Traditional Micronesian Societies: Adaptation, Integration, and Political Organization, by Glenn Petersen, explores the extraordinary successes of the ancient voyaging peoples who first settled the Central Pacific islands some two thousand years ago. They and their descendants devised social and cultural adaptations that have enabled them to survive—and thrive—under the most demanding environmental conditions. The dispersed matrilineal clans so typical of Micronesian societies ensure that every individual, every local family and lineage, and every community maintain close relations with the peoples of many other islands. When hurricanes and droughts or political struggles force a group to move, they are sure of being taken in by kin residing elsewhere. Out of this common theme, shared patterns of land tenure, political rule, philosophy, and even personal character have flowed.
June 2009 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3248-3 / $42.00 (CLOTH)