Cross-Cultural Friendship and Legal Pluralities in the Early Pacific Salt Pork Trade

Publisher:
University of Hawaii Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of World History, 2017, 28 (2)
Issue Date:
2017-10-01
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This article contributes to scholarship on the legal relationships between people in imperial and colonial settings through analyzing the juridical meanings that could be found in the Tahitian word taio and its European cognate, friendship, in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. I argue that taio provided a space for the negotiation of trade, sentiment and authority across cultures; it was where European and Tahitian juridical traditions of friendship became entangled. Interrogating how missionaries, traders and colonial administrators engaged with taio demonstrates the historiographical necessity of going beyond present-day European legal language to examine how non-European laws were taken up by imperial actors and shaped to create hybrid legal forms.
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