Taking the Tapu : Defining Micronesia by Absence

  title={Taking the Tapu : Defining Micronesia by Absence},
  author={Paul Rainbird},
  journal={The Journal of Pacific History},
  pages={237 - 250}
  • P. Rainbird
  • Published 1 September 2003
  • History
  • The Journal of Pacific History
Dumont d’Urville’s definition of Micronesia is notable, since it relied on three instances of absence. The first two are tapu (taboo, tabu) and common language, which is distinct from Polynesia. The third absence is that of Dumont d’Urville’s knowledge of Micronesia. In establishing the existence of these absences, this paper critically reviews the orthodox boundary of Micronesia in its historical and anthropological context. In conclusion, I introduce contemporary critiques of what has become… 
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