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The works of Ta'unga : records of a Polynesian traveller in the South seas, 1833- 1896

CollectionsANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: The works of Ta'unga : records of a Polynesian traveller in the South seas, 1833- 1896
Author(s): Ta{u02BC}unga
Date published: 1968
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
Almost all published work about the history of the Pacific to date has been written either by, or using the files of, foreign governments, missionaries, businesses, and travellers. This book results from a meticulous search over a number of years for all the material written by Ta{u2019}unga, about his home island of Rarotonga, and more particularly about his experiences in New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, and Samoa. The first of the writings is dated 1833 and the last 1896, and between them evidence has been found of at least thirty manuscripts (though not all of them have been located) and it is almost certain that he wrote many more. Ta{u2019}unga lived in New Caledonia before any European had lived there and gives us the first record by a resident of the indigenous cultures of the south-eastern portion of New Caledonia at the time of first contact with foreign commerce and religion. It is also the first published book to contain the writings of a Pacific islander writing about any country other than his own. It is an important book because it gives us an insight into the central and western Pacific at a time of tremendous cultural change resulting from the army of missions moving westward across the Pacific from Tahiti and the vanguards of commerce moving eastward from Sydney. As Ta'unga{u2019}s narrative shows in somewhat gruesome detail, the advanced parties of both groups were apt to be expendable.


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