Advertisement

“We Savages”: Cannibal Performances in the Marquesas

  • Carla Manfredi
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)

Abstract

This chapter highlights Stevenson’s fascination with the colonial discourse that represented Marquesans as fierce “cannibals.” The chapter discusses In the South Seas and “The Feast of Famine: Marquesan Manners” alongside photographs depicting so-called savages and cannibals. The chapter situates Stevenson’s representation of the Marquesas within European conceptions of “cannibalism” as a Gothic trope, but it argues that imaginary and threatened “cannibalism” served as a bulwark against colonial violence. In addition to the topic of “cannibalism,” which structures the chapter, the case studies examine photographs depicting the relationships between a dispossessed chief named Moipu, his rival Paaaeua, and Lloyd Osbourne. The photographs are contextualized within Marquesan notions of kinship and name exchange and serve as potent examples of the clash between cultural performance and colonial ideology.

References

Manuscripts

  1. Osbourne, Lloyd. Inscription on a Photograph. 1888. HM. 2496. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.Google Scholar
  2. Stevenson, Fanny Van de Grift. Correspondence to Sir Sidney Colvin. 1888. GEN MSS. 664, 3638–3694. The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.Google Scholar
  3. Stevenson, Robert Louis. Journal of Two Visits to the South Seas. Vols 1–2. 1888–1889. HM. 2412. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.Google Scholar
  4. Stevenson, Robert Louis. Drafts of the South Seas. 1889–1891. GEN MSS. 808. The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.Google Scholar

Published Works by R. L. Stevenson, Fanny Van de Grift Stevenson, and Margaret Stevenson

  1. Stevenson, Margaret Isabella Balfour. 1903. From Saranac to the Marquesas and Beyond. Ed. Marie Clothilde Balfour. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  2. Stevenson, Robert Louis. 1890. Ballads. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 1891, February 6. An Island Landfall. The South Seas: A Record of Three Cruises. Black and White: 21–24.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 1998. In the South Seas: Being an Account of Experiences and Observations in the Marquesas, Paumotus and Gilbert Islands in the Course of Two Cruises on the Yacht “Casco” (1888) and the Schooner “Equator.” Ed. Neil Rennie. London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 2003a. The Collected Poems of Robert Louis Stevenson. Ed. Roger Lewis. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press.Google Scholar
  6. ———. 2003b. The Feast of Famine: Marquesan Manners. In The Collected Poems of Robert Louis Stevenson. Ed. Roger C. Lewis, 142–151. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar

Secondary Works

  1. Anderson Galleries, Inc. 1914. Autograph Letters, Original Manuscripts, Books, Portraits and Curios from the Library of the Late Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Anderson Auction Co.Google Scholar
  2. Bellwood, Peter. 1978. Man’s Conquest of the Pacific: The Prehistory of Southeast Asia and Oceania. Auckland: William Collins Publishers.Google Scholar
  3. Brantlinger, Patrick. 2003. Dark Vanishings: Discourse on the Extinction of Vanishing Races, 1800–1930. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 2011. Taming Cannibals: Race and the Victorians. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Colley, Ann C. 2004. Robert Louis Stevenson and the Colonial Imagination. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  6. Creed, Barbara, and Jeanette Horn, eds. 2001. Body Trade: Captivity, Cannibalism and Colonialism in the Pacific. Dunedin: Otago University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Crook, William Pascoe. 2007. An Account of the Marquesas Islands 1797–1799. Eds. Greg Dening, Hervé-Marie Le Cleac’h, Douglas Peacocke and Robert Koenig. Haere Po: Tahiti.Google Scholar
  8. Daughton, J.P. 2006. An Empire Divided: Religion, Republicanism, and the Making of French Colonialism, 1880–1914. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dening, Greg. 1974. Introduction. In The Marquesan Journal of Edward Robarts, 1797–1824. Ed. Greg Dening, 1–29. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 1988. Islands and Beaches: Discourses on a Silent Land: Marquesas, 1774–1880. Chicago: Dorsey Press.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 2004. Beach Crossings: Voyaging Across Times, Cultures, and Self. Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing.Google Scholar
  12. Edmond, Rod. 1997. Representing the Pacific: Colonial Discourse from Cook to Gauguin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ellis, William. 1969. Polynesian Researches, Polynesia. North Clarendon: Charles E. Tuttle & Co.Google Scholar
  14. Eyriaud des Vergnes, Pierre Eugène. 1877. L’Archipel des Îles Marquises. Éditeurs de la Revue maritime et colonial et de l’Annuaire de la Marine.Google Scholar
  15. Federova, Olga M. 2011. Krusenstern’s Circumnavigation (1803–06). The Journal of Pacific History 46 (3): 381–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ferdon, Edwin N. 1993. Early Observations of Marquesan Culture, 1595–1813. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  17. Fontanès, Christophe-Anne Philibert. 2010. Dupetit-Thouars: Sur les traces du Contre-Amiral Abel Dupetit-Thouars, Les Îles Marquises en 1842. Paris: Les éditions Riveneuve.Google Scholar
  18. Giles, Keith. 2011. Charles Burton Hoare (1833–c1879), a Mancunian in Paradise. New Zealand Legacy 23 (1): 14–16.Google Scholar
  19. Hall, Douglas H., and Lord Albert Osborne. 1901. Sunshine and Surf: A Year’s Wanderings in the South Seas. London: Adam and Charles Black.Google Scholar
  20. Hammerton, J.A. 1910. Stevensoniana: An Anecdotal Life and Appreciation of Robert Louis Stevenson. Edinburgh: John Grant.Google Scholar
  21. Henville, Letitia. 2012. ‘The Walter Scott of Tahiti’: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Ballad Translation. Literature Compass 9 (7): 489–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hill, Richard J. 2017. Robert Louis Stevenson and the Pictorial Text: A Case Study in the Victorian Illustrated Novel. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  23. Hillier, Robert Irwin. 1989. The South Seas Fiction of Robert Louis Stevenson. New York: Lang.Google Scholar
  24. Hulme, Peter. 1986. Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Native Caribbean 1492–1797. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  25. Ivory, Carol S. 2014. Vaekehu, the Life of a 19th century Marquesan “Queen” in Turbulent Times. The Journal of the Polynesian Society 123 (2): 113–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jolly, Roslyn. 2013. Stevenson’s Pacific Transnarratives. International Journal of Scottish Literature 9: 5–25.Google Scholar
  27. Kirch, Patrick Vinton. 1984. The Evolution of the Polynesian Chiefdoms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  28. ———. 2002. On the Road of the Winds: An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands Before European Contact. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  29. Kirch, Patrick V., and Jean-Louis Rallu, eds. 2007. The Growth and Collapse of Pacific Island Societies: Archaeological and Demographic Perspectives. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.Google Scholar
  30. Kirkpatrick, John. 1983. The Marquesan Notion of the Person. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press: UMI Research Press.Google Scholar
  31. Kitson, Peter J. 2001. Romantic Displacements: Representing Cannibalism. In Placing and Displacing Romanticism. Ed. Peter J. Kitson, 204–225. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  32. Kjellgren, Eric, and Carol S. Ivory. 2005. Adorning the World: Art of the Marquesas Islands. New York City: MetPublications.Google Scholar
  33. Krusenstern, Adam Johann von. 1813. Voyage Round the World in the Years 1803, 1804, 1805, and 1806. Vol 1. Trans. Richard Belgrave Hoppner. J. Murray.Google Scholar
  34. Langsdorff, Georg Heinrich von. 1813. Voyage and Travels in Various Parts of the World during the years 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, and 1807. Vol I. London: Henry Colburn.Google Scholar
  35. Lisiansky, Urey. 1968. Voyage Round the World in the Years 1803, 1804, 1805, and 1806. N Israel (Amsterdam).Google Scholar
  36. Lyons, Paul. 2006. American Pacificism: Oceania in the U.S. Imagination. New York and London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Malchow, H.L. 1996. Gothic Images of Race in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Obeyesekere, Gananath. 2001. Narratives of the Self: Chevalier Peter Dillon’s Fijian Cannibal Adventures. In Body Trade: Captivity, Cannibalism and Colonialism in the Pacific. Eds. Barbara Creed and Jeanette Hoorn, 69–111. Dunedin: Otago University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Radiguet, Max. 2001. Les Derniers sauvages aux Îles Marquises, 1842–1859. Paris: Éditions Phébus.Google Scholar
  40. Reid, Julia. 2006. Robert Louis Stevenson, Science, and the Fin de Siècle. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  41. Robarts, Edward. 1974. The Marquesan Journal of Edwards Robarts 1797–1824. Ed. Greg Dening. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.Google Scholar
  42. Sanborn, Geoffrey. 1998. The Sign of the Cannibal: Melville and the Making of a Postcolonial Reader. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Smith, Vanessa. 2010. Intimate Strangers: Friendship, Exchange and Pacific Encounters. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stannard, David E. 1989. Before the Horror: The Population of Hawai‘i on the Eve of Western Contact. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.Google Scholar
  45. Steinen, Karl von den. 1969. Die Marquesaner und ihre Kunst: Studien über die Entwicklung primitiver Südseeornamentik nach eigenen Reiseergebnissen und dem Material der Museen. Band 1., Tatauierung. Hackert Art Books.Google Scholar
  46. Thomas, Nicholas. 1990. Marquesan Societies: Inequality and Political Transformation in Eastern Polynesia. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  47. ———. 1991. Entangled Objects: Exchange, Material Culture, and Colonialism in the Pacific. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  48. ———. 1992. The Inversion of Tradition. American Ethnologist 19: 213–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tobin, Beth Fowkes. 1999. Picturing Imperial Power: Colonial Subjects in Eighteenth-Century British Painting. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Tréhin, Jean-Yves. 2003. Tahiti: L’Éden à l’épreuve de la photographie. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  51. Tylor, E.B. 1884. Preface. In Samoa, A Hundred Years Ago and Long Before: Together with Notes on the Cults and Customs of Twenty-Three Other Islands in the Pacific, ed. George Turner. Basingstoke: Macmillan.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carla Manfredi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WinnipegWinnipegCanada

Personalised recommendations