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Indigenous Protest in Colonial Sāmoa: The Mau Movements and the Response of the London Missionary Society, 1900-1935.

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Title:Indigenous Protest in Colonial Sāmoa: The Mau Movements and the Response of the London Missionary Society, 1900-1935.
Authors:Alofaituli, Brian T.
Contributors:History (department)
Date Issued:Dec 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:The two Sāmoan-led pro-nationalist movements, Mau a Pule and Mau, have dominated
Sāmoan historiography. The word Mau represented a firm “opinion” of Sāmoans against both
Germany and New Zealand’s colonial regimes. Before the two recognized movements, Sāmoan
clergymen successfully protested in various maus of their own against the London Missionary
Society (L.M.S.), and challenged European mission leadership, which resulted in multiple
reforms and the Sāmoanization of the L.M.S.
At the start of the 20th century, Sāmoans experienced a peaceful period, and had proven
their potential ability to govern themselves politically, economically, and religiously. Despite
Sāmoa’s move toward modernization, the L.M.S. church and colonial institutions attempted to
limit agency in leadership, implement colonial policies against fa’a-sāmoa (Sāmoan customs and
traditions), and disregard Sāmoa’s nonviolent attempts to instigate changes. Although intense at
times, the different mau movements reflected a Christian society under the authority of titled
chiefs or matai who maintained peace.
The aim of this study is twofold. The first is to investigate whether a hybridity between
fa’a-sāmoa and the civilizing mission by missionaries and colonizers produced a civil society
within the colonial context that organized nonviolent protests to effect reforms within the foreign
institutions. The second is to explore the link between the Mau movements and the L.M.S.
While there has been plenty of research on the Mau movements, few studies have focused on the
mau protests within the L.M.S., or their response to the Mau a Pule and Mau. This reexamination
places the Sāmoan Mau movements within the wider discourse of protest studies in
Oceania, and the rise of an indigenous civil society within the colonial context.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62481
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - History


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