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This is an auction for OMAI: PACIFIC ENVOY by E H McCormick.

"Omai, to quote from the last sentence of this book, chronicles 'the rise and decline of [an] obscure figure who through an accident of history became for a time the most celebrated of all Pacific denizens.' Omai, a Raiatean commoner, was rather randomly taken on board the Adventure at Tahiti on Cook's second voyage, and subsequently transported back to England. There, as the first Polynesian visitor, he enjoyed considerable social success in aristocratic and scientific circles. After two years he returned to Huahine - on Cook's third voyage. His European 'benefactors' set him up on a small estate with an assortment of goods ranging from a musket and a suit of armour to horses and poultry - the cause of some resentment and envy from his fellow Raiateans. He died, apparently of 'natural causes', about thirty months later. That is the bare bones of the tale. So why a book about it all? The interest, the importance of the events lies in the responses and behaviour of both Europeans and Polynesians - in the ways in which members of different races and cultures, who had just encountered one another, endeavoured to accommodate the other. For instance: to what extent did Omai's English hosts try to make contact with him as a person; or to what extent was he treated as an exotic 'specimen' to be studied and paraded about; or to what extent was he stereotyped or fitted, perhaps unwittingly, to some pre-existing model of how 'savages' behaved or ought to behave.."

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Hardback 1977.

364 pages.

Good condition.

The cost of shipping is $6.95 (tracked mail). If you are on rural delivery and want tracked mail, the shipping cost will be $9.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston ?North following the auction.

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  • tracked mail$6.95
  • tracked mail for Rural Delivery (RD)$9.95
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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