The Work of the Gods in Tikopia
First published in 1939 and long out of print, this book remains unique as the only full and detailed account by a social anthropologist of a complete pagan Polynesian ritual cycle. This new single-volume edition omits some of the Tikopia vernacular texts, but includes a new theoretical introduction; postscripts have also been supplied to some of the chapters comparing the performances of 1928-9 with those witnessed by Professor Firth on his second visit to Tikopia in 1952. There is a specially written Epilogue on the final eclipse of the traditional ritual, based on a third visit by the author during the summer of 1966.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION TO FIRST EDITION 1INTRODUCTION TO SECOND EDITION 5 Some Theoretical Observations GENERAL CHARACTER OF THE WORK OF THE GODS 27 THROWING THE FIRESTICK 43 RITUAL OF THE SACRED CANOES 55 THE WORK OF THE YAM 141 RE-CARPETING THE ANCESTRAL TEMPLES 198 FREEING THE LAND 255 THE PROCLAMATION AT RAROKOKA 263 THE DANCE TO QUELL THE WIND 281 THE DANCE OF THE FLAMING FIRE 332 DESERTED GODS IN TAKARITO 371 THE WORK OF SOMOSOMO AND FlORA 384 THE RITUAL EXTRACTION OF TURMERIC 416 THE FINAL RITES 465 CONCLUSION 467 EPILOGUE 470 BIBLIOGRAPHY 485 INDEX 487
Raymond Firth is Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.