By Ian Breward
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Extra info for A History of the Churches in Australasia (Oxford History of the Christian Church)
49 The population appears to have been approximately 60,000. The Maohi (the term for Tahitians) were bitterly disappointed by missionary poverty, and their interfering ways. The missionaries did not appreciate Maohi expectations, or how difficult it was going to be to learn a new language without any linguistic aids. They did not understand that the land at Matavai Bay ceded to them was given in expectation of reciprocal benefits. The unfortunate young men landed in the Marquesas were stunned when local women examined their sexual parts, for how could men fail to accept the customary offer of sexual hospitality?
Neither he nor his successor, Marsden, communicated effectively with convict counter-culture. A significant percentage were Irish and Roman Catholic, including some highly educated political prisoners. Some Gaelic speakers could not understand English. Those who did were not disposed to listen to a Protestant telling them the way to heaven, and passively endured the compulsory services. In these early years we cannot speak of a church, only of a military chaplaincy which included limited pastoral care of convicts, some education, and the provision of last rites, plus regular services, mostly attended poorly.
It was a tragedy that both died, unable to resist European diseases. Salvado's work, despite its paternalism, showed what might be accomplished with long-term and deep personal commitment. He even had a good Aboriginal cricket team, a remarkable achievement considering Spanish ignorance of the game. , 255-81; W. McNair and H. ), Pioneer Aboriginal Mission (Perth, 1981). 16 Harris, One Blood, 281—306; E. J. ), The Salvado Memoirs (Perth,1977). 17 Harris, One Blood, 126—38 analyses the failures. Swain, Place for Strangers, shows that Melanesians, Indonesians, and Europeans all contributed to such developments.
A History of the Churches in Australasia (Oxford History of the Christian Church) by Ian Breward