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Chiefs, Fashion and Zeitgeist: Exclusion as an Expension Strategy in Kinship Based Groups in the Society Islands
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
2014 (English)In: Monuments and People in the Pacific / [ed] Helene Martinsson-Wallin & Timothy Thomas, Uppsala: Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University , 2014, , 297-316 p.297-316 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper I argue that chiefs created the contemporary fashion of ceremonial sites (marae) and that this was a phenomenon that we may call the zeitgeist (spirit of the time) of the Society Islands that extended far beyond the local sphere. This is based on the fact that memory based societies are driven by spontaneous subjective actions, which allow such changes, since only accepted ideas are remembered. A House Society model is explored to explain how certain chiefs successfully dominated larger areas and expressed power through domestic and ritual material remains. Their status position in society made it possible for the chiefs to exclude, as well as to include, others by help of such material expressions as well as by threats of war, through their war god missionaries, the arioi society. Intermarriages between powerful chiefly houses in different islands have been additional important factors to form alliances and create access to land e.g. to legitimize power relations. Ceremonial sites, generally called marae, were the important material expression of this power game. They were the focal points of important decisions in society, and the place where humans met with the gods. They were ritual sites, as well as memorial places tied to genealogies, mythologies and land titles. These monuments went through constant changes since re-building and additions were necessary to keep their functions alive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University , 2014. , 297-316 p.297-316 p.
Studies in Global Archaeology, ISSN 1651-1255 ; 20
Keyword [en]
Pacific Archaeology, Monument, Ceremonial structures, Chiefdom
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-237948ISBN: 978-91-506-2410-6OAI: diva2:769484
Available from: 2014-12-08 Created: 2014-12-08 Last updated: 2014-12-16Bibliographically approved

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