At the Gateways of the Day Social Sensitivity

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Traditional Polynesian society was promiscuous and warlike. Colum generally avoids addressing these facets of the culture in At the Gateways of the Day. His original sources were more frank in their depiction of the traditional culture, but Colum intended these stories to give "an image of life to kings and soldiers, to courtiers and to ruling women." He explained, "As in all stories not intended for children, much has had to be suppressed in retelling them for a youthful audience."

Traditional Polynesian society strictly subordinated the women to the men.

Mark Twain, who visited the islands about sixty years before Colum, left this account of the woman's role: "Her place was to do all the work, take all the cuffs, provide all the food, and content herself with what was left after her lord had finished his dinner." Under the tapu system, women were even forbidden...

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This section contains 248 words
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Buy the At the Gateways of the Day Short Guide
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