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The word mana and its cognates exist in a number of languages within the Oceanic branch of the Austronesian language family, most of these within the Eastern Oceanic subgroup that includes languages of Northern Vanuatu, Fiji, Rotuma, Polynesia and Central Micronesia. Social evolutionary theorists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries worried over the defining characteristics of the various evolutionary stages, and vigorously debated the exact sequencing of those putative stages of human progress. Argument about the evolution of religion fixated partly upon the Austronesian word mana, and this term has since been a staple of anthropological and comparative religious analytics.