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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Societies living on Polynesian island

Social, economic and political differences that exist among different people living in diverse parts of the world are closely connected to the environments that the populations have occupied. Societies living on Polynesian island exhibited different political and socioeconomic characteristics during the pre-colonization period. The differences highlighted are closely related to the terrain and climate that characterized areas covered by different Polynesian islanders. While people living in drier, unproductive lands had poorly developed societies, the wetter and more productive regions had high populations that in turn resulted in well developed political and economic stratus.

Maoris’ aggression on Morioris’ was motivated by the news of a modest and peaceful community that was occupying a land they could utilize. Although Chathams was not as productive as other regions, population density of the Maoris forced them to search for land to ease their population density. This illustration best underlines superiority that emanates from environmental diversity. While Morioris were a peaceful people willing compromise their values and accommodate violent foreign aggressors, Maoris had been shaped by nature to fight against their challenges and as a result they killed many original inhabitants of Chathams.
Generally, Polynesian societies varied widely depending on; geographical isolation, terrain occupied, fragmentation of the regions, marine and marine resources and the general climate of the areas. While some region experience tropical climates because they lie close to the equator, others experience cold subarctic climates. The productivity of the diverse areas differs widely and so does the population. Geographical formation of the Polynesian region awarded some regions with shallow soils that can hardly be used for agriculture while other regions due to volcanic ashes or sedimentation have deep soils that can be used for farming.
Although steel and iron tools were not popular amongst the Polynesian societies, some communities developed more elaborate wood and stone tools either for hunting, fishing, fighting or farming. Simple communities did not need to advance their production techniques because their demands were low while more complex communities needed more equipment to improve on their production. Artifacts developments were also more pronounced in the complex societies that they were among the simple Polynesian societies.
Geographical formations provide some communities with building and construction raw materials while it denied others. Regions with limestone as the main surface foundation did not witness development of large monuments and statues while regions with granites and other rocks presented the people with materials building statues, tombs and monuments. Geographical formation of the areas also gifted the people thereof with other farming, fishing and hunting tools.
As asserted by Diamond1 Political development of the Polynesia societies differed greatly based on the populations. High population regions had stratified societies where specialization amongst the people was also encouraged. Powerful chiefs ruled such regions. The chief were hardly involved in any production activities and they were charged with the responsibilities of leading their people. Hierarchical arrangements also existed amongst these communities and people within hereditary families were treated specially by the people.
According to Pulitzer2, in the poorly developed societies, specialization amongst the people was low or did not exist in some societies. Everyone produced what they needed. Families were sparsely dispersed and leadership amongst the people was of little influence. Chiefs lived like the other members of the society and they were engaged in production like everyone else. There existed little or no difference in lifestyles led by chiefs and the people they represented. Although the environment presented a lot of challenges to the people, unique problems that would result in advancement of production techniques were fewer.
Every society is founded on many factors which makes it different from others. Polynesia Island societies represent an ideal example of how different geographical and environmental factors can influence the society formation and development. Different examples can be drawn from different parts of the world.


1Diamond, J. steel guns and germs. New York: Harper; 2005.
2Pulitzer, P. steel guns and germs: The Fate of Human Societies: Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company; 2002

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