The Tongans truly are in touch with the elements Ian, particularly the oceans. To me, it seems that almost everything in their lives is constructed to reflect their strong beliefs in the 'great provider'. This theme can be seen here in the simple interior design.
Friendly Isles, friendly people.
You hit the nail on the head, Jim.
Polynesia has a culture that is created out of their maritime ancestral past and fine tuned by the present. The seascape images I have included in the gallery recently, should help one to grasp that sense, but once immersed in the culture it becomes even more evident. In our Anglo culture, precedence is given to linear time. When we make a commitment, that has precendence over later opportunities. For Polynesia, the immediate relationship has precedence. As soon as one "leaves one canoe to get in another" all prior commitments are cancelled and full attention is paid to the present relationships and situation. That comes from the ancient roots of seagoing canoes and small islands!.. for example.
The variety of concepts of "langi" (tombs, heaven, sky) and the concept of God are very profound in Tongan contemporary and historical belief systems. This church's architecture, as you note, brings all of this together.
It a very special interpretation of the culture and beliefs of Tongan Christians.
Your Mr Cook from Whitby thought they were friendly, even though they were scheming to kill him at the time and the descriptor has stuck, and Tongans are proud of the term, and use it as being the sense of Tongan-ness. Where reality is otherwise they are reminded that they are Friendly Isles residents. It is part of their mega-story that forms national identity.
Warmest greetings to my Maritime Yorkshire friend.
Thank you for both excellent photos, exterior and interior, but even more for your interpretation here. What remarkable insights you are giving into Tongan culture and Tongan Christianity! Best wishes, Marilyn
I admire and appreciate your in-depth knowledge and understanding of Tongan beliefs Ian.
I have come to realise that you are, perhaps without you knowing this, a good ambassador for the peoples of this region and is a measure of your desire to assist a greater understanding.
I am grateful for having learned a little of Tongan culture.
Mr Cook perhaps should not have taken so much for granted. He could possibly have returned home alive.
Many thanks Ian.
I am truly grateful for your interest and engagement on topics such as this, as well as for your affirmations. Thanks, Jim and Marilyn.
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Photo taken in Kanokupolu, Tonga
Misplaced? Suggest new location