1840: Polygamy made sense in Levuka as the care of a Feejee household was “too much hard work for one woman”

An American visitor to Levuka, Fiji, in 1940, said “Everything relating to the procuring and preparing of food, except in part the taking of fish, appeared to devolve upon the women ; and I often met them bearing (on the back) enormous loads of firewood and yams”.

Men carry no burdens: “On the other hand, I do not remember to have seen the men carrying burdens, unless when hired (through the chiefs) to bring supplies of wood, water, and provisions, for trading vessels”.

Men exclusively control canoes and taro: “The men, however, exclusively manage the canoes, which, as well as the houses, they also build ; they construct the terraces for taro cultivation, and engage in other details of agricultural industry. These occupations, however, take up a comparatively small portion of their time ; and in reference to the prevalence of polygamy, I heard a resident declare, that the care of a Feejee household was ” too much hard work for one woman.”
The Races Of Man; By Charles Pickering, M.D., Member Of The United States Exploring Expedition.


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