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Polynesian origins

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Petelo » Wed, 09 Jul 2014, 03:42

Polynesians originated in Samoa.


Whatever they were before they landed in Samoa (and probably Tonga at the same time), they weren't polynesian.

Well, that is my story and I am sticking with it.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Wed, 09 Jul 2014, 05:48

Well, we might also argue that they weren't 'Polynesians' until the Europeans rocked up and called them that (Polynesian being Greek for 'many islands).' :lol:

Anthropologists refer to them as Mongoloid-Austroloid, a hybrid race who migrated out of South East Asia a few thousand years ago into both the Pacific Ocean and across the Indian Ocean to Madagascar (see earlier in thread). The Melanesians, predominantly Austroloid, had already got as far as Fiji, meaning the newcomers had to push on a little further. I believe Samoa and Tonga were settled around 2000 years ago. The name of the largest island Savaii is supposed to have a common root to the name of Hawaii and also the 'mythical' Maori homeland of 'Hawaiki' - which was most likely Raiatea in the Tahitian archepelago.
If they're good enough to play at World Cups, then why not in between?

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Petelo » Wed, 09 Jul 2014, 08:40

Savaii was the 'jump off' point for the migration of Eastern Polynesia. Places in Eastern Polynesia are named after Savaii according to linguists or anthropologists, I forget which.

Europeans named the regional triangle as 'Polynesia' of course. But the islands cultural and societal similarities already existed. Even today I can understand some maori, tongan, rarotogan, tokelauan, niuean etc because there are very similar words in those languages to Samoan. However, I cannot understand any words in the melanesian languages.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby iul » Wed, 09 Jul 2014, 08:53

The polynesians are providing an interesting insight into human nature.... they went to those little isolated places like Easter Island and Hawaii and promptly proceeded to have a warrior culture splitting the small populations they had into tribes and going to war against each other instead chilling and living peacefully.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Adamstown 7's » Wed, 09 Jul 2014, 10:06

The moriori's were pretty peacefull....until the Taranaki Maoris ate their heads!

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Wed, 09 Jul 2014, 10:53

There is a school of thought, Petelo, that the mythical Maori 'homeland' of Hawaiki is indeed Savaii and that they carried this with them through the centuries during migrations from Samoa to Tahiti, then Tahiti to New Zealand. Similarly, the Hawaiians clearly did the same, and actually named their islands after it. Interesting to note, also, that the 2nd largest island of of Hawaii was named after the Polynesian demi-god Maui, while the North Island of New Zealand was named Te Ika a Maui (the Fish of Maui).
If they're good enough to play at World Cups, then why not in between?

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Petelo » Wed, 09 Jul 2014, 21:39

iul wrote:The polynesians are providing an interesting insight into human nature.... they went to those little isolated places like Easter Island and Hawaii and promptly proceeded to have a warrior culture splitting the small populations they had into tribes and going to war against each other instead chilling and living peacefully.


Human nature indeed.

The hierarchical nature of polynesian society is directly linked to the nature of the migrations. You cannot have migration fleets travelling vast distances of the ocean if everyone has their say on which way to go. There needed to be a very strict command structure - ie: One person or a few people at the top making all the decisions and everyone else following orders. Otherwise, everyone dies on the open ocean.

It is the same thing when they land on small islands with little resources. Strict command structures must be enforced so that everyone gets something to eat and drink. This is why there was a need for someone at the top and others following orders. When you're in an extreme environment such as that, you cannot afford to have someone taking more than their fair share, but human nature being human nature, there would've been a 'survival of the fittest' type of mentality, so when one group spots a weakness, they pounce. Or when one group perceives the other group is getting more than their fair share, fighting starts.

Two key reasons for the warrior mentality in polynesian societies. You still see it today. A village, family, clan in Samoa and Tonga is run almost like an army regiment. Orders go down the chain of command and obeyance (if that is a word) goes up.

On a related note, those open ocean sailing is a reason why obesity is highly prevalent in the region nowadays. It has something to do with the genetic makeup of polynesians from the first migrations. Fast-twitch fibres designed for explosive muscle for high physical activity and bodies designed for long periods without food. So metabolism had to be slow so that the body can survive long periods without food on the open ocean. Back then, fat would've been stored in bodies for this very reason. But nowadays, fat is stored and there is no physical activity especially in the older generations + introduction of western foods, high in calories.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Thu, 10 Jul 2014, 05:33

Interesting post, Petelo. Thanks. Yes, you make some interesting points there. The Polynesians had a highly stratified society with chiefs, high priests and war generals, etc. The Tongans were a particularly military people and were actually hired out as 'policemen' by other islands. Another factor to consider in the traditionally warlike nature of the Polynesian peoples is over-population and lack of food sources. That certainly appears to have led to, among other thing, human sacrifices, which probably reached a high point in the Tahitian archipelago before the discoveries of other lands, including Hawaii & New Zealand. These journeys were made in giant catamarans with large huts built over the middle. In these they were able to travel vast distances, navigating by the sun and stars, at a time when only the Vikings in Europe were venturing beyond sight of land. Meanwhile, renowned scientist and author Jared Diamond specifically referred to Polynesians (and Arabs) when he wrote about peoples who have made a rapid transition to a Western diet. It is precisely because of their traditional need to horde and store nutrition and energy (ie sugar) the consequence has been high levels of obesity and diabetes. In saying that, it is a fact that societies such as Hawaii (in particular) did regard obesity as prestigious, and is was therefore encouraged long before the arrival o Euopeans.
If they're good enough to play at World Cups, then why not in between?

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Neptune » Thu, 22 Dec 2016, 09:56

Petelo wrote:Polynesians originated in Samoa.


Whatever they were before they landed in Samoa (and probably Tonga at the same time), they weren't polynesian.

Well, that is my story and I am sticking with it.


Is it true that the polynesians in New Zealand and Australia undergo a lot of racism? Basically, im talking about the maoris.
I saw a doccumentary by Ross Kemp on the maori's in New Zealand, and it painted a very sad picture of the maoris. Please inform me. Thanks

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby ianz » Thu, 19 Oct 2017, 12:27

Actually, some theories of Polynesian origins are that they came from South America! They sailed west eventually reaching the Polynesian triangle.

Some scientists also think Polynesians are from Easter Island! It is not proven who made all those statues on Easter Island, so scientists think it is Polynesians origins.

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