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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Familiar Space in Social Memory

  • Author(s): Bennardo, Giovanni
  • et al.

In this article, I present an analysis of the results of a memory task (free listing) about social relationships administered to Tongans of Polynesia. Contrary to claims by Weller and Romney (1988) and Ross (2004), the free listing activity did not yield the expected results, i.e., salient social individuals occupying positions at the top of the list. The strategy used to report the village population was prominently spatial. Besides, the analysis of accurate geographical renditions of the memory lists (memory routes), revealed spatial strategies in line with the preferences already documented about spatial relationships (Bennardo, 2000a, 2002b). A discussion of the implications of such findings for an hypothesized Tongan foundational cultural model closes the article.

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