Tracking the Transformations: Population, Intensification, and Monumentality

Patrick Vinton Kirch

in How Chiefs Became Kings

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780520267251
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947849 | DOI:
Tracking the Transformations: Population, Intensification, and Monumentality

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This chapter addresses the evidence for major trends in demography, settlement, economic intensification, specialization, monumental architecture, and other material correlates of sociopolitical transformation. The material evidence of monumentality provides critical evidence regarding the ways in which the Hawaiian elites employed ritual and ideology to increase their control over the political economy, and to legitimate their claims to divine rule. The vast majority of Hawai'i Island's production had to come from intensive dryland field systems. The western half of the archipelago was doubly fortunate: where irrigation and aquaculture could be intensified the most, there were also the richest and largest stocks of marine resources. The emergence of archaic states in Hawai'i was a process rather than an event. Throughout the Protohistoric Period, Hawai'i Island cycled through unification and fission, frequently unable to maintain the overarching control first achieved by 'Umi.

Keywords: demography; settlement; economic intensification; specialization; monumental architecture; monumentality; Hawai'i Island; irrigation; aquaculture

Chapter.  18327 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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