International Perspectives on the Future of Monuments on a Changing World

This assignment is meant to have you analyze, synthesize, and respond to course material.
Write a brief essay focusing on one chapter from Monument Culture: International Perspectives on the Future of Monuments on a Changing World Section Two: Monument Culture: Land, People, and Place.

Note: I chose Chapter 2

This essay should include:
*a clear title that states the chosen chapter
*a brief summary of the chosen chapter
*a brief discussion of the key themes and points
*an analysis of how the chosen chapter demonstrates “deploying monuments to shape identity, community, and history via the physical landscape and place (Macaluso, xviii).”

2 Full Pages (It is completely fine if you need to go over 2 pages, but keep it concise)
12 pt font
Title Page (not included in the page count).
Reference page (not included in the page count).

Things to note:
Direct quotes need to have in-text citations.
No block quotations (quotes longer than 40 words) (MLA).
Book: Macaluso, Laura A. Monument Culture: International Perspectives on the Future of Monuments in a Changing World (American Association for State and Local History) (pp. 13-24). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Implications of Erasure in Polynesia CARMEN S. TOMFOHRDE LOST AND FOUND SHELTERED AMONG THE TREES IN THE PUBLIC PARK AT POINT VENUS, A peninsula that forms Matavai Bay, monuments commemorate the historic site where Tahiti experienced its first entanglements with the West. Captain James Cook first anchored in Matavai Bay in April 1769, shortly after fellow British navigator Samuel Wallis’s June 1767 “discovery” of Tahiti at the same location. One monument at Matavai Bay remembers Captain Cook; another recalls the ill-fated HMS Bounty, lost to mutineers after leaving Tahiti in April 1789. A third monument commemorates an Enlightenment-era ship of a different kind: the missionary ship Duff, which arrived at Matavai Bay in March 1797. Approximately two centuries after widespread conversions to Christianity took place in Polynesia, this complex monument encapsulates presenttense recollections of past erasures of religious cultural heritage. The missionaries’ concept of “discovery” was to seek and save people lost in sin and needing salvation, “enlightening” them with the Gospel of Christ. These foreigners were unlike previous visitors: on April 13, 1797, one missionary declared Tahitians “profess hardly to know what we are, and suspect that we are not Englishmen, or like any of the others they have seen who have ever visited their island.”1 The Duff missionaries were not the first to attempt to evangelize Tahiti; two Franciscan friars from Peru arrived in 1774 but lasted less than a year. While their evangelical effort was failing miserably, readers in England were enthralled by news of Captain Cook’s first (1768–1771) circumnavigation of the globe. Compassion piqued, the London-based Rev. Thomas Haweis spoke with Captain Bligh, secured a rudimentary vocabulary from a Bounty passenger, and nearly succeeded in a scheme to send two missionaries with Bligh on his 1791 return voyage to Tahiti for breadfruit. It was not until 1796 that the newly formed Missionary Society purchased the ship Duff and dispatched thirty men, six women, and three children to Tahiti, Tonga, and the Marquesas as its inaugural venture. Only four of the Duff missionaries were ordained; the others included carpenters, a bricklayer, and a harness maker, each intending to contribute specialized labor not only to survive in this remote island but also to impress Polynesian hosts with their usefulness and develop friendships that should generate opportunities for evangelism.2 Within three years, hopes for the Duff mission deflated. The lone missionary in the Marquesas returned to England in 1799 having survived a severe famine that included violent skirmishes and cannibalism. Three of the nine Tonga missionaries died in a 1799 civil war, and an excommunicated missionary was left behind when the remaining five missionaries evacuated in 1800. As battles continued to rage, famine drove the missionary who “went native” into desperate circumstances. A visiting ship took him to England in 1801, where he repented of his apostasy in a published memoir.3 In Tahiti, one year into the Duffmissionaries’ residence, four missionaries were stripped of their clothes and beaten, and armed islanders assembled after missionaries intercepted the sale of guns and gunpowder from a dilapidated visiting ship. When this ship unexpectedly revisited soon after departing, all but eight missionaries and one missionary wife evacuated on it. Although the ship Royal Admiral brought a replenishment of missionaries to Tahiti in 1801, almost all of them withdrew seven years later. Tahiti was embroiled in war, and prospects looked bleak for the mission; by 1809, one lone Duff missionary, Henry Nott, remained in Polynesia. When missionaries returned from Australia in 1812 and set up residence on the island of Mo‘orea, adjacent to Tahiti, they found the exiled and politically weak “king” Pōmare II a changed man: he wanted a Christian baptism. Doubting Pōmare’s sincerity, missionaries delayed his baptism until 1819, but to the missionaries’ surprise, their school and worship services became popular. Although hundreds of Society Islanders converted before the 1815 Battle of Fei Pi, that event was pivotal for Christianity in the Society Islands: missionaries reported that after “heathens” waged war on Christians who peacefully assembled for a worship service, Pōmare’s merciful treatment of the defeated attackers motivated thousands to convert. A mass movement in favor of Christianity began: by 1816, missionaries stopped registering the names of converts because Christianity had “become national” in both Tahiti and Mo‘orea and was quickly spreading through all of the Society Islands.4 Widespread islander-instigated iconoclasm ensued. New Christian churches were established on the foundations of destroyed marae (stone ritual structures used in the religion Christianity supplanted), such as the still-extant octagonal church at Papetōa‘i, Mo‘orea, and the missionaries’ first printing house repurposed marae stones to pave its floor.5 Rather than describing the widespread demolition of indigenous cultural forms as a cause for grief and bereavement, missionary documents describe a jubilant liberation. GENEALOGY AND THE DUFF MONUMENT While the distinction between a monument and a historical marker may require clarification in the case of the Matavai Bay monument to the Bounty, the monument to the Duff is celebratory. Invoking nautical geometry in its abstracted angular form, the monument has a pyramidal stela with a sloped base that bears the Duff missionaries’ names. Painted red and sharply contrasting with the green foliage surrounding it, the stela bears a surface pattern of bolts and seams, calling to mind the copper sheathing that was attached to the hulls of ships in the late eighteenth century. The monument faces north, the direction from which incoming ships arrive, providing a site-specific spatial orientation that navigationally positions the viewer (figure 2.1). A low retaining wall surrounds the monument, painted white and embedded with black volcanic stones captioned to identify the years of initial evangelization of other Polynesian islands (figure 2.2). This encircling rim of historical markers gives a specific ancestry to the spread of Christianity and correctly asserts a genealogy of missions that positions Tahiti and neighboring Mo‘orea as a central node from which Christianity fanned out across Polynesia. The rapid transformation of Polynesian islands in favor of Christianity began with the London Missionary Society in 1815 but also involved Society Islander missionaries who traveled to the Cook Islands, Tuamotus, and Austral Islands as well as Tonga on their way to Fiji; Wesleyan Methodist missionaries from England in Tonga; and American Congregationalist missionaries in Hawai‘i. Both the London Missionary Society and Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society evangelized Samoa after a Tongan convert reached out to Samoans in 1828. The Marquesas largely resisted Protestant missionary attempts before adopting Roman Catholicism through French missionaries in the 1840s. Foreign missionary presence was often intended as a segue toward indigenization of Christianity and independence for native churches: the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) withdrew from Hawai‘i in 1863, and in the Society Islands, missionaries’ ill health and the overwhelming demand for Christian education forced missionaries to rely heavily on indigenous evangelists when widespread conversions began in earnest. Christianity remains the dominant religion in Polynesia. If Hawai‘i and New Zealand are set aside because of their large immigrant populations, it appears that most Polynesians are Christian today: 84 percent of Cook Island and French Polynesian residents self-identify as Christian; Samoa and American Samoa claim over 92 and 98 percent, respectively; and Tonga is over 96 percent Christian.6 Figure 2.1. Monument commémoratif de l’arrivée des premiers missionaries’ à Tahiti (Commemorative Monument to the Arrival of the First Missionaries in Tahiti, also called the Duff monument). Erected at Point Venus, Tahiti, French Polynesia, in 1970. Architect: Rodolphe Weinmann with René Déssirier and Jean Perey. Photograph by the author. Figure 2.2. Detail, Monument commémoratif de l’arrivée des premiers missionnaires à Tahiti Photograph by the author. Continuing a present-tense implication of the islands’ historical erasure of pre-Christian religion, the intended dominant narrative deployed by the Duff monument is one of celebration rather than trauma and unification rather than destruction because it collects and integrates stones from elsewhere in Polynesia while retaining echoes of the previous religious system. These black stones reference the ancient Society Islands marae. In these open-air gathering places, the gods were invoked through their representations; sacrifices were presented; and ancestors were remembered in a union of politics, culture, and religion. The imposition of marae onto Society Islands landscapes allowed chiefs to manage, sanctify, and control their environments, and ancestrally inherited divinity supported claims for use of these structures. Every high-ranking political elite in the Society Islands had a seat at a marae, where familial descent lines were marked through wood carvings, called ti‘i and unu, staked into the ground, which anchored living people to this sacred place.7 Newly initiated Society Islands marae sometimes incorporated a stone removed from the “parent” marae from which the new structure descended.8 Echoing this genealogical index but enacting a reversal of the physical pattern of dispersal, the Duff monument at Point Venus assembles stones from elsewhere in Polynesia for chronological incorporation into a unifying symbolic structure. The spread of the new religion is depicted as a historicized unification of geographically dispersed islanders under the umbrella of Christianity, with implied present-tense continuity linking currently living islanders with their converted ancestors as well as their fellow Christians elsewhere in the region. The assembly of Christians in Polynesia took human form at the inauguration of the monument when members of churches in Tahiti and elsewhere in the region assembled for a folk festival in indigenous cultural form.9 In contrast with a monument’s intended persistence through changing generations, this festival was ephemeral, transient, and collectively shared in the presence of others. ANCIENT AND EPHEMERAL Approximately two centuries after mass conversions effected intense transformations of Polynesian landscapes, forces of entropy and decay are at work as sites important to long-ago discarded religions lie fallow to the encroaching jungle. In Tonga, unruly vegetation covers the stone slabs of ancient royal tombs (langi), which often take the form of stepped pyramids. In small thatched shrines that formerly stood near them, ancestral deities were invoked and summoned. At these locations, burial feasts for the most revered chiefs included days-long processions with extensive self-mutilations that appalled the Duff missionaries.10 Contemporary Christian tombs in Tonga are more cheerful and interactive, often elaborately decorated with white sand, floral arrangements, and colorful quilts. Before the 2018 cyclone Gita inflicted its wrath, a visitor to Tonga would have observed many towering Christian churches, kept pristine and regularly packed with worshippers whose harmonious congregational singing reverberates from the walls; a placard outside the Centenary Church in Nuku‘alofa reports a seating capacity of four thousand. A cyclone may have damaged structures in Tonga, but Christianity is a religion of the heart. While Polynesian languages were oral before missionaries developed orthographies for them, both printed texts and oral means are used to keep missionary history alive in Polynesia today through sermons, religious education, and other means of dissemination. Reversing the implications of iconoclasm at Tonga’s nineteenth-century pivot toward Christianity, unexpected natural damage to the physical structures of Christianity may actually intensify the beliefs that mobilized their construction by redirecting worshippers to the textual and immaterial basis of the religion. While the presence and maintenance of towering churches offers visual evidence of the continuing impact of Christianity in Tonga, a diminutive yet conceptually significant monument to an early arrival of missionaries stands in Hihifo, Tongatapu. A langi in miniature, the terraced base of the monument is comprised of modern poured concrete, and the monument itself is a vertical granite slab bearing a silhouette of the pages of an open book inscribed with a commemoration of the 1826 arrival of Methodist missionaries at this location. While a visitor must swing open a gate and step across marshy grass on private land to observe the monument, the historical impact of Methodist missionaries on Tonga is incontestable. This monument is celebratory: “So honored & joyful we are in founding this monument as a token for Almighty God, Father & Son & Holy Spirit having sanctified, placed as free consecrated here the landing of Christian Religion,” the monument reads, in a 2008 passage by ‘Ilaisa Futa ‘i Ha‘angana Helu describing the monument’s establishment with financial support from Siosifa Filini Sikuea and his family. Other monuments to missionaries in Polynesia include one to the London Missionary Society’s John Williams in Sapapali‘i, Savai‘i, Samoa, and another honoring him in American Samoa, outside the Siona Chapel in Leone. Not all of them remember foreigners: in the Cook Islands, a group initially evangelized by islander missionaries, a bronze plaque next to a stone in an upraised flower bed in Avarua, Rarotonga, identifies this site as the location where the missionary Papeiha preached his first sermon in 1823. The Hawai‘ian ‘Ōpūkahai‘a, who converted to Christianity in the United States and desperately wished to evangelize Hawai‘ians before his 1818 death from typhus, escalated incipient plans for the first mission to Hawai‘i. ‘Ōpūkahai‘a’s initial gravesite in Cornwall, Connecticut, memorializes his legacy, as does a small memorial chapel near his birthplace at Punalu‘u, Ka‘u, Hawai‘i, and a cluster of markers at the Kona, Hawai‘i site of his 1993 reinternment. In 2018, ‘Ōpūkahai‘a’s legacy became the first in a series of events Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives in Honolulu is presenting in commemoration of the 2020 bicentennial of missionary presence. As ongoing dimensions of its public programming, Mission Houses offers public tours of its site, which include an 1821 frame house erected by missionaries; the presentation of Hawai‘ian hula, chant (mele), and music; and the staging of living history in the form of “Cemetery Pupu Theater,” in which actors in period costume dramatize lives of the deceased buried at the cemetery of the adjacent Kawaiaha‘o Church. Four successive thatched huts preceded this 1842 church, which was constructed of some fourteen thousand coral blocks, each weighing around one thousand pounds, which Hawaiians chiseled from the submerged reef.11 Other Hawai‘ian sites of missionary heritage are also open to the public: the Baldwin Home and Museum in Lahaina, Maui; the Wai‘oli Mission District at Hanalei Bay, Kaua‘i; and the Lyman Museum and Mission House in Hilo on the Big Island. Similarly, New Zealand preserves historic sites established by the Church Missionary Society (Te Waimate Mission and the Kerikeri Mission Station), the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (Māngungu Mission), and the French Marist Brothers (the Pompallier Mission and Printery). Expanding the consideration of missionary heritage to churches, chapels, cathedrals, convents, monasteries, and basilicas would generate hundreds of additional sites for discussion, and if monuments to missionaries were removed from Polynesia, monuments about them would still exist, including potential sites for pilgrimage. Outside the State Capitol building in Honolulu, a figurative statue remembers Father Damien, who died of leprosy in 1889 while serving the leper colony on the island of Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i, and was canonized as a saint in 2009 by the Roman Catholic Church. A relic (a bone from his right foot) is located in Honolulu, and another relic, Damien’s right hand, is buried in Moloka‘i. His initial tomb on Moloka‘i is a site of remembrance, as is his current resting place in St. Anthony’s Chapel in Leuven, Belgium, where his remains were repositioned in 1936. Another monument to Father Damien stands in his Belgian hometown. IMPLICATIONS OF ERASURE Since James E. Young coined the term “counter-monument” in 1992, scholars have analyzed a diversity of examples. Counter-monuments may commemorate trauma and victimization rather than heroism, warn of evils of the past, or provoke rather than console viewers. Tactics may include inverting the repertoire of representational codes of traditional monuments, such as imposing scale, solidity, and elevation; embodying ephemerality or transience, including viewer participation and elements that are added or vanish over time; or staging performative actions.12 Some counter-monuments are established by marginalized groups contesting a master narrative through a competing discourse that corrects, reclaims, or decolonizes history. Counter-monuments sponsored by a nation-state may incorporate ambiguity and abstraction while negotiating complex pasts and including victims of injustice, but such ambivalence and refusal to endorse a singular viewpoint may delegitimize victims’ trauma, stoking tension rather than reconciliation, or may simply go unnoticed by oblivious passers-by.13 “How does one remember an absence?” Young asked in 1992. “Under what memorial aegis, whose rules, does a nation remember its own barbarity?”14 In commemorating a past erasure, the Duff monument is not conflicted or ambivalent; two centuries ago, Christianity provided the motive and still offers a framework and road map by which past violence is rejected. The Duff monument is not an indigenous response to a singular “traditional” monument in the Western iteration of a public sculptural glorification of past achievements, but it does repudiate an entire previous system, which was expressed in still-visible monumental architecture (marae), desecrated more than 150 years before the monument emerged. As the ancient marae incorporated stones from preexisting structures, coding their ancestry into sites, the Duff monument incorporates indigenous concepts of space and time. The Duff monument maintains visible remnants of a past that has been conquered but also simultaneously unifies Polynesian islands in the assertion of a new genealogy, one that gathers stones from geographically dispersed islands to assemble them through a shared Christian heritage. The temptation to conceptualize the Duff monument in an oppositional binary between white proto-colonizers and passive Polynesian victims of foreign intrusion dissolves in the collaborative dimensions of this monument’s design and continued maintenance. The monument was created in consultation with the government of French Polynesia, which owns the land and financed the construction, and the Evangelical Church of French Polynesia. Parishioners provided free labor at the monument’s 1970 construction, and the Mahina district, which is responsible for maintaining the construction, refurbished the monument in 2015.15 Although the Duff departed from England, were this monument solely a state conception erected on public land, the monument could be interpreted as a French colonial apology and attempt at reconciliation; conversely, were it an entirely church-sponsored edifice positioned on or near a Christian site, the secular impact of Christianity in Tahiti could go unrecognized. Protestant Christianity in Tahiti actively contests a legacy of colonial victimization while preserving the repudiation of its own pre-Christian religious system. The Church does not simply exist to continuously defy ancient Tahitian religion in an oppositional process now more than two centuries in duration, but instead is actively engaged in countering a variety of forms of evil manifested in the contemporary lives of church members. The Protestant church, now renamed the Ma‘ohi Protestant Church in recognition of its indigenous roots, is currently active in protesting nuclear injustice. Unrelated to the Duff monument, Pape‘ete, Tahiti, hosts a Memorial Site for Nuclear Testings, erected in 2006 in solemn recognition of the 193 atomic bombs France detonated in French Polynesia from 1966 to 1996. Three thin, vertical, wooden carvings protrude from a small courtyard of stones, reminiscent of the unu figures that formerly adorned ancient marae. Unlike the Duff monument, these representations do not seem to defy the corpus of traditional material heritage from which they are drawn. The Duff monument at Point Venus is actively integrated into festivals and celebrations that continually revitalize this counterpoint to the marae, and in counter-monumental function, it warns and educates16 through its endorsement of Christianity. Each year, French Polynesia celebrates the public holiday “Arrivée de l’Evangile” (Arrival of the Gospel) on March 5, the date of the Duff’s arrival. The monument’s design also includes interactive features: the retaining wall surrounding the monument is two hundred centimeters high—one centimeter for each year of the mission at its 1997 bicentennial—but the additions of flat stones stacked atop the wall indicate the ongoing progress of evangelization.17 In their public nature, these “alternative commemorative practices” could be viewed as oppositional to the secretive religious rites held in the ancient marae, where prerogatives to manage both sacred and secular power were ancestral. It would be disingenuous to suggest that Christianity entirely and permanently erased every vestige of precontact Polynesian religion. In recent decades, strides have been made to preserve as well as revive ancient Polynesian traditions, and some ancient Polynesian worship spaces have been renovated and restored. The ancient marae Taputapuātea at Opoa in Ra‘iātea, Society Islands, achieved status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. Missionary William Ellis would not have been impressed; he cited this marae as the first site of human sacrifices in the Society Islands, from whence they spread to Tahiti, “where they were offered with great frequency, and in appalling numbers.”18 Although the refurbishment of ancient marae could be seen as archaeologically neutral, that would ignore the proud revivals of Polynesian culture, which might be seen either to resuscitate the sites to which the Duff monument is a counter-monument or might in fact assert an entirely new history for marae structures—one which revitalizes them without endorsing their history of human sacrifices. This tension emerges from a continual negotiation of history. Whether in monuments, churches, or marae, the construction and maintenance of these structures exports into the visible realm indications of a collective effort mobilized for shared communal use, but this activity correlates with a more important operation internal to users of the site. One religion has not simply conquered another in Polynesia; the Christian conversions of two centuries ago were not a singular event, now finished and complete. Each generation must do its own work of remembering histories it never lived through, deciding which elements to retain and in what manner. The Duff monument performs this through present-tense assemblies that remember past erasures. NOTES 1. Wilson 1799, 157. 2. The best-known sources for the history of the Duff are Davies 1961; Ellis 1833; LMS Transactions, 1804, Vol. I; Lovett 1899; Vason 1840; and Williams 1837. The Missionary Society was renamed the London Missionary Society in 1818. 3. Vason 1840. 4. Davies 1961, 197. 5. Ellis 1833, Vol. 2, 165. 6. Central Intelligence Agency 2017. 7. Wilson 1799, 207–14 for Duff descriptions. 8. Williamson 1924, 73–75. 9. Rodolphe Weinmann, personal communication, January 21, 2018. 10. Wilson 1799, 239–44. 11. Kawaiaha‘o Church. 12. Stevens et al. 2010. 13. Strakosch 2010. 14. Young 1992, 290, 270. 15. Rodolphe Weinmann, personal communication, January 21, 2018. 16. Stevens et al. 2012, 955. 17. Tahiti Heritage. 18. Ellis 1833, Vol. 1, 93. REFERENCES Central Intelligence Agency. 2017. The World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. Davies, John. The History of the Tahitian Mission, 1799–1830. Edited by C. W. Newbury. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press (Hakluyt Society), 1961. Ellis, William. Polynesian Researches, during a Residence of Nearly Eight Years in the Society and Sandwich Islands. Vols. 1 and 2. From the latest London edition. New York: J. and J. Harper, 1833. Kawaiaha‘o Church. “About Us.” Accessed January 2018. [London] Missionary Society. Transactions of the Missionary Society from Its Institution in the Year 1795, to the End of the Year 1802. Vol. I. Second Edition. London: T. Williams, 1804. Cited as LMS Transactions. Lovett, Richard. The History of the London Missionary Society, 1795−1895. Vol. 1. London: Henry Frowde, 1899. Stevens, Quentin, Karen A. Franck, and Ruth Fazakerley. “Counter-Monuments: The Anti-Monumental and the Dialogic.” The Journal of Architecture 17, no. 6 (2012): 951–72. DOI: 10.1080/13602365.2012.746035. Strakosch, Elizabeth. “Counter-Monuments and Nation-Building in Australia.” Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 22, no. 3 (2010): 268–75. DOI: 10.1080/10402659.2010.502065. Tahiti Heritage. Arrivée des missionnaires protestants à Tahiti, le 5 mars 1797. Vason, George. Narrative of the Late George Vason of Nottingham: One of the First Missionaries Sent Out by the London Missionary Society in the Ship Duff, Captain Wilson, 1796 [. . .]. Edited by Rev. James Orange. London: Henry Mozley and Sons, 1840. Williams, John. A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands, with Remarks Upon the Natural History of the Islands, Origin, Languages, Traditions, and Usages of the Inhabitants. London: J. Snow, 1837. Williamson, Robert W. The Social and Political Systems of Central Polynesia. Vol. 2. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1924. [Wilson, William]. A Missionary Voyage to the Southern Pacific Ocean, Performed in the Years 1796, 1797, 1798, in the Ship Duff, Commanded by Captain James Wilson. Compiled from Journals of the Officers and Missionaries [. . .]. London: T. Chapman, 1799. Young, James E. “The Counter-Monument: Memory Against Itself in Germany Today.” Critical Inquiry 18, no. 2 (1992): 267–96.

Do you need urgent help with this or a similar assignment? We got you. Simply place your order and leave the rest to our experts.

Order Now

Quality Guaranteed!

Written From Scratch.

We Keep Time!

Scroll to Top