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Myths and the formation of Niue Island, central South Pacific

Nunn, Patrick D. (2004) Myths and the formation of Niue Island, central South Pacific. Journal of Pacific History, 39 (1). pp. 99-108. ISSN 0022-3344

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Island Pacific cultures are rich in myths (traditional oral tales), the cultural importance of which have been widely acknowledge.1It has also become increasingly clear in the last few decades that the critical analysis of myths has considerable value in the reconstruction of human history.2 The possible environmental significance of certain myths, particularly those referring to the origins of islands and their physical development, has been largely overlooked except in specific instances.3 This paper examines myths concerning the formation of the high (maximum 70 m) limestone island Niue in the central South Pacific. An emerged atoll, Niue has been rising for around 500,000 years up the flexure in the Pacific Plate lithosphere formed as a consequence for its subduction along the Tonga-Kermadec Trench, 275km west (Figure1). Uplift has been occurring during the late Quaternary at average rates of 0.13-0.16mm/year; Niue continues to ascend the flexure.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore
Divisions: Office of the PVC (R&I)
Depositing User: Ms Neha Harakh
Date Deposited: 02 May 2004 03:53
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2012 05:44

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