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Ref ID: 31889
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Sand, Christophe
Title: Melanesian tribes vs. Polynesian chiefdoms: recent archaeological assessment of a classic model of sociopolitical types in Oceania
Date: 2002
Source: Asian Perspectives (2002)
Notes: Special Issue: Eastern Polynesia
Abstract: The late prehistoric period is crucial to the study of anthropology, as the area of Island Melanesia has provided the world with one of its great anthropological stereotypes, the ‘‘Big Man’’ society. This was developed by Sahlins (1963) on the basis of Oliver’s (1955) ethnography of the Siwai of southern Bougainville as observed during the late 1930s. It has led to a gross ethnographic oversimplification of Melanesia as having Big Man societies, contrasted with Polynesia having chiefly societies. Where chiefs were found in Melanesia, their presence has often been interpreted as a cultural borrowing under Polynesian in.uence (Spriggs 1993 : 198). Keywords: Melanesia
Big Man society
Polynesian chiefdom.
Date Created: 10/19/2003
Volume: 41
Number: 2
Page Start: 284
Page End: 296