Maurice Leenhardt( 9 March 1878 - 26 January 1954 )
Maurice Leenhardt , was a French pastor and ethnologist specialising in the Kanak people of New Caledonia.
Leenhardt was born in Montauban.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Protestant authorities concerned themselves with the evangelisation of the Kanaks, in competition with the Marist Brothers. Maurice Leenhardt was named pastor in 1902 in New Caledonia where he founded the "Dö nèvâ" mission in the valley of Houailou. Going beyond his role of pastor, he applied himself to understanding the mentality of this people on the road to extinction.
When he arrived in New Caledonia, Maurice Leenhardt was welcomed by these words from the mayor of Nouméa: What have you come to do here? In ten years there will be no more Kanaks. He applied himself to the fight against this slow...