It is often noted in the academic literature that chiefdoms frequently prove to be troublesome for scholars because of the disagreement as to whether to categorize this or that polity as a complex chiefdom or as an early state. This is no wonder, because complex chiefdoms, early states, as well as different other types of sociopolitical systems (large confederations, large self-governed civil and temple communities etc.) turn out to be at the same evolutionary level. In the present article it is argued that such complex societies can be considered as early state analogues. The most part of the article is devoted to the analysis of the most developed chiefdoms – the Hawaiian ones. It is argued that before the arrival of Cook there was no state in Hawaii. It should be classified as an early state analogue, i.e. a society of the same level of development as early states but lacking some state characteristics. It proceeds from the fact that the entire Hawaiian political and social organization was based on the strict rules and ideology of kinship, and the ruling groups represented endogamous castes and quasi-castes. The transition to statehood occurred only in the reign of Kamehameha I in the early 19th century. A scrupulous comparison between the Hawaiian chiefdoms and Hawaiian state is presented in the article.
It is recognized widely enough that a pre-state society in order to get transformed into a state must have a certain size of territory and population, a necessary degree of sociocultural complexity and an ability to produce sufficient quantities of surplus. However, sometimes cultures significantly exceed required levels of those parameters without forming states. In addition to this, we know historically and ethnographically a considerable number of stateless societies not at all inferior to the early state societies with respect to their territory, population, sociocultural and/or political complexity. So, the question is: how to classify such societies? Compared to unquestionably pre-state societies, such as, for example, simple chiefdoms, they are not only larger in size but much more complex as well. In certain sense, they can be regarded as being at the same level of sociocultural development as early-state societies. And, since both types of societies faced similar problems and solved similar tasks, I denote complex stateless societies as early state analogues. This article is an attempt to analyze such analogues and compare them with early states.