FOR the peoples of the Pacific Islands the nineteenth
century was a period of bewildering and demoralising
change. The islands had received occasional visits from
mariners and explorers before the beginning of the century/
but while these visits excited the cupidity and wonder
of the islanders they had little effect on their lives.
But from about 1800 expanding Western civilisation forced
itself upon the island world, and successive waves of
Europeans began rapidly eroding traditional...[Show more]
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