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Nights of StorytellingA Cultural History of Kanaky-New Caledonia$
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Raylene Ramsay

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832223

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832223.001.0001

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From Colonial Regimes to Their Contestation (1870–1946)

From Colonial Regimes to Their Contestation (1870–1946)

(p.195) Chapter Fifteen From Colonial Regimes to Their Contestation (1870–1946)
Nights of Storytelling
Raylene Ramsay
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter presents an excerpt from missionary-ethnographer Maurice Leenhardt's Do Kamo, a study of the Kanak person that was to become a founding text in both communities. Leenhardt devotes a chapter to the ways in which “the Word” (la Parole) constructs the social behavior of members of the group and plays a role in consolidating and stabilizing what he sees as the “Canaque personality.” The excerpt further investigates the Word and Speech or Language (le Verbe), the nature and power of oratory, and the rules that bind it. The Word is also Being and God, a creative and active virile power.

Keywords:   Kanak person, Maurice Leenhardt, social behavior, Canaque personality, speech, language, oratory, the Word, New Caledonia

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