Download Land, Custom and Practice in the South Pacific by R. Gerard Ward, Elizabeth Kingdon PDF

By R. Gerard Ward, Elizabeth Kingdon

Land tenure preparations are primary to the best way societies and economies function. This ebook argues that during the South Pacific Islands, land previously held via neighborhood teams below "customary" or "traditional" different types of tenure is now usually being privatized. there's a divergence among rhetoric and truth relating those tendencies. The authors current case experiences from Western Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Fiji, and notice parallels from different areas experiencing related forces of commercialization, individualization and socio-political swap.

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Each man had rights to land for family subsistence. Nobody had a monopoly over all the best land, and all had SOME COMPARISONS 23 access to the various parts and products of the village land. Each family could supplement the produce of its open field strips by grazing livestock on the commons or the meadows and by collecting firewood or other needs from the common 'waste' land. Ownership of strips could be transferred to accommodate the changing needs of families. Such a system could serve community interests well, giving a place and security in the society for the members, even though this was a lowly place for most.

Its use belongs to the people who occupy the land. And so we may find members of unrelated groups farming together, without any feeling of appropriation of the land' (Meek, 1957:113). Meek also referred to the sacred nature of land and the significance of first clearance of the land for cultivation and the establishment and exercise of the range of rights that this act secures for the individual or the group (Meek, 1949:23-4). In some circumstances different individuals or groups may have an interest and rights in the same piece of land.

Unable to migrate, required to perform service for the lord of the manor and to work on his estate for set periods of the year, the villein was locked into an unequal relationship, but one in which there were reciprocal obligations for both lord and villein. 'The lord and his villeins shared the manor and its produce between them' (Trevelyan, 1959:131). Although required to work on the lord's farm, a villein did hold 'lands of his own which he tilled on those days of the year when his lord had no claim upon him or his oxen.

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