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Colonialism, Maasina Rule, and the Origins of Malaitan Kastom$
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David W. Akin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838140

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838140.001.0001

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Early Native Administration: Coping with Custom

Early Native Administration: Coping with Custom

(p.50) Chapter 2 Early Native Administration: Coping with Custom
Colonialism, Maasina Rule, and the Origins of Malaitan Kastom

David W. Akin

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter describes the early native administration of Malaita. The 1930s on Malaita are often perceived as a political lull between transformative events. As the decade began, the last violent resistance to British control had been put down, and 12 years would pass before World War II engulfed the Protectorate. Also, in this period, officers on Malaita and elsewhere began to formulate and initiate native administration and social engineering projects inspired by models of “indirect rule” imported from African colonies and grounded importantly in the concept of “custom.” After the war, Maasina Rule, kindred resistance movements built on Malaitans' critical appraisals of these projects, and kastom emerged when Malaitans appropriated the “custom” concept and took it in directions officers could never have foreseen.

Keywords:   Malaita, native administration, World War II, Protectorate, Maasina Rule, kastom

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