Cover image for Historical dictionary of Polynesia
Historical dictionary of Polynesia
Craig, Robert D., 1934-
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xxxvi, 365 pages : map ; 23 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DU510 .C73 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Polynesia brings together in one volume valuable historical reference data for the 14 Pacific Island states: American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Easter Island, French Polynesia, Hawai'i, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Pitcairn, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Wallis and Fortuna. Entries include prominent personalities, treaties, institutions, organizations, political parties, and other subject matter that complement the general histories.

Author Notes

Robert D. Craig, Retired Emeritus Professor of History from Alaska Pacific University is currently Adjunct Instructor, Palomar Community College, California. He is the author of numerous books on Pacific history and culture.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Polynesia is generally defined as a roughly triangle-shaped area on the globe bound by Hawaii in the north, New Zealand in the south, and Easter Island in the east. It includes the territories or independent countries of American Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Hawaii, New Zealand, Niue, Pitcairn, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Wallis and Futuna. Nauru is also included in the text, based on cultural definitions, though the Nauruan language is Micronesian in origin. Part of the Historical Dictionaries of Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East series, this volume includes a chronology of events in Polynesia and a brief general introduction. Entries on any number of political, historical, and social topics make up the bulk of the dictionary. Appendixes cover the rulers of the various governments in the countries and territories of Polynesia and the names and locations of all the islands that fall under the definition of Polynesia. There are also an extensive bibliography of books and articles on the region of Polynesia and separate bibliographies for each of the various colonies and independent countries. If a library has a copy of the first or second edition, it is well worth updating the collection with this title. Author Craig, a professor emeritus at Alaska Pacific University, has conducted research on and lived in Polynesia for extended periods.--Stratton, Stev. Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

This revision to the 2002 edition by Pacific studies specialist Craig (history, emeritus, Alaska Pacific Univ.) has been fully updated to include developments as recent as early 2010. Opening with an expanded, 20-page chronology that begins with 1300 B.C.E., the book continues with a valuable 13-page introductory essay-style overview of Polynesian history, divided by major periods. A majority of the book is devoted to 400 alphabetized entries explaining the major figures, places, items, rituals, and organizations vital to the cultures of Polynesia's 13 island states. An amazing 81-page bibliography organized by nation makes this a must-have for Pacific studies researchers. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Although identical in format to the previous edition (CH, Jan'94), this volume in Scarecrow's "Asian/Oceanian Historical Dictionaries" series is considerably expanded in size. Most contemporary or continuing entries have been updated to include political, economic, census or other information from the years between editions (now current to 2001) while most historical entries remain unchanged. New subjects concentrate on personalities, especially politicians, and on organizations. A few items have been moved to reflect name changes ("Western Samoa" to "Samoa") or to improve accuracy ("Catholic Church in the Pacific" to "Roman Catholic Church in Oceania"). Entries are well written and concise, and the bibliography now includes Web sites for governments and newspapers. The first edition's shortcomings persist, including inadequate maps and the lack of links from dictionary entries to the bibliographic sources. Despite these problems, this source is essential for all Pacific collections and is highly recommended for all academic libraries. Libraries should replace the old edition. J. C. Wanser Hiram College

Table of Contents

Jon Woronoff
Editor's Forewordp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Acronyms and Abbreviationsp. xi
Chronologyp. xvii
Introductionp. 1
The Dictionaryp. 13
A. Names of Polynesian Islandsp. 265
B. Rulers and Administratorsp. 273
C. Summary Guide to Polynesia, 2001p. 279
Bibliographyp. 281
About the Authorp. 365