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Many Westerners have formed a picture of Polynesia based on the paintings of Gauguin and the fiction of writers like Somerset Maugham and Herman Melville. The land and its people seem to embody many of our most cherished illusionsespecially those of the "noble savage" and the unspoiled island paradise. But the Polynesians possess a rich culture in their own right, a way of life that finds its greatest reflection in their diverse oral literature. This book collects, in modern English, Polynesian myth, legend, folk-tales, and poetry. It also includes 80 photographsof Polynesian flora and fauna, artifacts, and contemporary Polynesian people.