Poor Man, Rich Man, Big-man, Chief: Political Types in Melanesia and Polynesia

  title={Poor Man, Rich Man, Big-man, Chief: Political Types in Melanesia and Polynesia},
  author={Marshall Sahlins},
  journal={Comparative Studies in Society and History},
  pages={285 - 303}
  • Marshall Sahlins
  • Published 1 April 1963
  • History
  • Comparative Studies in Society and History
With an eye to their own life goals, the native peoples of Pacific Islands unwittingly present to anthropologists a generous scientific gift: an extended series of experiments in cultural adaptation and evolutionary development. They have compressed their institutions within the confines of infertile coral atolls, expanded them on volcanic islands, created with the means history gave them cultures adapted to the deserts of Australia, the mountains and warm coasts of New Guinea, the rain forests… 
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