Also known as: 'Enata, Marquesan, Te'enana

The Marquesas are a group of very rugged volcanic islands in Eastern Polynesia. Rainfall is highly unpredictable in the Marquesas, and as a result famines were common, and were sometimes catastrophic. The most important supernatural agents were deified spirits of deceased chiefs and priests. Human sacrifice played an important role in Marquesan religion - for example, the deification of a deceased leader required ten human sacrifices. The victims of these sacrifices were always captives obtained in war rather than members of the group.

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Traditional Culture(1797)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Absent (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 248-257
Nature god(s) Absent (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 244-248
Ancestral spirits Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 244-257
Handy (1923), pp. 38-39
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 244-248
Ferdon (1993), pp. 38-39
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 244-248

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 42-43
Handy (1923), pp. 263

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife Absent (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 249-252
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife Principal determinant of one's afterlife (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 249-251
Myth of humanity’s creation Present, and evolutionary (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 244-245
Primordial pair Present, and genealogically linked to humans now living (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 244-245
Culture hero(es) Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 244-248

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 37, 39-40

Classes of Tapu

Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 258-259
Resource management tapu Present (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 59, 260
Kinship tapu Present (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 257-258

Mana

Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Present (Source)
Keesing (1984), pp. 152
Mana and social status Moderately associated (Source)
Blust (2007), pp. 409
Keesing (1984), pp. 152
Mana as a personal quality Present (Source)
Blust (2007), pp. 409
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Present (Source)
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Present (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 136
Costly sacrifices and offerings Present (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 47
Handy (1923), pp. 239
Largest religious community Larger than a local community, smaller than the society (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 42-44, 203-230
Thomas (1990), pp. 36
Political and religious differentiation No overlap (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 35-39, 53, 54-55

Rites

Tooth pulling Absent from culture (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 10-20, 70-85
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 10-20, 70-85
Piercing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 91
Tattooing Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 97-98
Genital cutting Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 73
Handy (1923), pp. 94-95
Social Environment +
Population 40000 (Source)
Rallu (1990), pp. 48-49
Allen (2004)
Population of largest political community 1,000-9,999 (Source)
Kirch (1984), pp. 98
Thomas (1990), pp. 20
Importance of Patrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 190
Importance of Matrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 190
Kinship system Hawaiian (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 190
Polygamy Polyandry (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 101
Marital residence Patrilocal or virilocal - with husband's kin (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 190

Conflict

(No) external warfare Rare or never (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 123-143
Conflict within community Moderate (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 56
Thomas (1991), pp. 190
(No) internal warfare Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 190
Handy (1923), pp. 123
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Occasional but not often (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 188-189
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 450.0 (Source)
Thomas (1990), pp. 1
Distance to nearest continent 4767.0 (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 188
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)
Thomas (1991), pp. 188-189
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 189
Ferdon (1993), pp. 93
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 86-100, 98-99
Linton (1939), pp. 139-145, 140
Land-based gathering Medium (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 86-87, 98-99
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 86-100
Linton (1939), pp. 139-145, 140
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 188
Handy (1923), pp. 181

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Major (Source)
Ferdon (1987), pp. 96-98
Linton (1939), pp. 141
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 96-98
Linton (1939), pp. 141-142
Water-based gathering Major (Source)
Ferdon (1993), pp. 95-96

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Medium (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 189
Linton (1939), pp. 145, 146-147
Ferdon (1993), pp. 96, 109-111
Metalworking Absent (Source)
Handy (1923), pp. 143-203
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture Four or more (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 188

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Volcanic high island (Source)
Rallu (1990), pp. 48-49
'Hiva Oa' (2018)
Island Size (km²) 315.0 (Source)
Rallu (1990), pp. 48-49
'Hiva Oa' (2018)
Maximum elevation (meters) 1200.0 (Source)
Rallu (1990), pp. 48-49

Location

Latitude -9.8 (Source)
Rallu (1990), pp. 48-49
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude -139.0 (Source)
Rallu (1990), pp. 48-49
Google Maps (2014)
Post Contact History(1797-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Use of force in conversion Medium (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 189
Thomas (1990), pp. 131-165
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 190
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 188-189
Thomas (1990), pp. 146, 157-158
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 189
Immigration Low (Source)
Institut de la statistique de la Polynesie francaise (2007)
Language shift Low (Source)
Institut de la statistique de la Polynesie francaise (2007)
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Central Intelligence Agency (French Polynesia) (2014)

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Partly voluntary (Source)
Thomas (1990), pp. 160-161
Thomas (1991), pp. 189
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 189
Thomas (1990), pp. 159-161, 164-165

Economic Changes

Exportation of goods to other cultures Present but minor (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 189
Central Intelligence Agency (French Polynesia) (2014)

Modern Infrastructure

Sea port Present (Source)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009), pp. 176
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Thomas (1991), pp. 190
External Links
References
Allen, M. S. (2004). Revisiting and revising Marquesan culture history: new archaeological investigations at Anaho Bay, Nuku Hiva Island. The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 113(2), 143-196.

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.

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Central Intelligence Agency (French Polynesia). (2014). The World Factbook: French Polynesia. Retrieved from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fp.html

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.

Doroszkowska, J. E. (1966). The London Missionary Society and the Marquesas Islands (Masters Thesis). Auckland, New Zealand: The University of Auckland.

Ferdon, E.N. (1987). Early Tonga. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press.

Ferdon, E.N. (1993). Early Observations of Marquesan Culture, 1595-1813. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press.

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

Handy, E.S.C. (1923). The native culture in the Marquesas. Honolulu, HI: The Museum. Retrieved from http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/ehrafe/citation.do?method=citation&forward=browseCulturesFullContext&col=collection%28%27/eHRAF/ethnography/Oceania/OX06%27%29&docId=ox06-001&tocOffsetId=tocPubInfoP

Hiva Oa. (2018). Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Hiva-Oa

Institut de la statistique de la Polynesie francaise. (2007). 2007 Census Results. Retrieved from: http://www.ispf.pf/bases/Recensements/2007/Details.aspx

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Kirch, P.V. (1984). The Evolution of the Polynesian Chiefdoms. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Linton, R. (1939). Marquesan culture. In Kardiner, A., The individual and his society: the psychodynamics of primitive social organization (p.138-196). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

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

Rallu, J.-L. (1990). Les populations Océaniennes aux XIXe et XXe siècles. Paris, France: Institut National D'études Démographiques, Presses Universitaires de France.

Thomas, N. (1990). Marquesan Societies: Inequality and Political Transformation in Eastern Polynesia. Oxford, UK: Claredon Press.

Thomas, N. (1991). Marquesas Islands. Encyclopaedia of World Cultures (Volume II: Oceania) (pp 188-191). New York, NY: G.K. Hall & Co.