Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 February 2017
In a 1987 volume titled Class and Culture in the South Pacific, Samoan historian Malama Meleisea describes orthodox Marxism, modernization theory, and unilineal evolutionary thought as united in their “Eurocentric frame of reference,” their “notion of unilineal progress,… assumption that pre-capitalist social institutions are obsolete and that class formation is historically inevitable.” While Meleisea's pointed polemic against metanarratives that privilege a universality of Western laws of historical development and progress is partly informed by the undelivered promises of modernization theory, his critique is more than the mere stirrings of an incipient postmodernist discourse. It also derives from a practical engagement with socio-political developments in the South Pacific region that puts in relief the ways in which grand paradigms can mold and distort contemporary Pacific Island institutions into Western images. Here, he speaks to the tendency to explain the endurance of chieftaincies in modern Pacific states as homologous with, a local variant, or the actual equivalent of, a new type of “class relations.” In a more recent edited volume that focuses on chiefs in the contemporary Pacific, White and Lindstrom similarly note a popular regard for chiefs as “antique survivals from pre-state political formations” that ultimately fails to address contemporary chiefly authority on its own terms. As White and Lindstrom note further, based on the projections of development proposed in Weber-inspired modernization theory, chiefs should have become obsolete in the modern nation-state: “The forces of modernity were meant to usher him (or sometimes her) from the global stage, replacing tribal or feudal styles of leadership wkh thg universalistic, rational forms of the natioh-state and its attendant bureaucracies.”
1 Meleisea, Malama, “Ideology in Pacific Studies,” in Class and Culture in the South Pacific eds. Anthony Hooper, Steve Britton, Ron Crocombe, Judith Hunstman, Cluny Macpherson (Auckland: University of Auckland, 1987), 151.Google Scholar
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11 Collins, “Functional and Conflict Theories,” p. 1010.
12 “For an example in mission education, see Menton, Linda K. “A Christian and ‘Civilized’ Education: The Hawaiian Chiefs’ Children's School, 1839–50.” History Of Education Quarterly 32 (Summer 1992): 213–242. This study chronicles the history of a Royal School established by a missionary family for the children of Native Hawaiian royalty. It describes how the school, founded at the behest of the indigenous nobility, played a role in the demise of Native Hawaiian leadership via its failure to “produce men and women equipped to rule in the unfamiliar world of a constitutional monarchy … [and in] a society in transition,” p. 242.
13 For an exceptional case study, see, for example, Srivastava, Sanjay, Constructing Post-Colonial India: National Character and the Doon School (Routledge: London, 1998). Srivastava's study of the Doon School—an Indian public school founded during the British colonial period—represents a study of colonial education that privileges the ways such schooling was defined and adapted to local structures of meaning, including its role at the forefront in shaping a set of standards that would become the basis for cultivating the “modern Indian citizen” in postcolonial India.Google Scholar
14 Throughout this article, “Fijian” designates the indigenous people of the Fiji archipelago.
15 It is beyond the scope of this study to provide an analysis of the separate track of educational development for Indian indentured laborers who arrived in Fiji beginning in the late 1870s and their descendants, as well as the “free immigrants” who began arriving from India roughly four decades later.
17 Williams, , Fiji and the Fijians, 41–42.
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23 The Lau group is geographically closer to Tonga than to the nearest island in the Fiji archipelago.
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27 Calvert, , Fiji and the Fijians.
28 Clammer, , Literacy and Social Change.
29 Clammer, , Literacy and Social Change.
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31 Burton, and Deane, , A Hundred Years in Fiji, Clammer, , Literacy and Social Change; and Ravuvu, Asesela D., Development or Dependence: The Pattern of Change in a Fijian Village (Suva: University of the South Pacific, 1988).
32 Calvert, James, Fiji and the Fijians, 34–35.
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35 Clammer, , Literacy and Social Change.
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38 See Burton, and Deane, , A Hundred Years in Fiji.
39 Burton, and Deane, , A Hundred Years in Fiji.
40 Thornley, A.W., “Fijian Methodism, 1874–1945: The Emergence of a National Church.“ PhD diss., Australian National University, 1979. Thornley notes that untitled Fijians experienced unprecedented opportunities to achieve “chief-like status” among fellow commoners once appointed to higher positions within the church hierarchy. For example, by the late 1880s, native ministers of commoner background were being censured for assuming such chiefly entitlements as requesting their congregation and other mission workers to perform lala in service to them.
41 Ravuvu, , Development or Dependence. See also Toren, Christina, “Symbolic Space and the Construction of Hierarchy: An Anthropological and Cognitive Developmental Study in a Fijian Village.” PhD diss., University of London, 1986.
42 Ravuvu, , Development or Dependence and Toren, “Symbolic Space and the Construction of Hierarchy.”
43 Thornley, , “Fijian Methodism, 1874–1945.” Thornley notes that chiefs could intervene in the posting of specific pastor-teachers, the payment of their salaries, and the provision of their housing.
45 Horne, A Year in Fiji.
46 Thornley, , “Fijian Methodism, 1874–1945.“
47 Burton, and Deane, , A Hundred Years in Fiji and Thornley, , Fijian Methodism, 1874–1945.
48 Clammer, , Literacy and Social Change.
49 Thornley, , Fijian Methodism, 1874–1945.
50 Ravuvu, , The Façade of Democracy.
51 Here, and more generally within the context of Fiji nomenclature practices, the term “European” designates anyone of European descent regardless of national origins, and so refers to white Australians, New Zealanders, and North Americans as well as whites actually born in Europe.
53 Durutalo, Simione, “Internal Colonialism and Unequal Regional Development: The Case of Western Viti Levu, Fiji” (MA thesis, University of the South Pacific, 1985). Durutalo notes that the provinces of western and central Fiji—which had been characterized by less hierarchically organized precolonial political structures—waged campaigns of resistance to colonial rule and were subsequently “pacified” with the assistance of native battalions and through the imposition of Roko Tui from the eastern and southeastern regions.
54 Nayacakalou, , Leadership in Fiji.
55 The writings of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna are replete with the theme of the propriety of positioning chiefs as the leaders of the Fijian masses in colonial Fiji. See, for example, Scarr, Deryck, The Three-Legged Stool, Selected Writings of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna (London: Macmillan, 1983).Google Scholar
56 James, Kenneth N., “Schooling in a Colonial Setting: An Account of the Government School for Fijian Boys, 1881–1900” (MA thesis, La Trobe University, 1981).
57 Burton, and Deane, , A Hundred Years in Fiji. See also, James, “Schooling in a Colonial Setting.”
58 Thomson, , The Fijians, 313–14.
59 Cited in James, “Schooling in a Colonial Setting,” p. 29.
61 Allardyce, , “The System of Education in Fiji.” Also, James, “Schooling in a Colonial Setting.”
62 For a discussion of English public schools, see, for example Weinberg, I., The English Public Schools: The Sociology of Elite Education (New York: Atherton Press, 1967) and Wakeford, J. The Cloistered Elite: A Sociological Analysis of the English Public Boarding School (New York: Frederick A. Praeger Publishers, 1969).Google Scholar
63 Allardyce, , “The System of Education in Fiji.”
64 James, , “Schooling in a Colonial Setting.”
65 James, , “Schooling in a Colonial Setting.”
66 Horne, , A Year in Fiji, 141.
67 Horne, , A Year in Fiji.
68 James, , “Schooling in a Colonial Setting.”
69 James, , “Schooing in a Colonial Setting.”
70 Allardyce, , “The System of Education in Fiji.”
71 James, , “Schooling in a Colonial Setting.”
72 Allardyce, , “The System of Education in Fiji.”
73 James, , “Schooling in a Colonial Setting.”
74 Allardyce, , “The System of Education in Fiji,” 195.
75 Allardyce, , “The System of Education in Fiji.”
77 A traditional form of Fijian dress resembling a kilt.
78 Allardyce, , “The System of Education in Fiji” and James, “Schooling in a Colonial Setting.”
79 Cited in James, “Schooling in a Colonial Setting,” 92.
80 Cited in James, “Schooling in a Colonial Setting,” 96.
81 James, , “Schooling in a Colonial Setting.”
82 James, , “Schooling in a Colonial Setting.”
83 MacNaught, Timothy J. “‘We Seem to No Longer Be Fijians': Some Perceptions of Social Change in Fijian History.” Pacific Studies 1 (1977): 15–24.
84 Durutalo, , “Internal Colonialism and Unequal Regional Development.”
85 Durutalo, , “Internal Colonialism and Unequal Regional Development” and James, “Schooling in a Colonial Setting.”
86 Scarr, Deryck, Ratu Sukuna: Soldier, Statesman, Man of Two Worlds (Macmillan Education Limited, 1980).
87 Stephens, F.B., Report on Education in the Colony of Fiji, Fiji Legislative Council Paper no. 18 of 1944.
89 Mann, Cecil, Education in Fiji, 42.
90 Stephens, F.B., Report on Education in the Colony of Fiji, 9–10.
91 See Watters, R.F., Koro: Economic Development and Social Change in Fiji (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969) for a discussion of how the hierarchical ranking of chiefs impacted differential levels of entrepreneurial participation among the Fijian nobility.Google Scholar
92 Burton, and Deane, , A Hundred Years in Fiji, 75–76.
93 MacNaught, , “‘We Seem to No Longer Be Fijians.'”
94 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna.
95 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna.
96 Cited in James, , “School in a Colonial Setting,” 132.
97 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna.
98 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna.
99 Landers, and Miles, , The Fiji School of Medicine.
100 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna.
102 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna.
103 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna.
104 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna, 102.
107 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna, 154.
108 Scarr, Deryck, Fiji, The Three-Legged Stool: Selected Writings of Ratu Sir Lala Sukuna (Macmillan Education, 1983), 307.
109 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna; Scarr, The Three-Legged Stool.
110 Scarr, The Three-Legged Stool, 340.
111 Colonial Official Annual Report on Fiji for the year 1947 (London: Your Majesty's Office, 1949).
112 Esther, M. Williams, “A Study of the Education of Girls in Fiji with Special Reference to the Education of Indian Girls” (BA thesis, Melbourne University, 1937).
113 Mai Na Ruku Ni Veidakua: The Story of Adi Cakobau School (Videorecording), Pasifika Communications, 1998.
114 Scarr, The Three-Legged Stool, 342.
115 Scarr, The Three-Legged Stool, 342.
116 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna.
117 Scarr, The Three-Legged Stool, 360.
118 Scarr, The Three-Legged Stool, 478.
119 Colonial Official Annual Report on Fiji for the Year 1950, 36–37.
120 Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, The Pacific Way: A Memoir (Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 1997).
121 Mara, , The Pacific Way.
122 Scarr, Ratu Sukuna.
123 Tarte, Daryl, Turaga: The Life and Times and Chiefly Authority of Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, G.C.M.G, K.C.V.O., K.B.E., D.S.O., K.St.J., E.D. in Fiji (Suva: Fiji Times Limited, 1993).Google Scholar
124 White, and Lindstrom, , Chiefs Today, 17.
125 A number of Fijians from various walks of life, but not of chiefly descent, and with whom I spoke, noted that Fijians of chiefly status, or well connected to high-ranking chiefs, are still favored for university scholarships abroad, most notably for graduate studies—thus suggesting a new frontier of educational exclusivity.