traps, many forms of nets, fish poisons, harpoons, and many kinds of hooks and lines. Tahitians of both sexes are excellent swimmers. Women dive for crabs and other shellfish and even capture octopi. Men and boys dive to great depths for pearl oysters, the flesh of which is used for food and the shell for various implements and ornaments. Aside from seafood, the main source of protein is pork, and pigs are carefully fed and tended. Chickens are also raised.
Economic Life and Stratification
What might be called paramount ownership is an evolutionary variation on the theme of lineage ownership. This type of ownership is ordinarily found among more intensive horticultural societies, although it has been known to exist in a few atypical hunter-gatherer societies and some simple horticultural societies. Paramount ownership prevails when a powerful individual – a chief – who is the head of a lineage, of an entire village, or of a vast network of integrated villages, claims personal ownership of the land within his realm and attempts to deprive those persons living on this land of full rights to its use. Actually, the ownership of all the land within a chief’s realm is to a certain extent a fiction. The ownership rights of the chief are not as “real” as they are often made out to be. The Kpelle of Liberia in West Africa are intensive horticulturalists with a paramount mode of ownership, yet the ownership rights of the chief are quite limited. As James Gibbs explains (1965:200-201):
Formally, land is said to be “owned” by the paramount chief, who divides it into portions for each town in the chiefdom, using for boundaries cottonwood and kola trees, creeks and hills. Each town chief divides the land for his town into