The Evolution of the Polynesian Chiefdoms / Edition 1

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Overview

This is an archaeological perspective on the elaborate system of chiefdoms found in the islands of Polynesia. While the growth and development of complex social and political systems in this region have long interested anthropologists and ethnographers, the islands' rich sources of archaeological data have since been exploited. The author combines this fresh archaeological data with comparative ethnographic and linguistic materials to present an innovative and perceptive account of the processes of culture change in the islands over three millennia. Using comparative ethnography, lexical reconstruction and direct archaeological evidence, the author reconstructs the broad outlines of Ancestral Polynesian Society, from which the diverse societies of the Polynesian region descended. Major processes of cultural change are analysed in detail, including colonization, adaptation to changing environments, development of intensive production and social conflict and competition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Evolution of the Polynesian Chiefdoms is a fascinating, authoritative account of the development of pre-European political systems in the central and eastern Pacific...This is a book that all of us who love the Pacific may look upon with pride...this book is a major achievement and a magnificent accomplishment." John Terrell, Reviews in Anthropology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521273169
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1989
  • Series: New Studies in Archaeology Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 314
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introduction; Part I. Foundation: 2. Polynesian societies and ecosystems; 3. Ancestral Polynesia; Part II. Process: 4. Dispersal, colonization, and adaptation; 5. The demographic factor; 6. Changing environments; 7. Development and intensification of production; 8. Competition and conflict; Part III. Transformation: 9. Tonga; 10. Hawaii; 11. Easter Island; 12. Epilogue; Glossary of Polynesian terms; References; Index.

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