Inter-cultural contact and exchange in Ouvea (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia)

Carson, Michael Thomas
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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The project comprising this doctoral dissertation investigated long-term patterns of inter-cultural contact and exchange in Ouvea, a Polynesian Outlier in the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia. To address the research question, an interdisciplinary approach involved ethnohistory, linguistics, and archaeology, with an emphasis on the contribution of archaeology. Ethnohistory offered insight into the contexts of inter-cultural contact and traditional exchange systems in Ouvea and also provided a hypothesis of settlement chronology. Linguistic information proposed a relative sequence of events and processes reflecting contact-induced changes in the Ouvea communities. The archaeological field work for this project concentrated on two rockshelters (Sites LUV029 and LUV030) and an adjacent beach dune (Site LUV028) in Muli Islet of Ouvea. Initial human occupation on a temporary recurrent basis in one of the rockshelters (LUV030) was dated to the first few centuries A.D., followed by permanent habitation and an expansion of occupation to include both rockshelters and agricultural use of the associated beach dune around A.D. 1000. In the subsequent centuries of continuous human occupation, evidence indicated an adaptation to the local physical and cultural environment through intensification in local resources, production of specialized material objects, and an increase in the abundance and diversity of imported exogenous materials. Interpretation of research results from Muli related to internal production and exchange systems in Ouvea as well as to larger spheres of contact and exchange that encompassed the New Caledonia region and even more distant island archipelagos.
Exchange, Ouvea, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, Intercultural contact, Archaeology, Cultural anthropology
Carson, Michael Thomas (2002) Inter-cultural contact and exchange in Ouvea (Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia). Ph.D. dissertation, University of Hawai'i, United States -- Hawaii.
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Anthropology; no. 4235
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