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Traditional Micronesian SocietiesAdaptation, Integration, and Political Organization in the Central Pacific$
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Glenn Petersen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832483

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832483.001.0001

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Aesthetics, Beliefs, Values, and Behavior

Aesthetics, Beliefs, Values, and Behavior

(p.187) Chapter 8 Aesthetics, Beliefs, Values, and Behavior
Traditional Micronesian Societies

Glenn Petersen

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter attempts to show how art, religion, magic, and interpersonal relations manifest basic Micronesian concerns with individual participation in social processes and with the constant interplay between equality and hierarchy. It argues that Micronesian life exhibits both egalitarian and hierarchical aspects whether it is a matter of aesthetic expression, religious belief, or interpersonal relations. Added to this complex of attitudes and attributes are complementary emphases on strength and a warrior ethos and on nurturance and compassion; Micronesians deal with the world beyond their immediate communities and beyond their own shores with somewhat contradictory perspectives. They are prepared simultaneously to defend themselves vigorously from invasion and to be welcoming and generous hosts. It is these qualities, which mark both individual personalities and social life in general, that have enabled Micronesians to survive as successfully as they have.

Keywords:   Micronesia, Micronesian social life, art, religion, magic, interpersonal relationships, individual participation, egalitarianism, hierarchy

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