Essays in honor of professor Douglas Oliver

Excerpt (Source:

One of the less fortunate legacies that we who practice ethnography in Oceania have given the scholarly world is the stereotype of the Melanesian leader as “Big Man”.

The designation “Big Man”, derived literally from the metaphor commonly used in Austronesian languages or from the Neo-Melanesian Pidgin lexicon, has come to denote a “pure type” or “species” of leadership, authority and government. (Rightly or wrongly, ethnographic sources usually ignore women’s role in government,…

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  • Publisher : Société des Océanistes
  • Serie : Publications de la SdO
  • Place of publication : Paris
  • Year of publication : 1978
  • Published on OpenEdition Books : 03 April 2014
  • ISBN (Print version) : 9782854300598
  • Electronic ISBN : 9782854301069
  • DOI : 10.4000/books.sdo.938
  • Number of pages : 93 p.

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