A series of comparative studies is suggested, focused on perceptions of outrigger canoes, and aimed at an increased understanding of the relationship between social relations, biodiversity, and sustainable development in Oceanic societies on small islands and in coastal areas undergoing rapid cultural change. After a critique of the recent notion that canoe-building in Polynesia developed as a result of natural selection, and after discussing the declining local interest in outrigger canoes, it is argued that these canoes can be regarded as a "total social phenomenon" or "fact", in Marcel Mauss' sense of the term. By focusing on such a phenomenon/fact, it is possible to understand many other societal aspects to which it is connected, including gender relations, social structure, religion, perceptions of nature, economy, relationships between centre and periphery, and cultural change. With a focus on outrigger canoes, analyses should take into consideration the processes of imperialism, colonialism, acculturation, and modernisation.
|Journal||Traditional Marine Resource Management and Knowledge Information Bulletin|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Social and Economic Geography
- human ecology
- Marcel Mauss