To Polynesian Experts

Ursula Hanly ursula.hanly at
Thu Feb 4 18:51:03 UTC 1999

Irwing Goldman in his book, "Ancient Polynesian Society" says:

" In eastern Polynesia the senior sibling is tuakana constructed upon tua
cognate with atua or deity (cf. Tregear 1891).  The reciprocal of tuakana
is teina which Elbert (1957) has defined from the Hawaiian as "weak
person," "trying to walk," "moving slowly."  The reciprocals thus oppose
god-like power to human weakness" (Goldman p. 460).

Is Goldman's interpretation of these Polynesian sibling terms legitimate?

Any help gratefully appreciated.

Per Hage
Department of Anthropology
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA

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