Also known as: Greenwich Island; Kapinga; Kiriniti

The tiny atoll of Kapingamarangi is one of the islands traditionally labelled 'Polynesian Outliers'.

Show Map of Location

Traditional Culture(1910)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Absent (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 197-204, 203-204
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 200-204
Ancestral spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 197-340, 197-198, 200
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 199, 200-201
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 199, 200-201

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 199

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife Absent (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 182-198
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife Absent (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 182-198
Myth of humanity’s creation Absent (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 202
Primordial pair Absent (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 202
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 28-31, 200-201

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 199, 231

Classes of Tapu

Resource management tapu Absent (Source)
Lieber (1991), pp. 118-152, 199-340
Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 115, 116, 199

Mana

Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 200
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 200
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Absent (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 8-118, 199-340
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 206-207, 277
Largest religious community Whole society or larger (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 80, 199
Political and religious differentiation Some overlap (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 94, 98

Rites

Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 153-198
Buck (1928), pp. 272-278
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Buck (1950), pp. 272-278
Piercing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 199-200, 335
Tattooing Absent from culture (Source)
Buck (1950), pp. 278
Genital cutting Absent from culture (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 153-198, 164
Social Environment +
Population 300 (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 64, 66
Population of largest political community 100-999 (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 64, 66, 80, 94
Importance of Patrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Lieber (1991), pp. 109
Importance of Matrilateral descent High (Source)
Lieber (1991), pp. 109
Kinship system Hawaiian (Source)
Lieber (1991), pp. 109
Marital residence Matrilocal or uxorilocal - with wife's kin (Source)
Lieber (1991), pp. 109

Conflict

(No) external warfare Rare or never (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 12-63
Conflict within community Moderate (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 182
(No) internal warfare Rare or never (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 12-63
Buck (1950), pp. 279
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Occasional but not often (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 12-19, 51-56
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 302.4 (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 2
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Distance to nearest continent 1880.0 (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 2
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Absent: No evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.23
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 12-19, 13, 17, 199-340
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 11
Buck (1928), pp. 7-49, 48
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 10-11
Buck (1950), pp. 7-49, 48
Land-based gathering Minor (Source)
Buck (1950), pp. 7-49, 48
Emory (1965), pp. 6-9
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Absent (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 10-11
Buck (1950), pp. 7-49, 48
Agriculture / Horticulture Major (Source)
Buck (1950), pp. 7-8, 17
Emory (1965), pp. 6-9

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Major (Source)
Buck (1950), pp. 48
Emory (1965), pp. 142-143
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Major (Source)
Buck (1950), pp. 48
Emory (1965), pp. 143
Water-based gathering Major (Source)
Buck (1950), pp. 48-49

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Minor (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 119-142, 127, 138-139, 141
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 6

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Atoll (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 1
Island Size (km²) 1.04 (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 66
Maximum elevation (meters) 5.0 (Source)
Buden (1998), pp. 252

Location

Latitude 1.0 (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 1
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 154.8 (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 1
Google Maps (2014)
Post Contact History(1910-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Role of social status in conversion process Mixed / Neither (Source)
Lieber (1977), pp. 35-36
Emory (1965), pp. 43
Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Lieber (1977), pp. 35-36
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Lieber (1977), pp. 35-36
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from Austronesian societies only (Source)
Lieber (1977), pp. 35-36

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Absent (Source)
Lieber (1977), pp. 25-26
Emory (1965), pp. 104-106
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Lieber (1977), pp. 42-43, 45-46
Immigration Absent (Source)
Emory (1965), pp. 12-27
Lieber (1977), pp. 35-48
Language shift Medium (Source)
Eberhard (2020)
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Lieber (1977), pp. 44-45

Modern Infrastructure

Vehicles and roads Absent (Source)
Google Maps (2014)
Air travel Absent (Source)
Google Maps (2014)
Sea port Absent (Source)
Google Maps (2014)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 178

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely voluntary (Source)
Lieber (1977), pp. 35-48, 47
Loss of political autonoomy Medium (Source)
Lieber (1977), pp. 35-48, 42-43, 44

Economic Changes

Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Lieber (1977), pp. 42, 44-45
External Links
References
Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Buck, P. (1928). Fishing Poisoning in Rarotonga, Hora. The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 37 (1), 145, 57-66. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20702180.

Buck, P. (1950). Material culture of Kapingamarangi. Honolulu, HI: Bernice P. Bishop Museum.

Buden, D. W. (1998). Morphological Variation and Distributional Ecology of the Giant Micronesian Gecko (Perochirus scutellatus) of Kapingamarangi Atoll. Pacific Science, 52 (3), 250-258. Retrieved from http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/1577

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Eberhard, D. M., Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D. (eds.). (2020). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (23rd ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL International. Retrieved from http://www.ethnologue.com

Emory, K. P. (1965). Kapingamarangi: Social and Religious Life of a Polynesian Atoll. Honolulu, HI: The Museum.

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Lieber, M. D. (1977). The Processes of Change in Two Kapingamarangi Communities. In Lieber, M.D. (Ed.), Exiles and Migrants in Oceania (35-67). Honolulu, HI: University Press of Hawaii.

Lieber, M. D. (1991). Kapingamarangi. In T.E. Hays. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of World Cultures (Volume II - Oceania) (pp 108-111). New York, NY: G. K. Hall & Co.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency