By James J. Fox, Clifford Sather

This number of papers, the 3rd in a sequence of volumes at the paintings of the Comparative Austronesian venture, explores indigenous Austronesian principles of starting place, ancestry and alliance and considers the comparative importance of those rules in social perform. The papers study social perform in a various variety of societies extending from insular Southeast Asia to the islands of the Pacific.

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Extra resources for Origins, Ancestry and Alliance: Explorations in Austronesian Ethnography

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The big and great men in western Melanesian Austronesian societies may reflect some degree of Papuan assimilation, and if Austronesians had not undergone this experience we might expect ascribed rank to have been more common in this region. But this may not be the only reason for the gradient; the ancestors of the Polynesians and Micronesians, after all, presumably went through more founder enhancing events than anyone else. In addition, it is worth reflecting that there might also have been a similar gradient, now masked by Indic and Islamic influences, from Taiwan, the Philippines, Borneo, and Sulawesi down into the Malay world, the Sunda islands of Java and Bali, and Nusa Tenggara.

Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Oliver, D. 1989 Oceania. 2 vols. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Otto, Ton 1994 38 Feasting and fighting: rank and power in pre-colonial Baluan. In M. Jolly and M. Mosko (eds) Transformations of hierarchy: structure, history and horizon in the Austronesian world. Special Issue of History of Anthro- Hierarchy, Founder Ideology and Austronesian Expansion pology 7(1-4):223-239. Chur and Reading: Harwood Academic Publishers. K. 1981 Melanesian diversity and Polynesian homogeneity: a unified explanation for language.

The overall result, however, was that some groups of essentially non-Austronesian (presumably ancestral Papuan) linguistic stock transferred their linguistic affiliations to the homogeneous and widely-understood Oceanic Austronesian languages which were being spread rapidly through Melanesia by Lapita colonization around 1500 BC (Bellwood 1989; Pawley 1981; Pawley and Green 1984). As Ross (1988, 1989) has recently noted, the western Melanesian Oceanic languages, which extend from New Guinea to as far east as the southeastern Solomons, show evidence for major interaction with Papuan languages.

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