Story: Anthropology and archaeology

Circular proposing the formation of the Polynesian Society, 1891

Ethnologist S. Percy Smith sent out this circular in June 1891 calling for the formation of a Polynesian Society. The society would be dedicated to studying and publishing information on the 'Oceanic races'. Smith was convinced that information on Polynesian traditions was rapidly disappearing and needed to be recorded. The Polynesian Society was founded at a meeting in Wellington on 8 June 1892. In the 2010s the society continued to be a major organisation for Pacific anthropologists, and its journal, first published in 1892, was still produced quarterly.

About this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Polynesian Society Collection
Reference: MS-Papers-1187-125-1-Front; MS-Papers-1187-125-1-Back;

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Peter Clayworth, 'Anthropology and archaeology - ‘Salvage anthropology’ and the birth of professionalism', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/zoomify/44412/circular-proposing-the-formation-of-the-polynesian-society-1891 (accessed 25 March 2017)

Story by Peter Clayworth, published 22 Oct 2014