Abstract

This article contributes to scholarship on the legal relationships between people in imperial and colonial settings through an analysis of the juridical meanings that could be found in the Tahitian word taio and its European cognate, friendship, in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. I argue that taio provided a space for the negotiation of trade, sentiment, and authority across cultures; it was where European and Tahitian juridical traditions of friendship became entangled. Interrogating how missionaries, traders, and colonial administrators engaged with taio demonstrates the historiographical necessity of going beyond present-day European legal language to examine how non-European laws were taken up by imperial actors and shaped to create hybrid legal forms.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8050
Print ISSN
1045-6007
Pages
pp. 219-248
Launched on MUSE
2017-11-23
Open Access
No
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