman collection of Polynesian artifacts: Polynesian Soc., Mem., vol. 15, 1938-1940.

Piddington, Ralph, Methods of research in Polynesian ethnography: Sixth Pacific Sci. Congress, Proc., 1939 (California), vol. 4, pp. 81-84, 1940.

Quatrefages de Breau, J. L. A. De, Les Polynesiens et leur migrations, Paris [1866].

Ratzel, Frederich, The history of mankind, vols. 1-3, London, 1896.

Ray, S. H., Polynesian linguistics: Polynesian Soc., Jour., vol. 21, pp. 65-76, 164-172; vol. 24, pp. 62-64, 92-97; vol. 25, pp. 18-23, 44-52, 99-103; vol. 26, pp. 34-43, 99-105, 170-179; vol. 28, pp. 168-177; vol. 29, pp. 76-86, 207-214; vol. 30; pp. 28-34, 103-118; 1912-1917.

Read, Charles H., On the origin and sacred character of certain ornaments of the S. E. Pacific: Royal Anthrop. Inst.Great Britain and Ireland, Jour., vol. 21, pp. 139-159, 1891-1892.

Recommendations for anthropological research in Polynesia, First Pan-Pacific Scientific Conference, Proc, 1920 (California), pp. 103-123, 1921.

Riesrnbrrg, Felix, The Pacific Ocean, New York and London, 1940.

Rivers, W. H. R., The history of Melanesian society, vols. 1-2, Cambridge, 1914. [Contains theories on Polynesian origins.]

Robson, R. W., Editor, The Pacific islands year book. Five editions have appeared, Sydney and Suva, 1932-1944. (The 1944 edition was condensed and reprinted as "The Pacific islands handbook" by MacMillan, New York, 1945.)

Smith, S. Percy, Hawaiki, 3d edition, Christchurch, 1910; 4th edition, 1921.

Söderstrom, J., A. Sparrman's ethnological collection from James Cook's 2d expedition (1772-1775), Stockholm, 1939.

Stolpe, Hjalmar, Collected essays on ornamental art, Stockholm, 1927.

Studies in the anthropology of Oceania and Asia: Peabody Mus. of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard Univ. Papers, vol. 20, 1943. (Dixon Memorial volume.)

Sullivan, L. R., The racial diversity of the Polynesian people: Polynesian Soc., Jour., vol. 32, pp. 79-84, 1923.

Sullivan, L. R., Race types in Polynesia: American Anthropologist, vol. 26, pp. 22-26, 1924.

Tregear, Edward, Maori-Polynesian comparative dictionary, Wellington, 1891.

Walker, Orsmond, Tiurai le guerisseur, Société des Études Océaniennes, Bull. no. 10, pp. 1-35, 1925. [Summarized in Lowie, R. H., Individual differences and primitive culture, Schmidt-Festschrift (W. Koppers, ed), Vienna, 495-500, 1928.]

Williamson, R. W., The social and political system of central Polynesia, vols. 1-3, Cambridge, 1924.

Williamson, R. W., Religious and cosmic beliefs of central Polynesia, vols. 1-2, Cambridge, 1933.

Williamson, R. W., Religion and social organization in central Polynesia (edited by Ralph Piddington), Cambridge, 1937.

Williamson, R. W., Essays in Polynesian ethnology (edited by Ralph Piddington), Cambridge, 1939.

Bishop Museum Publications

Brigham, W. T., An index to the islands of the Pacific Ocean, Mem., vol. 1, no. 2, 1900.

Greiner, Ruth H., Polynesian decorative designs, Bull. 7, 1923.

Handy, E. S. C., Polynesian religion, Bull. 34, 1927.

Handy, E. S. C., Problems of Polynesian origins, Occ. Papers, vol. 9, no. 8, 1930.

Hornell, James, The canoes of Polynesia, Fiji, and Micronesia, vol. 1: Canoes of Oceania, by A. C. Haddon and James Hornell, Special Pub. 27, 1936.

Luomala, Katharine, Oceanic, American Indian, and African myths of snaring the sun, Bull. 168, 1940.

Luomala, Katharine, The Maui hero cycle in Oceania, manuscript.

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Stokes, J. F. G., Index to "The Polynesian Race" by Abraham Fornander (3 vols., London, 1878-1885), Special Pub. 4, 1909.

Te Rangi Hiroa (P. H. Buck), Arts and Crafts of the Cook Islands, Bull. 179, pp. 473-526, 1944. (Historical reconstruction of cultural processes in Polynesia.)