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Robert Henry Codrington (15 September 1830, Wroughton, Wiltshire – 11 September 1922) was an Anglican priest and anthropologist who made the first study of Melanesian society and culture. His work is still held as a classic of ethnography.
Codrington wrote, "One of the first duties of a missionary is to try to understand the people among whom he works," and he himself reflected a deep commitment to this value. Codrington worked as headmaster of the Melanesian Mission school on Norfolk Island from 1867 to 1887. Over his many years with the Melanesian people, he gained a deep knowledge of their society, languages, and customs through a close association with them. He also intensively studied Melanesian languages, including the Mota language.
Bibliography of works by Codrington
- The Melanesian Languages. (1885). Oxford: Clarendon Press. (full text from the Internet Archive).
- The Melanesians: Studies in their Anthropology and Folk-Lore. (1891). Oxford: Clarendon Press. (full text from the Internet Archive).
- A Dictionary of the Language of Mota, Sugarloaf Island, Banks' Islands: With a short grammar and index. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
- "Melanesians." Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics. Ed. James Hastings. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 8:529–38.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Davidson, Allan K. "The Legacy of Robert Henry Codrington." International Bulletin of Missionary Research. Oct 2003, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p. 171-176. full text.
- ↑ The Melanesians. Robert Codrington.
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