First published in 1967, this book gives some of the fruits of the author's study of Tikopia ways of thought as the result of three field expeditions. Most Polynesians became Christians more than a century ago but Tikopia had a substantial pagan population until quite recent years. This book of essays describes rites and beliefs of a people who still maintained their traditional institutions remote from civilization. Studies of totemism, of magic and of beliefs in the fate of the soul in the afterworld, not only throw new light on Polynesian attitudes but also contribute some novel ideas to the interpretation of standard theoretical problems in social anthropology.
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