Firth, Raymond, 1901-2002. We, the Tikopia: a sociological study of kinship in primitive Polynesia

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Untitled Section: ...

Chapter I In Primitive Polynesia

The Background To Anthropological Work

The People Of Tikopla

The Lure Of The Outside World

Natural Resources Of The Island

Chapter Ii Adjustment To Civilization

Foreign Elements Of Culture Introduced

The Present State Of Tikopla Culture

The Tikopia And The Native Labour Market

Effects Of Missionary Influence

Chapter Iii Village Life

Daily Work And Recreation

Constitution Of The Village

Kinship And Local Alignment

Village Names

District Loyalty

Arrangement Of The Native House

House-names As Tabloid History

Principles Of Local Grouping

Chapter Iv Household And Family

Waking And Working

Around The Oven

Cooking Recipes

Making A Coconut Pudding

The Meal

Approach To The Study Of Kinship

Personnel Of Sample Households

Household Variation As A Problem In Kinship Structure

Husband And Wife In The Family

Chapter V Personal Relations In The Family Circle

Care Of The Young Child

Education And Kinship

Punishment And Obedience

The Reality Of Parental Affection

Favouritism In The Family

Filial Sentiment

Taboos And Obligations Between Parent And Child

Freedom Between Brothers

Familiarity Between Brother And Sister

Chapter Vi The Kin Of Father And Mother

Classificatory Parents

The Adhering Child

The Kindness Of Grandparents

The Sacredness Of The Father's Sister

Protection By The Mother's Family

The Restraint Between Cross-cousins

Special Kinship Ties Of A Woman

The General Body Of Kinsfolk

Metaphors For Kinship

Chapter Vii The Language Of Kinship

Commonsense In Primitive Categories

Kinship Speech In Action

Structural Aspect Of Tikopla Kinship Terminology

Principal Terms Of Reference

Elaborations Of The Structural Scheme

Linked Relationship Terms

Terms Of Address

The Meaning Of Kinship Terms

Propinquity Of Relationship

Adjustment Of Kinship

Representative Status In Tikopla Kinship

The Kinship Speech Of Young Children

Some Comparisons With Other Polyneslan Communities 1

Chapter Viii Dirges For Dead Kin

Song-making In Tikopia

Songs As An Expression Of Kinship

Dirges For Parents And Children

Dirges For Other Relatives

Chapter Ix Co-operation And Constraint In Marriage Relationships

How Children Bind Affinal Kin

Cooks After Marriage

Freedom And Restraint In Kinship

Obscenity And Kinship

The Problem Of Incest

The Reaction To Incest In Tikopia

The Incest-dream

Marriage Within The Prohibited Degree

The Supernatural Sanction

Sociological Basis Of The Incest Ban

Chapter X “house” And Clan

Patrilineal And Matrilineal Groups

Constitution Of The “house” In Tikopia

Rank, Wealth And Kinship

An Anomalous Form Of The Clan

Kinship Grouping--ramage And Clan

Chapter Xi Principles Of Land Tenure

The Social Background To Land Ownership

Overlordship Of The Chief

Distribution Of Land Among Individuals

Land Rights Within The “house”

Women And Land

Boundary Disputes

Ownership Conditioned By Use Of The Soil

Chapter Xii A Modern Population Problem

Some Statistics In Tikopla

Factors Of Morbidity

Mechanisms Of Population Control

European Contact Causes A Unique Problem

Chapter Xiii Firing The Ovens Of Youth

Some Experiences Of Childhood

Aspects Of Primitive Initiation

The Operation Of Superincision In Tikopia

Origin And Sanctions Of The Ceremony

Initiation In Relation To Puberty And Economics

Food Gathering And Other Preparations

The Day Of The Operation

“spreading The Property”

Modern Changes In Programme

“the Great Oven”

The Day Of Gifts

The Ceremony For Boys Of Rank

Basic Functions Of Initiation Ritual

Chapter Xiv Sociology Of Sex

Adolescence And The Social Norms

Sex In Primitive Society

Sex Dichotomy Of The Native Universe

The Sexuality Of Children


Sexual Knowledge Of The Tikopla

The View Of Procreation And Its Bearing On Kinship

Treatment For Barrenness

Responsibility For Pregnancy

Contraceptive Practices

Modes Of Sexual Gratification

Sex Interest In Conversation

Some Standards Of Personal Beauty

Ways Of Dressing The Hair


Sweethearting And Intkigue

The Evaluation Of Virginity

The Avenue To Marriage


Chapter Xv Marriage By Capture

The Decision To Marry

The Capture Of The Bride

Atonement And Reciprocity

The Placating Gift

The “oven Of Joining”

The Feast

Subsidiary Gifts And Exchanges

Husband And Wife After The Wedding

Abbreviated Marriage Exchanges

Polygyny, Adultery, And Divorce

The Theory Of Primitive Marriage

Chapter Xvi Kinship And Social Stability

The Meaning Of Kinship

Kinship Grouping In Polynesia

Social Correlates Of Descent

Transmission Of Group Interests By Adoption

The Plasticity Of Polynesian Kinship

A Practical Case For A Study Of Kinship

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: We, the Tikopia: a sociological study of kinship in primitive Polynesia

Published By: Original publisher London, England: George Allen and Unwin, Ltd.. 1936. xxix, 605 p., plates ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication [by] Raymond Firth ; with a preface by Bronislaw Malinowski

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 1995. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Tikopia (OT11)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF 60*; 61*;

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This is an analysis of the importance of kinship in the regulation of Tikopia life. The interpenetration of kinship with other aspects of culture is pointed out most clearly by the author in his evaluation of the Tikopia regulation of land ownership, sex, and marriage, in the economics of gift-giving, and in the rites associated with initiation and death. Personal relationships and patterns of behavior between members of families and kindred groups are given close attention. Co-operative activities following kinship lines are explained, and the whole economy of the island is shown to be tied up with kinship obligations in mutual aid and reciprocal gift exchange.| Firth, a student of Malinowski, was at the time of the publication of this book a Reader in Anthropology at the University of London. He spent twelve months on Tikopia, during the years 1928-29.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 2

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. ot11-002

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Bibliography: p. 282.|Includes index Several non-text pages and pp. 601-605 are not included A glossary is in Glossary (104)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1928-29

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Alice McCloskey

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). not specified

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Tikopia Island, Solomon Islands

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Tikopia (Solomon Islands peoples)


Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the links below to export the citation to your chosen bibliographic manager.

Export a Citation