The Ju/’hoansi cherish their egalitarian traditions so strongly that they have a hard time assuming any leadership roles, yet they have one of the most successful civilizations in history. At least that is one of the central arguments made by James Suzman, an anthropologist who has been studying them for over 20 years. On October […]

In his book Tahitians: Mind and Experience in the Society Islands, Robert Levy (1973) explained that relationships in French Polynesia were more egalitarian in some communities than in others. In the small, rural village on Huahine where he did much of his fieldwork, the Tahitians were mostly free of vertical power structures. However, in an […]

The structure of Tahitian dance performances, plus the composition of the performing companies, reveals a lot about social status and gender hierarchies in Tahiti. A journal article late last year by Jane Freeman Moulin, a former dancer on the island, describes the complexities of the performances and explores the nature of the traditional dance routines. […]