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

@article{Sahlins1963PoorMR,
  title={Poor Man, Rich Man, Big-man, Chief: Political Types in Melanesia and Polynesia},
  author={Marshall Sahlins},
  journal={Comparative Studies in Society and History},
  year={1963},
  volume={5},
  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… 
Melanesian Tribes vs. Polynesian Chiefdoms: Recent Archaeological Assessment of a Classic Model of Sociopolitical Types in Oceania
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.
The Force of Ethnology: Origins and Significance of the Melanesia/Polynesia Division [and Comments and Replies]
The distinction between Melanesian and Polynesian cultural types has been extensively criticized in recent years, but in a limited empirical way which has concentrated upon the stereotypes of
Uneapa Island society in the 19th century: A reconstruction
  • J. Blythe
  • History
    Journal of the Polynesian Society
  • 2018
Although chiefs are frequently associated with Polynesia and big-men with Melanesia, ascription and achievement are relevant to leadership in both regions. Hierarchical societies with ascribed
Tourism in the South Pacific: A Polynesia/Melanesia discussion
The term South Pacific conjures up images of swaying palm trees, warm blue waters, tiny, perfect islands ringed with white sands, happy natives leading lives of ease and pleasure — but always ready
Affinity and the Role of the Father in the Trobriands
  • Karen Blu Sider
  • Philosophy, Geography
    Southwestern Journal of Anthropology
  • 1967
The Trobriand Islands are a group of coral islands located in the Massim off the eastern coast of New Guinea. The islanders are horticulturalists who raise yams and taro as staples, which are
Ecological Variables in the Origin and Evolution of African States: the Buganda Example
  • C. Kottak
  • Sociology
    Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • 1972
Anthropologists have been interested in African societies and cultures for several decades. Few will dispute the contributions which British social anthropologists and others have made to the
The Political Order and Corporal Coercion in Kanak Societies of the Past (New Caledonia)
Till the mid-19th century, in Kanak institutions in north central Grande Terre (New Caledonia), chiefs received their titles from the ‘masters of the land’. To add material and symbolic power to
elders, chiefs, and Big Men: authority legitimation and political evolution in Melanesia
This paper provides, from an evolutionary perspective, a comparative typology of Melanesian political systems. The range covered extends from small-scale polities in which political action is deeply
Prehistory and its perception in a Melanesian Archipelago: the New Caledonia example
What were the social structures of prehistoric Melanesia really like – and how did they evolve? This study of the archaeology of New Caledonia shows how the west has had a double impact on its
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 65 REFERENCES
Primitive Polynesian Economy
THE material upon which Prof. Firth has based his study of primitive Polynesian economy in this book was gathered in the course of his expedition in 1929 to Tikopia, one of the islands of the British
Malekula: a Vanishing People in the New Hebrides
Abstract“BERNARD DEACON was a brilliant young ethnologist who in 1925 went out from Cambridge to study the natives of the northern New Hebrides, and particularly of the large island of Malekula.
Mambu: A Melanesian Millenium
Perhaps the most famous modern-day millenarian movements are the "cargo cults" of Melanesia, active especially during the 1930s and 1950s. Melanesians had long believed that the sign of the
Polynesian Cultural Distributions in New Perspective
IT HAS been an orthodox view in Oceanian anthropology that the pre-European Polynesians were capable of maintaining regular contacts between islands separated by more than 300 miles of open ocean and
Chimbu Tribes: Political Organization in the Eastern Highlands of New Guinea
  • P. Brown
  • Sociology
    Southwestern Journal of Anthropology
  • 1960
HE 60,000 NATIVES known as Chimbu make up the largest language and cultural group in the Eastern Highlands of New Guinea, and one of the largest in the Territory. The Chimbu are not a single
Status Rivalry and Cultural Evolution in Polynesia
CULTURAL evolution, to rephrase Maitland's classic remark, will be history or nothing. If it is to be history, its proper focus is the culture area, or to be more precise, the comparative study of
Oceania and the problem of controls in the study of cultural and human evolution
TLDR
Under normal conditions, it is very difficult to explore cultural change within the framework of what biological evolutionists have called " radiation " ; that is to examine critically the processes by which phylogenetically related cultures become progressively different from each other.
THE ABELAM TRIBE, SEPIK DISTRICT, NEW GUINEA A PRELIMINARY REPORT
IN April 1939 I received a fellowship from the Australian National Research Council to carry out nine months' field work among the Abelam tribe in the Sepik district of New Guinea. Since the village
LOCAL GROUPING IN MELANESIA
A parish is a local group which is distinguished by political unity and the occupation and overlordship of a defined territory. Every parish, whether monocarpellary, multicarpellary, or
THE POLITICAL SYSTEM OF THE NGARAWAPUM
this paper I propose to examine the political system of the Ngarawapum, a group of people who inhabit five villages in the Upper Markham Valley, New Guinea. The field work on which this paper is
...
...