Collection Description

Culture Name

Tongans

Culture Description

The Tongans primarily live on a group of islands (islands of Tonga, also known as the Friendly Islands) in the South Pacific Ocean. Prior to the 1980s Tongans were primarily self-sufficient horticulturalists and fishers. A western Pacific chiefdom that was never colonized, Tonga established its own constitutional monarchy in 1875 and in 1970. Tonga became an independent country. Tonga has been the focus of anthropological interest in ranked societies and more recently a "remittance" economy based on the transnational network of emigrants. One-quarter to one-third the population lives abroad.

Note

Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.

Region

Oceania --Polynesia

Countries

Tonga

OWC Code

OU09

Number of Documents

112

Note: Select the Collection Documents tab above to browse documents.

Number of Pages

8771

Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in the eHRAF collection and are referenced by author, date of publication, and eHRAF document number.

The Tonga collection is a large one consisting of 111 documents. Of these 110 are in English with two, Koch, 1955, no. 100, being a translation from German and also Claessen (document 95) who apparently into English and Tongan the translation was made by Mr. F.L. van den Berg and (Bloomfield; Collocott, no. 8; Posesi Fanua). The major time span for this collection ranges primarily from 900 to approximately the year 2004. Early accounts of traditional Tongan ethnography will be found in: Cook, 1967, no. 54, Anderson, 1967, no. 55, Clerke, 1967, no. 57, Mariner, 1818, nos. 2 and 3, King, 1967, no. 58, Forster, 1977, nos. 71 and 72, Thomson, 1894, no. 14, and Gifford, 1929, no. 1 (up to 1921). Other ethnographic topics of special interest in this collection are as follows: KINSHIP: Aoyagi, 1966, no. 45; Dector, 1974, no. 48; Morton, 1972, no. 73; Biersack, 1982, no. 122; and Leach, 1972, no. 84.

KAVA CEREMONIALISM: Collocott, 1927, no. 25; Urbanowicz, 1975, no. 64; Bott, 1972, nos. 81 and 83; Leach, 1972, no. 82; and Biersack, 1991, no. 121.

RANK AND STATUS: Kaeppler, 1971, no. 59; Urbanowicz, 1974, 1975, nos. 63 and 65; Marcus, 1978, nos. 111 and 126; Hau'ofa, 1994, no. 129; and James, 1990, no. 132.

MISSIONIZATION IN TONGA: Cummins, 1977, no. 68; Wood, 1975, no. 89; Urbanowicz, 1978, no. 93; and Lauūkefu, 1974, no. 79.

DEMOGRAPHY: Walsh, 1970, no. 42; Maude, 1970, 1973, nos. 43 and 67; Clark, 1975, no. 101; Gailey, 1992, no. 125; and James, 1991, no. 120.

CHILD CARE AND SOCIALIZATION: Urbanowicz, 1974, no. 63; Bloomfield, 2002, no. 106; and Lee (Morton), 1996, 1993, nos. 107 and 114.

GENDER RELATIONS: Gailey, 1987, 1980, nos. 113 and 117; and James, 1983m 1990, nos. 131 and 132.

HEALTH AND MEDICINE: Evans, 2001, no. 116; Bloomfield, 2002, no. 106; and Collocott, 1923, no. 17.

MATERIAL CULTURE: Kaeppler, 1971, 1974, 1973, nos. 92, 52, and 62; Buck, 1935, 1937, 1941, nos. 26, 27, and 28; Skinner, 1969, no. 70, and Hornbell, 1927, 1938, nos. 104 and 10.

MYTHS, LEGENDS AND FOLKTALES: Collocott, 1919, 1921, 1924, 1924, nos. 36, 37, and 38; Posesi Fanua, 1975, no. 44, and Gifford, 1924, no. 5.

For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in this collection, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

This culture summary is from the article "Tonga" by Charles F. Urbanowicz in the Encyclopedia of World Cultures, vol. 2, 1991. Terence E. Hays, ed. Boston, Mass.: G. K. Hall and Co. The Human Relations Area Files would like to acknowledge with thanks the bibliographic suggestions made by Helen Lee, Michael Evans, and Nancy Pollock in preparing this collection. A supplemental bibliography, compiled by Helen Lee, may be found on the Web (see the URL at the end of the bibliography).

The Synopsis and indexing notes were written by John Beierle in January 2005. He also added the updated population figures for the year 2004.

Overview by

John Beierle

ANGA -- nature, behavior, way of being - use ETHNOPSYCHOLOGY (828)

ANGA FAKATONGA -- Tongan customs - use NORMS (183)

'API -- household compound; land allotment - use HOUSEHOLD (592), REAL PROPERTY (423)

curers (various types) - use MEDICAL PERSONNEL (759), REVELATION AND DIVINATION (787), PRIESTHOOD (793)

'EIKI -- untitled kin of chief - use KINDREDS AND RAMAGES (612), LINEAGES (613), CLASSES (565)

FAHU -- prerogatives of sisters and aunts over brothers and nephews - use FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS (593)

FALEFA -- the four lordly attendants of the Tu'i Tonga - use EXECUTIVE HOUSEHOLD (644)

FATONGIA -- obligation to serve others - use ETHICS (577)

Female Tu'i Tonga -- eldest sister of Tu'i Tonga - use EXECUTIVE HOUSEHOLD (644)

FONO -- an assemblage or public meeting to hear a chief's or king's orders - use COMMUNITY STRUCTURE (621), COUNCILS (623)

HA'A -- chiefly descent groups - use STATUS, ROLE, AND PRESTIGE (554), KINDREDS AND RAMAGES (612), LINEAGES (613), CLASSES (565)

HAU -- titled chief - use STATUS, ROLE, AND PRESTIGE (554)

HOU'EIKI --chiefly people - use STATUS, ROLE, AND PRESTIGE (554) CLASSES (565)

'INASI -- first fruits ceremony - use REST DAYS AND HOLIDAYS (527)

Island governors - use DISTRICTS (634)

KĀINGA -- the extended family or kindred - use EXTENDED FAMILIES (596), KINDREDS AND RAMAGES (612)

KAU TOKETĀ -- herbalists; doctors - use MEDICAL PERSONNEL (759)

KAUTAHA -- a work group - use MUTUAL AID (476)

KAVA - use RECREATIONAL AND NON - THERAPEUTIC DRUGS (276)

KAVA circles - use RECREATIONAL AND NON-THERAPEUTIC DRUGS (276), VISITING AND HOSPITALITY (574) and subjects relevant to the individuals involved, CHIEF EXECUTIVE (643), COMMUNITY HEADS (622), etc.

KOLO -- the village - use COMMUNITY STRUCTURE (621)

KOLOA -- valuables - use MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE (436)

LEITĪ -- transvestite - use HOMOSEXUALITY (838)

LOTU -- religion, prayer - use GENERAL CHARACTER OF RELIGION (771), PRAYERS AND SACRIFICES (782)

MĀ'ULI -- Tongan traditional birth attendant - use CHILDBIRTH (844), MEDICAL PERSONNEL (759)

MAHAKI -- disease - use THEORY OF DISEASE (753)

MALA -- misfortune, sin, bad luck - use LUCK AND CHANCE (777)

MATĀPULE -- kindred of foreign origin - use KINDREDS AND RAMAGES (612)

MATAKALI -- a residence group - use RESIDENCE (591), LINEAGES (613)

MATAPULES -- ceremonial attendants of chiefs and king, a hereditary class - use CLASSES (565), COMMUNITY HEADS (622), EXECUTIVE HOUSEHOLD (644)

MIRAB -- acronym for Migration, Remittances, Aid, Bureaucracy - use PRODUCTION AND SUPPLY (433), FOREIGN EXCHANGE (457)

MONU -- good fortune, blessed, good luck - use LUCK AND CHANCE (777)

MU'A -- kindred of the lowest chiefly rank - use KINDREDS AND RAMAGES (612)

NGĀUE -- men's work - use DIVISION OF LABOR BY GENDER (462)

'OFA -- love - use DRIVES AND EMOTIONS (152), FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS (593)

PA'A -- women with no children, barren - use CONCEPTION (842)

POTO -- cleverness - use ETHNOPSYCHOLOGY (828)

PUSIAKI -- adoption - use ADOPTION (597)

TAMAHA -- daughter of the female Tu'i Tonga - use EXECUTIVE HOUSEHOLD (644)

TANGI -- lament - use MUSIC (533), - use BURIAL PRACTICES AND FUNERALS (764)

TAPA -- bark cloth - use NONWOVEN FABRICS (287)

TAPU --sacred or forbidden - use SANCTIONS (681), AVOIDANCE AND TABOO (784), SACRED OBJECTS AND PLACES (778)

TAULA'EIK -- priest - use PRIESTHOOD (793)

TOUNGAUE -- work team - use MUTUAL AID (476)

TRILITHON - use MISCELLANEOUS STRUCTURES (349)

TU'A (TOOA) -- commoner kindred; commoner - use KINDREDS AND RAMAGES (612), CLASSES (565)

TUFUNGA -- craftsman - use OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALIZATION (463)

TU'I -- king - use CHIEF EXECUTIVE (643)

Tu'i Tonga -- as king, - use CHIEF EXECUTIVE (643); for spiritual aspects when relevant, PRIESTHOOD (793)

'ULUMOTU'A -- headman - use COMMUNITY HEADS (622)

Indexing Notes by

John Beierle

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