Chiefdoms Case Study

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Register to read the introduction… Explain the impact forced and voluntary conversion to Christianity has had on the leadership structure and social control of chiefdoms using one of these two perspectives in which to make your argument. Include specific examples and terminology from Chapter Six to reinforce your point of view.
The Polynesians believed that their chiefs possessed a force called mana. It was of supernatural nature and could be used to influence things like crops because he was given the power from God (Nowak, B., & Laird, P. 2010). Christianity obviously does not believe in such things so as this religion comes in, everything they once believed goes out. A society that once respected and listened to their leader because they thought God had given him special powers, now did not see it the same way.
This also happen in Tahiti in 1815. Some may look at this as Christianity destroying other cultures, but if that were the case I think Tahiti would be more like London now. It did not destroy, it just changed. Change is not always
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Chapter 6 talks about religion to me as if it was helping tribes become converted into a more mainstream religion. And by doing this they got rid of some of the rituals such as in Tahiti, the London Missionary Society set out in 1815 to destroy all local, traditional cul­ture, such as Tahitian dance, music, and native religious culture, including wood carvings and temples.(Nowak, B., & Laird, P. (2010) This made the chiefdoms essentially go away from the tribes. From an etic point of view I do not see how Christianity has any right to do that. The tribes that are mentioned in chapter 6 seem to have had years of tradition and heritage and now because of the Christian church it is gone. The chief’s status is legitimized by the moral and religious system. Chiefs rule by super­natural authority, mana. This concept is exceedingly important even today. To have mana is to have influence, authority, and efficacy—the power to perform in a given situation. People, places, and even governments that possess mana are given respect. (Nowak, B., & Laird, P. (2010) Now because Christianity has forced tribes to convert the Chiefs have lost the mana and have given to a bigger more powerful religion.
The changes the voluntary conversion to Christianity was huge. The chiefs in the Chiefdom served as a political leader whose role was "to have been established by a supernatural power. (Nowak, Laird 2010)” This “ranked society” or theocracies (Nowak, Laird 2010) was limited to the class and gender in the society and was restricted to males. Once Christianity came in, women became ordained, the use of lay people, affected the status of the chiefs. They were no longer special on a religious front and began to convert to

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