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INDS307 Ancient East Polynesian Histories

Topics in ancient pre-contact Indigenous histories of selected East Polynesian societies, such as Aotearoa/New Zealand, Cook Islands and Hawai'i.

The focus of the paper is on traditional history from various peoples in East Polynesia. This history comprises the traditions recorded by different indigenous historians or outsiders who worked with them.

Various Islands will be chosen each year, but there will always be a particular focus on traditions drawn from various iwi in Aotearoa/New Zealand and from the Cook Islands, especially the Island of Mangaia.

Paper title Ancient East Polynesian Histories
Paper code INDS307
Subject Indigenous Studies
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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18 200-level HIST, MAOR or PACI points
INDV 307
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Some background in History, Māori Studies or Pacific Islands Studies is preferable, equivalent to one 200-level paper in those subjects.

Te Tumu
Tel 03 479 8674

Teaching staff
Professor Michael Reilly
Paper Structure

The course structure includes the following topics: the relationship between oral traditions and written texts; creation and culture heroes; migration traditions; landscapes; leadership; warfare; gender, sexuality and emotions.


Readings will be listed in a course outline available on Blackboard. Readings will be available through e-reserve.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a deep knowledge of selected topics of Indigenous East Polynesian Island histories
  • Communicate about various topics of Indigenous East Polynesian Island histories as part of seminar discussions
  • Write extensively on a topic relating to the Indigenous histories of East Polynesia
  • Participate effectively in small-group discussions on selected historical readings
  • Reflect critically on the selected readings about Indigenous East Polynesian Island histories

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 15:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 13:00-14:50 29-34, 36-41