Stephenson Percy Smith (1840–1922) was a New Zealand ethnologist and surveyor. As a young man, he travelled six hundred miles exploring the volcanic interior of North Island, and had many interactions with the Maori population, whose language, history and traditions fascinated him throughout his career as a government surveyor. In 1892 he co-founded the Polynesian Society, in whose journal this study originally appeared. The first book edition was published in 1898, and this third, updated edition in 1910. Using indigenous sources gathered in Polynesia and New Zealand, Smith constructed an elaborate history of the Polynesians, and argued that they were ultimately descended from Aryan ancestors in India. His theory of Maori origins was accepted by several generations of scholars, but was eventually superseded by modern historical and archaeological research. However, his pioneering work, acclaimed in its day, still provides fascinating insights into both nineteenth-century Polynesian culture and colonial ethnography.
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- Date Published: November 2011
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108039956
- length: 312 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.4kg
- contains: 1 map 1 table
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. The Polynesian race and its traditions
2. Genealogical connections and chronology
3. Names of the traditional fatherland
4. The Polynesians originated in India
5. The 'log books' of the migrations
6. Sketch of the history of the race
7. Tahitian origin of the Maoris
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