A Perspective on Traditional Micronesian Life
This introductory chapter briefly sets out the book’s focus, namely the peoples of Micronesia and ways in which they have lived their lives. The central point of this book, around which all the other themes revolve, is that Micronesian societies are organized around interlocking lineages and clans. Lineages are relatively small groups, for the most part located within single communities. Each lineage is a segment of a larger clan, which in turn has numerous lineages dispersed among many different communities and on many separate islands. It is the dispersed character of the clans that provides Micronesians with networks of support, but it is the lineages, with their patterns of face-to-face interaction, that typify the flow of daily life. The remainder of the chapter describes the islands themselves and the seas around them—an account of the natural world the Micronesians occupy.
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