1st Edition

Honour, Mana, and Agency in Polynesian-European Conflict

By Annette Wilkes Copyright 2019
    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    274 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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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.

    Series Editors' Foreword  Preface 1. Theory and the History-Anthropology Frontier  2. Approaches to the Anthropology of Violence  3. Conflicting Ontological Worlds  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


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