Honour, Mana, and Agency in Polynesian-European Conflict: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Honour, Mana, and Agency in Polynesian-European Conflict

1st Edition

By Annette Wilkes


252 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367026226
pub: 2019-04-05
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Focusing on the era of "first encounters" in Polynesia, this book provides a fresh look at some of the early contacts between indigenous people and the captains and crew of European ships. The case studies chosen enable comparison of New Zealand Māori–European transactions with similar Pacific ones. The book examines the conflict situations that arose and the reasons for physical violence, highlighting the roles of honour, mana, and agency. Drawing on a range of archival materials, sailor and missionary journals, as well as indigenous narratives, Wilkes applies an analytical method typically used for examining much more recent conflict. She compares different ways of "seeing" and "knowing" the world and reflects on the reasons for poor decision-making amongst all the social actors involved. The evidence presented in the book strongly suggests that preventing violence – promoting and negotiating peace – happens most effectively when mana and honour are acknowledged between parties.

Table of Contents

Series Editors' Foreword Andrew Strathern and Pamela J. Stewart


1. Theory and the History-Anthropology Frontier

2.Approaches to the Anthropology of Violence

3. Conflicting Ontological Worlds: Seeing and Knowing

4.Encounters in Two Worlds

5. The Eclipse of Captain M-J Marion du Fresne

6. John Rowe's death at Grass Cove 1773

7. Cook's death at Kealakekua, Hawaii, 1779

8. Violence between Broughton and Moriori, 1791

9. Honour, Status, and Agency

About the Author/Editors

Annette Wilkes has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

About the Series

Anthropology and Cultural History in Asia and the Indo-Pacific

This series offers a comprehensive view of Asian and Indo-Pacific anthropology and cultural history. It carries studies from China, Japan, South-East Asia, South Asia, and the entire Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand. Focusing mainly on detailed ethnographic studies, the series further incorporates pressing thematic work on issues of cross-regional impact, gender and globalization, precarity, refugees, and asylum-seekers, and alternative medical and wellness-seeking practices. The series aims to link anthropological theory with history and religious studies, with discussions of ritual, politics, religious change, and economics. Studies of adaptation and conflict in small-scale situations enmeshed in wider scale processes of transformation form a particular thematic focus. The series aims to reach a core audience of specialists in Asian and Pacific studies, but also to be accessible and valuable to a broader multidisciplinary readership.

If you are interested in proposing a book for the series please contact: [email protected] / [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General