Hawaiki, Ancestral Polynesia: An Essay in Historical Anthropology

Author(s): Patrick Vinton Kirch


The power of an anthropological approach to long-term history lies in its unique ability to combine diverse evidence, from archaeological artifacts to ethnographic texts and comparative word lists. In this innovative book, Kirch and Green explicitly develop the theoretical underpinnings, as well as the particular methods, for such a historical anthropology. Drawing upon and integrating the approaches of archaeology, comparative ethnography, and historical linguistics, they advance a phylogenetic model for cultural diversification, and apply a triangulation method for historical reconstruction. They illustrate their approach through meticulous application to the history of the Polynesian cultures, and for the first time reconstruct in extensive detail the Ancestral Polynesian culture that flourished in the Polynesian homeland - Hawaiki - some 2,500 years ago. Of great significance for Oceanic studies, Kirch and Green's book will be essential reading for any anthropologist, prehistorian, linguist, or cultural historian concerned with the theory and method of long-term history.

Product Information


Prologue: on historical anthropology; Part I. The Phylogenetic Model: Theory and Method: 1. The phylogenetic model in historical anthropology; 2. Methodologies: implementing the phylogenetic model; 3. Polynesia as a phylogenetic unit; Part II. Rediscovering 'Hawaiki': 4. The ancestral Polynesian world; 5. Subsistence; 6. Food preparation and cuisine; 7. Material culture; 8. Social and political organization; 9. Gods, rituals, and seasons; Epilogue: on history, phylogeny, and evolution.

General Fields

  • : 9780521788793
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : Cambridge University Press
  • : March 2001
  • : 247mm X 191mm X 28mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : English
  • : very good
  • : 400
  • : 24 b/w illus. 11 maps
  • : Patrick Vinton Kirch
  • : Paperback