USP Electronic Research Repository

Kava drinking in southern Vanuatu: Melanesian drinkers, Polynesian roots

Lynch, John D. (1996) Kava drinking in southern Vanuatu: Melanesian drinkers, Polynesian roots. The Journal of the Polynesian Society, 105 (1). pp. 27-40. ISSN 0032-4000

PDF - Published Version
Download (880Kb) | Preview


    This paper examines a set of Polynesian loan words in the non-Polynesian languages of the Tafea Province of Vanuatu which relate to the preparation and drinking of kava (Piper methysticum). I will show that, although there is evidence that people in this area drank a kava-like substance before Polynesian contact, it was speakers of the Polynesian Outlier language Futuna-Aniwa who introduced not only the kava plant and the drink derived from it to their Melanesian neighbours, but also certain techniques of kava-preparation and certain social behaviours relating to the drinking of kava. A comparison is drawn with Pohnpei where, although kava also seems to derive from a Polynesian source, the Polynesian contribution to the lexicon of kava-preparation and kava-drinking appears to be restricted to the name of the plant and the drink, suggesting that either the plant was not introduced from Polynesia, or that a similar substance was drunk there, with some ceremony, before Polynesian contact.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
    Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > Pacific Languages Unit
    Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
    Date Deposited: 24 Aug 1996 11:15
    Last Modified: 24 Aug 2012 11:15

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...