M.A. Theses: Nicole Rae Oakes, 1994

The Late Prehistoric Maohi Fare Haupape--An examination of Household Organization in Mo'orea, French Polynesia

This thesis is a study of the late prehistoric residential fare haupape -a reportedly non-elite house type of the Society Islands, French Polynesia. It combines an examination of early historic written documents with the analysis of archaeological material from the excavation of a household in the 'Opunohu Valley, Mo'orea. Ethnohistoric reconstruction establishes a physical model for archaeological testing and indicates several organization principles involved in household design at the time of contact. Archaeological analysis considerably augments the ethnohistoric model, establishing a range of variation in household activities and form that is not well delineated in the written literature.

The conjunctive ethnohistoric and archaeological approach allows consideration of the household as a social entity. I suggest that, by its material form and associations, the fare haupape household shows hierarchical associations between residences within this type as well as information on social relations within the household. I also suggest the physical form of the household was actively used to convey and reinforce appropriate routes of interaction between individuals and groups.

I conclude that residential fare haupape are more socially and materially complex than hitherto considered. Continued excavation of this house type will show a range of variation that indicates it cannot unilaterally be associated with the lowest strata of late prehistoric Maohi society. Beyond attention to morphological type, it is the associated structures, features and artefacts of the household as well as its internal organization of space that are the significant criteria for assessing the social affiliations of this house type.