Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Ethnology of Tokelau Islands


Based on the conclusions of Lister (14), Newell (19), and other nineteenth century writers, it has always been assumed that the Tokelau culture was derived from Samoa. It is true that the Tokelau culture is very similar to the Samoan, but, with our present detailed knowledge of the cultures of nearly all Polynesian groups, non-Samoan elements can be pointed out: the h and wh of the alphabet, the sharkskin-covered drum, and the mat-covered monoliths on the marae. The cultures of the Ellice Islands a few hundred miles to the west, the Gilbert Islands to the northwest, Manihiki, Pukapuka and central Polynesia to the east whence the trade winds blow for more than half the year, must be examined for comparable traits before the true position and relationships of the Tokelau culture can be stated.

Polynesia has been divided culturally into eastern and western areas (28), the dividing line passing along longitude 160° west, but extending westward to include Pukapuka Island and turning southwest below Tonga to include New Zealand. The Tokelau Islands are well within the western area.