Overview of Chapter T: This indigenous missionary from the Cook Islands dedicated his life to promoting Christianity in New Caledonia and Samoa, even though some of his white supervisors in the London Missionary Society did not appreciate the full value or importance of his work. Therefore, the chapter explores racism, indigenous resistance to missionary activity, imperialism, modernization, and trade in the South Pacific, and offers a unique perspective on these topics.
(Note: I know of no image capturing Ta'unga's likeness; this is a drawing of Papehia, the Tahitian who brought Christianity to Rarotonga. From: William Gill, Gems froth Coral Islands (London, Ward and Co., 1856), 227.)
1. In what ways can tattoos provide historians with a valuable lens to measure cross-cultural issues in the Pacific in the 19th century?
2. What similarities and differences do you see between Capito and Ta'unga? What does this reveal about the evolution of Protestantism?
3. Was Ta'unga a traitor to his culture?
1. One of photographs below shows a table comparing the vocabulary of Pacific languages in the 19th century. Using this as an inspiration, pick 15 everyday words and use Google Translate to compare these words in Hawaiian, Maori, and Samoan. What commonalities can you find?
2. Pick one particular object from one of these museums and give an oral presentation on it cultural context and importance.
• There are a number of new books about the Pacific that I did not have the chance to read before publication. These include: 1) Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon and Sébastein Galliot (2018); 2) Our Voices, Our Histories: Asian American and Pacific Islander Women by Shirley Hune and Gail M. Nomura (2020); and 3) Risky Shores: Savagery and Colonialism in the Western Pacific by George K. Behlmer (Stanford University Press, 2018).
• Peter Cruchley, “Silent No Longer: The Roots of Racism in Mission,” Ecumenical Review, January 21, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1111/erev.12490
• James W. Ellis, “The Martyrs of Melanesia,” International Journal of Arts and Social Science, Volume 3 Issue 4, July-August 2020, https://www.ijassjournal.com/2020/V3I4/41465752178.pdf
Map for Chapter T: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book, gives a sense of scale and shows Pacific Ocean locations that were important to Ta'unga.
Map for Chapter T: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows Ta'unga's native island of Rarotonga.
Map for Chapter T: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows the islands of New Caledonia and the New Hebrides with a focus on places that were important to Ta'unga. His first missionary assignment was in the village of Tuauru.
Map for Chapter T: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows the major islands in the Samoan archipelago. Ta'unga was stationed on Ta'u.
This is a language chart that compares words in different Pacific Island languages. Ta'unga contributed to the formation of this index as a result of his translation work. From: George Turner, Nineteen Years in Polynesia (London, John Snow, 1861), n.p.
This is a drawing of the Rarotongan village of Ngatangiia, where Ta'unga was born. From: W. Wyatt Gill, Jottings from the Pacific (London, The Religious Tract Society,1885), 72.