From humble origins, and trained by the London Missionary Society in theology, printing and rudimentary medicine, William Ellis (1794–1872) sailed for the Society Islands in 1816. He found himself at the cusp of major cultural change as Western influences affected the indigenous Polynesians. During his time there, Ellis became a skilled linguist and able chronicler of the traditional yet rapidly shifting way of life. He succeeded in capturing vivid stories of a leisured people who, without written language, had developed a rich oral tradition, social structure and belief system. Published in 1829, this two-volume collection proved to be an important reference work, notably for its natural history; it soon accompanied Darwin aboard the Beagle. Volume 1 covers the voyage to Tahiti, the development of Tahitian orthography, the conversion of chief Pomare II, the establishment of a printing press on Moorea, and Ellis's first sermon in Tahitian, delivered on Huahine.
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- Date Published: November 2013
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108065870
- length: 572 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 32 mm
- weight: 0.72kg
- contains: 13 b/w illus. 1 map
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Historical notice of the discovery of the Pacific
2. Voyage to New Zealand
3. Voyage to Tubuai
4. Character and death of Haamanemane
5. First preaching in the native language
6. Anchorage in Matavai
7. Account of the remarkable change in the South Sea Islands
8. First record of the names of the professors of Christianity
9. Distillation of ardent spirits
10. The refugees in Eimeo invited to return to Tahiti
11. Account of the music and amusements of the islanders
12. An account of the Areois
13. Voyage to A-fa-re-ai-tu
14. Times of taking food among the islands
15. Arrival of missionaries from England
16. Arrivals in Huahine
17. Renewed endeavours to promote industry among the people
18. Account of Taaroarii.
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