in Polynesia, the tribe-and-his-chief-over-his-territory" did not seem to have occurred in the same way as in New Caledonia. Because in this last country, tribes were created by the French government and people confined inside small areas.
The word tribes didn't exist before and there were clans.
But I will not venture on a field which is not really familiar to me, which I regret deeply, so much the Polynesian society is rich and captivating.
Clans have existed in all of Oceania, in Papua New Guinea, Melanesia or Polynesia. However, neither the evolution of the society nor the history are comparable in each of these regions and whether the affiliations "families" or "clans" still exists in Polynesia,
the great influential if not ruling families "on their land", surely have existed there as everywhere, I will say even as always, in the whole world.
KING/QUEEN. The only French really know are Kings/Queen Pomaré, of Tahiti and some other Islands. All of them were more or less supported by England then France. The Queen Pommaré reigned for 50 years, the longest reign in the history of the island. She was favourable with French, Another Queen Pomaré is also well known, although not a true Queen.
Magazine Geo January 2003, I quote : "Their hierarchical society rules with taboos is fascinating, with its ritual, its human sacrifices,
its fishing community where one beats the sea with stones to drive out the fish towards the bow nets, its wild tribales wars, its percussions, dances and banquets which last all a week long".
The Fiji were famous for the cannibalism of its inhabitants, who devoured enemy and foreign people; in 1867, the reverend Thomas Baker, eager to bring the right words to the natives,
was captured, killed, cooked and cut out of pieces distributed in several villages !
Indians were imported by the English for 1879 to ensure work in the plantations of cane sugar (what was made by France with the Chinese in Tahiti) Commercial, contractors, the Indians made at about half of the population, posed problem and in 1987,
a government blow carried out by Fidjiens (majority in the army) reversed the government..
Religion, beliefs. Polynesians live with a number of major gods and secondary gods who are created as needed.
In Maohi mythology, the islands of Polynesia originated from the miraculous fishing of the god Maui who took these big fish out of the water. For Polynesia was then a fish bank at the bottom of the sea.
The god Maui launched his line and began to sing to give power to his hook. He fished many islands and when the big Tahiti fish came to the surface, his brothers woke up and shouted, "O Maui, O Maui, it's not a fish, it's an island!"
The bird-hook. Here is a short excerpt from the legend of Koomahu that I find very original: "Koomahu set off to fishing for tuna and comes back with a canoe so full that he tells his sister, Tahia: will distribute this fish to the people of the valley.
Tahia takes the fish and in each hut, distributes the tuna. On the trail, Tahia discovers a beautiful white bird flying around her. She does not know it and would like to catch it.
The bird comes from the sky because it is the hook of the old Tapauifenua which every day sends on the ground the bird-hook to go to get its food. Tahia stares at the bird and she does not know, so she tries to grab it; the hook clings and carries her to Havaiki.
Tahia's blood gushed to her brother's chest, and Koomahu exclaims, "My sister was carried to heaven." Koomahu says: "I want my sister to become very thin so that the old man does not eat her" and at the moment, Tahia becomes a real skeleton".
The old Tapauifenua, who is blind, tries to fatten up, but after multiple adventures in which intervene some others old women, Koomahu ends up making go down again her sister on the beach, with an old woman who fall to water, is swallowed and rejected by the fish and which they finally kill to test a cranium breaker !
There are many old man and old women in the legends, cannibalism and crashed craniums !