A History of Culture Contact in North-Eastern New Caledonia 1774-1870 [article]

Bronwen Phyllis Douglas, University, The Australian National, University, The Australian National
THIS work is a study of interaction and change. The central theme is interaction between members of two entirely different cultural groups, Melanesians of New Caledonia and the Europeans with whom they came into· contact between 1774 and 1870. Within this theme the main focus of attention is the impact of culture contact on Melanesian social organization, attitudes and way of life during the period of intensive contact after 1843. The process was reciprocal and to some extent self-generating,
more » ... nce the attitudes and reactions of Europeans to the indigenous society helped determine their actions and policies . The broad process of culture contact between Melanesians and Europeans was the most dramatic, but by no means the only important process of interaction during this period and its course was deeply affected by relationships within as well as between each of the two great cultural groups. Different groups of Melanesians reacted in different ways to the challenge of European encroachment, while the interaction of indigenous groups in the context of culture contact was of profound, if not always discernible, relevance . Similarly, the attitudes , aims, methods and mutual relationships of various categories of European differed, and evoked a variety of Melanesian reactions. Of prime importance in this regard was the relationship after annexation in 1853 between the French colonial authorities and the Roman Catholic missionaries, who had settled in the archipelago ten years earlier. The ramifications of this interaction were far-reaching, especially in the 1860's when a bitter conflict over ecclesiastical jurisdiction and control of Melanesians developed under the administration of an anticlerical governor, Charles Guillain. These considerations determined my mode of approach and the methodology adopted. New Caledonia has been virtually untouched by historians and by all but a few social scientists, and there exist almost no adequate regional or thematic studies on which to base a comprehensive general history. Th [...]
doi:10.25911/5d7634c1ddea0 fatcat:doie3hpjdra5vkpetcfa7z5ude