How Chiefs Became Kings: Divine Kingship and the Rise of Archaic States in Ancient Hawaii

How Chiefs Became Kings: Divine Kingship and the Rise of Archaic States in Ancient Hawaii

$34.95

Author:  Patrick Vinton Kirch  |  Paperback

With unparalleled knowledge of Polynesia's history, ecology, languages, and archaeology, Patrick V. Kirch shows us how, when, and why Hawaiian society crossed the gulf from chiefdom to state. Elegantly crafted and eloquently stated, this compelling case study offers a model for understanding state emergence and the origins of divine kings.--Joyce Marcus, University of Michigan

This volume masterfully synthesizes diverse sources of evidence to richly document a key episode of political change in the Pacific. Historical, archaeological, linguistic, and a wealth of other data are effectively woven together to argue that an archaic state was founded prior to European contact on the island of Hawaii. Professor Kirch deftly and systematically integrates these empirical resources to elucidate how multiple causal factors operating over the short- and long-term prompted this political shift. The richness of the materials under study enables the author to enhance our perspective on this long-discussed episode of cultural change and how it can be understood at multiple spatial and temporal scales. The book is destined to become a key resource for both scholars interested in the deep history of Pacific peoples as well as researchers investigating preindustrial chiefdoms and states.--Gary M. Feinman, The Field Museum