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Open Access Learning and training. Education in eighteenth-century traditional Polynesia

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Learning and training. Education in eighteenth-century traditional Polynesia

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In this article some methods and types of education in traditional Polynesia will be presented. The emphasis will fall on the second half of the eighteenth century. This period has been selected for on the one hand it covers the final years of the Polynesian culture before it was deeply influenced by good intended efforts of missionaries and administrators who tried to erase heathen customs and introduce dresses, and introducing reading and writing and the negative forces of traders, whalers and colonizers, who came to the islands to relax after arduous travels, and to buy cheap goods and food. On the other hand many voyagers, missionaries, administrators and traders left us in their logs and journals detailed descriptions of the islanders and their cultures as they had seen them and tried to understand them. These publications will be considered here as ‘sources’.

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