The formal study of kinship was introduced to the South Pacific Islands and the Australian colonies by Methodist missionary Lorimer Fison who distributed schedules and collected kinship data from around the region in collaboration with the founder of Anthropology in America, Lewis Henry Morgan. This article is a sequel to H. Gardner, 2008 'The origins of kinship in Oceania', Oceania, 78:2, 137-150. It traces Lorimer Fison's return to the Australian colonies from his mission post in Fiji and the subsequent spread of kinship schedules to settlers, missionaries and administrators around Australia. Based on unpublished correspondence, the article investigates Fison's gradual disillusionment with Morgan's evolutionist hypothesis of the development of the human family and his disdain for the speculation of much metropolitan anthropology in the 1870s.
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Field of Research
210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
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