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Polynesian origins

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Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Tue, 10 Jun 2014, 07:43

Polynesia means Many Islands, and applies to most of the islands of the Pacific Ocean, all but one of which were inhabited by the Polynesian peoples (an Australoid-Mongoloid hybrid) before the arrival of Europeans.

Australoid and Mongoloid are two of the four major ethnic groups - the others being Caucasoid and Negroid (the people of the Indian sub-continent are considered an Australoid-Caucasoid hybrid, while the San 'Bushmen' of southern Africa do not belong to any of these groups).

Australoid originated in South East Asia and migrated into Australia during the Ice Age, when glaciers mounted up across Eurasia and North America caused the world's sea levels to drop by 300 metres, joining Siberia to Alaska (through which the ancestors of Native Americans wandered), and creating a sub-continent of Malaysia/Indonesia which was separated from Australia/Papua New Guinea only by the narrowest of straits. These man was able to cross, with his dog (ancestor of the dingo), to hunt the innumerable species of marsupial abundant in what were, in the Ice Age, the teeming grasslands of Australasia.

Mongoloid pressed down into South East Asia, there hybridising with Australoid and producing a variety of offshoots. Among the first were the ancestors of the Melanesian. Predominantly Australoid, they migrated out into the islands of the South West Pacific. It seems they never progressed beyond Fiji, an archipelago which obviously satisfied their needs.

They were followed several thousand years ago by the ancestors of the Polynesians. These were a fairly even Mongoloid-Australoid hybrid, using Mongoloid agricultural techniques and speaking an Austronesian language.

Australoid-Mongoloid also migrated west, and were the first inhabitants of Madagascar.

Those who headed east appear to have bypassed Fiji and settled the neighbouring islands of Samoa and Tonga around two thousand years ago.

Within 300 years the Polynesians had progressed as far as the Tahitian archipelago. Here they developed a highly-stratified, religious society. They pioneered the giant double-hulled canoes, which could carry scores of men hundreds of kilometres a day.

They later settled Hawaii over 2000kms to the North (there remains a point in Hawaii named, in Polynesian, the Path to Bora Bora, northermost island of the Tahitian archipelago), Rarotonga (the Cook Islands) in the West and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the East.

It is possible they reached South America, as they were in possession of American crops in pre-European times and called some of them by similar names to the American natives (compare American 'cumer' to Polynesian 'Kumera' for the sweet potato). Contact with South America might also help to explain some of the strange myths of Rapa Nui, which refer to battles between Long Ears and Short Ears, and whose stone statues are reminiscent of the continent.

Around the eighth or ninth centuries the people of the Tahitian archipelago also managed to find New Zealand, a 4000km journey to the south-west.

According to popular legend, Kupe was the captain and Rangi was the high priest aboard the first canoe to reach New Zealand's shores. It is believed the arrivals spied the snow-capped peaks of the mountains , thought they were looking at clouds and thus named the islands Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud. The South Island was later named Te Wai Pounamu, the Big Canoe, and the North Island Te Ika a Maui, the Fish of Maui.
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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby 4N » Tue, 10 Jun 2014, 16:43

Those who headed east appear to have bypassed Fiji and settled the neighbouring islands of Samoa and Tonga around two thousand years ago.


Not entirely, right? Aside from wayward Rotuma, an entirely Polynesian enclave, Fiji's eastern/Lau islands have lots of Polynesian (Tongan) cultural and genetic input.

Easter Island is a fascinating question - how the monoliths came about, where the legend of two separate groups originated (and whether they were just socially distinct or ethnically as well), and some of the word cognates you mention with South American native peoples.

Rugby was established on Easter Island in the mid 2000s, and a couple of islanders have even made Chilean youth teams. They have their own Polynesian pre-match ritual challenge, the 'hoko': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO0v3yieIBo

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Tue, 10 Jun 2014, 20:17

Thanks, 4N. I wasn't aware of the demographics on Rotuma. I do know the Fijians used to hire the Tongans as policemen, and that the Tongans actually occupied Samoa and enslaved their people for several centuries. The Tongans are also listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the biggest people in the World (not the tallest, which goes to the Dutch, with an average male height of 185cm). One reason for this is that Tonga was one of the few Pacific Islands never to be colonized.
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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby iul » Tue, 10 Jun 2014, 20:28

so, they're the most obese?

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby martin.dunham » Tue, 10 Jun 2014, 20:49

iul wrote:so, they're the most obese?


The US is the most obese country, and I think it's by a pretty large margin.
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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Tue, 10 Jun 2014, 20:57

Yes, the Tongans are just BIG - heavy-boned and full of muscle. However, they do tend to suffer from chronic obesity in later life, as do all Polynesians. I believe that in Hawaii this was actually regarded as prestigious, a sign of prosperity perhaps, so that people would actually do everything they could to become as fat as humanly possible in order to earn the respect of their kinsmen.

What's really interesting is that the Polynesians (and native Madagascans) are of the same ethnic constitution as the South East Asians - WHO are tiny. It's all down to nutrition, apparently.
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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Adamstown 7s » Tue, 10 Jun 2014, 21:28

Isn't Nauru one of the most obese percapita?

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Tue, 10 Jun 2014, 21:39

97%, though there's only 10,000 people. It's the 2nd smallest nation in the world (the Vatican is the smallest).

"Polynesians" in Africa:

The prevalented theory is the first inhabitants of Madagascar were a Malayo-Polynesian speaking people of Austronesian, or mixed Austronesian-Negroid, ethnicity.

They are thought to have reached the giant African island in Biblical times, or shortly after, about when their ethnic kinsmen were travelling from Samoa and Tonga toward Tahiti.

Austroloid peoples originated in South East Asia and had been expanding into Australia and the Pacific since the Stone Age. They progressed as far as Fiji in the east. The Melanesian (black lands) are the islands inhabited by their descendants.

It seems there was a fresh wave of mixed Mongoloid-Austroloid migrations, beginning just a few thousand years ago, most probably as Mongoloid began to press down from North East Asia.

Polynesia simply means 'many lands' and is the name given to the Austroloid-Mongoloid race which inhabited these islands.

Austroloid-Mongoloid also migrated west, along the southern coast of Asia and the east coast of Africa. Whether or not they mixed with African natives before their arrival in Madagascar remains a mystery. It is known that the Arabs introduced native Africans to the island after they began trading there in the seventh century AD.

Europeans did not discover Madagascar until eight years after Colombus had reached the Americas.

Diogo Dias of Portugal became the first Euorpean to sight the island in 1500. The French began trading there in the 17th century, then invaded in 1883, establishing a protectorate two years later.

The majority of the population remains of mixed Austronesian-Negroid ethnicity. The national language, Malagasy, is a member of the Malayo-Polynesian family. A caste system is active among the 18 ancient tribes of the island. The Merina are the largest among them.
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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Suavai » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 04:22

Don't forget other polynesian groups in Melanesia and Micronesia, polynesian outliers.

from wikipedia

Polynesian outlier cultures are scattered across five countries of the Pacific: in the Federated States of Micronesia, in Papua New Guinea, in the Solomon Islands, in Vanuatu, and in New Caledonia.

The Federated States of Micronesia has two outlier cultures, Kapingamarangi and Nukuoro. Papua New Guinea has three: Nuguria, Nukumanu, and Takuu. The country with the most outlier cultures is the Solomon Islands, with seven: Anuta, Bellona, Ontong Java, Rennell, Sikaiana, Tikopia, and Vaeakau-Taumako. Vanuatu has three: Emae, Makata, Mele (Erakoro, Eratapu) stemming from Rarotonga, (Aniwa) and Futuna. Futuna recognizes links with Tonga. The principal outlier culture in New Caledonia is on Ouvéa in the Loyalty Islands, where the Fagauvea language is spoken.

The links of these people are multiple. They come from Tonga, Samoa, Rarotonga, and the Wallis and Futuna islands. There are groups of Polynesian descent dispersed on the east coast of New Caledonia (Balade, Pouébo). One has even crossed over the centuries from the east coast at Houaïlou to the west coast at Bourail. There is a Polynesian group (from Wallis islands) on South Lifou and one on the coast, coming from Rarotonga. The present inhabitants of Rennell and Bellona have come by way of Ouvéa. Those of Taumako have come from the Ellice islands, as well as part of the inhabitants of Tikopia. There are descendants of the crews of Samoan canoes on Tongoa, Tongariki and Makura in the Shepherds' islands.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Suavai » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 04:24

Also don't forget that a lot of the obesity statistics are based on the stupid flawed BMI bullshit. I was 5.11 feet tall, weighed 101kg with less than 10% body fat was at a high fitness level over 11 in the beep test, 12 second 100 meters, yes i've run it slightly faster but at a lower weight but I was considered obese lol.

Even now without the heavy training, but still keeping fit, less resistance training I would be at 93-94kgs with flat stomach low body fat and I would still be considered heavily over weight.

I got really sick once and hardly ate anything for nearly a month, I got down to 84kgs and my ribs where sticking out and I could hardly stand and I was still considered heavily overweight. The only way I could get into their ideal BMI rating is to starve myself to the point of death lol.

funny thing was even when I was at 100+ kgs people would assume I was in the mid 80's weight range until they had to move me or something.

The youth in the Pacific Islands are a lot less fat than the pacific islander youth iv;e seen in NZ and australia and the ones in the U.S.A are the worst of the lot in terms of being over weight and unfit.

In the islands most of the youth have to do hard work and chores in the plantations, taro patch, fishing, climbing coconut trees, most of them are not fat, in fact I would say they are as fit on average as any other racial group.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 07:45

Didn't mean for this to be a thread about Polynesian obesity :evil: but a quick glance at Wiki tells us the Pacific Islands make up the top 7 nations in the world in this respect. Contributing factors range from a traditional association between large body size and prestige, and the sudden transition to a Western diet. The latter is blamed for the rising levels of diabetes, heart disease, strokes and other illnesses.

However, I would agree with you that Polynesians are naturally very big people, whether regarded as obese or not. They also develop earlier, reaching close to full stature in their mid-teens. The wave of Pacific Island immigration to New Zealand from the late 70s onward actually created a phenomenon within high school rugby known as 'White Flight,' as European (Pakeha) New Zealanders were driven away from the game by the hulking physiques of Samoans, Tongans and others :o
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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Suavai » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 08:15

Rowan wrote:Didn't mean for this to be a thread about Polynesian obesity :evil: but a quick glance at Wiki tells us the Pacific Islands make up the top 7 nations in the world in this respect. Contributing factors range from a traditional association between large body size and prestige, and the sudden transition to a Western diet. The latter is blamed for the rising levels of diabetes, heart disease, strokes and other illnesses.

However, I would agree with you that Polynesians are naturally very big people, whether regarded as obese or not. They also develop earlier, reaching close to full stature in their mid-teens. The wave of Pacific Island immigration to New Zealand from the late 70s onward actually created a phenomenon within high school rugby known as 'White Flight,' as European (Pakeha) New Zealanders were driven away from the game by the hulking physiques of Samoans, Tongans and others :o


Um NZ Maori are polynesians too so......I don't know why the other PI's got blamed solely for whatever white flight.

I was 68kg at 16 and 103 kg at 18 and not much of that was fat, I just had a spurt and I really hit the gymn as well as my regular sports and hard working chores. Might of been my mixed heritage but iv'e seen some of my cousins who where full Pacific Islander too also have very late spurts and we have small people too, my younger brother is only 5.9 ft and 75kg right now, but funny thing he was actually the most feared in his class when it came to physical confrontation. Whats even more amusing is when people who know us, think im him..........20+ kg difference lol.

But yes I do think those statistics about obesity are a bit unbalanced due to the flawed BMI system. Also I would bet my life on it that PI youth in the pacific islands would be healthier and have less body fat compared to pacific island youth living in other countries like the U.S.A, NZ, Australia and others.

And also for the youth age groups 1-30 odd the body fat and average fitness would be higher than quite a few other countries. BMI is a damn joke and doesn't mean anything.

http://www.silkassociates.com/information.php?info_id=9

but yeah I think that polynesians are more at risk of certain medical conditions if they eat more fatty foods which was stated in the article.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1340554/

Also studies have shown more bone density in polys.

here an article on tongans

http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v25/n ... 1822a.html
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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 08:27

Yes, the Maori are Polynesians but, like the native Hawaiians, they are almost entirely of mixed race now. Furthermore, from accounts I have read by early European explorers, they were not a particularly large people to begin with, being described rather as "stocky," perhaps due to their vastly more restricted diet.

White flight: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... id=3584192
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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Suavai » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 08:43

meh no one is 100% pure, seen a lot of NZ Maori's who look just like the old photo's of 100% Maori's in the old days. The ones i've known have been around the same size on average as the samoans other pacific islanders i've known, yes even the short ones where heavier on average compared to the rest of the population, just like PI's.

Anyway that white flight thing shows how stupid those people where, well fearful and xenophobic, we have our own smaller young players as well we are not all behemoths. And the smaller guys are that much better having experience playing with bigger players. Just highlights the importance of technique, fitness and strength training but technique in everything, keeping low, leg drive, how to step, how to tackle, skills, not just all that passing and kicking stuff but close in skills, how to take contact, how to bind to other players how to disrupt binds. How to hit rucks.

And if they are really concerned they should just push for more leagues with weight restrictions like under 80kgs or 85kgs. And get the kids playing in those first or throughout their playing.

Look at david lemi, yes hes not the best winger ever or the best out of the pacific islands but I think hes a good underated player who is unfortunately now past his best but yeah samoa unfortunately has not found a replacement for him.

Back on the white flight I also think part of it was the stigma PI's got in the 70's and 80's with the mass hysteria and its sad to say racism that old muldoon liked to stir up. Imagine having to carry your passport around because you where........brown lol. White flight was not just from the rugby field it was from some neighborhoods too.
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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 08:48

And if they are really concerned they should just push for more leagues with weight restrictions like under 80kgs or 85kgs.


I think that's what happened - schools rugby went from age-grade to weight-grade. :lol: Trouble is, Polynesians, including Maori, do carry their weight a lot more easily, because much of it is natural, not surplus. Good to get your perspective on this, anyway, Suavai.
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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Suavai » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 09:08

um if you guys want some reading on the subject I loved this book by Papa Tom, yes a lot of it is based on our oral history and genealogy but it was a good read, from a pacific islander point of view and can give some insights that other more purely scientific works might not into the culture from a different perspective.

http://www.amazon.com/Vaka-Polynesian-T ... 9820101204

The author

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Davis_ ... politician)

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby 4N » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 13:10

Anyway, a little bit up the page, outlier cultures (or traditional Polynesian islands in non-Polynesian dominated countries) were mentioned. There are indeed a good number in the Solomons. If you've seen the Solomons rugby team, they're clearly Polynesian dominated, despite the country being roughly 95% Melanesian. And these are locals, not recent migrants.

Image

Regarding Native Hawaiians, they're heavily mixed in all but the islands of Molokai and isolated Niihau. Elsewhere you're more likely to find Hawaiians with Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, mainland US white, and a bit of native Hawaiian blood. Descendants of the old Native Hawaiian nobility, still wealthy and influential today, tend to have some very European looking features. In recent decades, Hawaii has received a new injection of Polynesian blood in the form of Samoan and Tongan migrants.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Adamstown 7s » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 13:48

I was of the understanding that the maoris were travellers from Taiwan not Tahiti? Is That righT?? And there is definately some links between the Maori and Easter Islands. The indiginous name for it is Rapa Nui for christ sake! There were also the Morioris, who were indiginous to Aotearoa. Most were raveged by the Taranaki Maori tribe, fleeing to the chatham islands. The last full blooded Moriori (Tommy Solomon) Died in 1933.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby 4N » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 14:09

I was of the understanding that the maoris were travellers from Taiwan not Tahiti? Is That righT??


Not directly from Taiwan, no. But ultimately Taiwanese aboriginals (as distinct from the Taiwanese majority today, with links to mainland Asia/China) seem to have strong genetic ties to Polynesians.

And there is definately some links between the Maori and Easter Islands. The indiginous name for it is Rapa Nui for christ sake! There were also the Morioris, who were indiginous to Aotearoa.


No one would dispute that. All Polynesian languages and cultures are linked, and Maori/Cook Islands/Tahitian/Hawaiian/Easter Island form their own closely related subset.

The Moriori angle can carry some controversy because of how they were misused by Europeans to discredit Maori as the original inhabitants of NZ. It's still debated whether the Moriori arrived as part of the same wave as Maori and evolved a distinct culture on the Chathams in isolation, or whether they were remnants of an earlier Polynesian migration. The theory that they were ethnically different, Melanesian as once claimed, is discredited now.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 19:02

Spot on, 4N. Adamstown, see top of the thread. The Polynesians are considered to have first migrated into the Pacific from South East Asia (and perhaps further North, ie Taiwan), through Indonesia and/or Micronesia, reaching Samoa and Tonga in Biblical times, Tahiti three hundred years later, and Hawaii, Easter Is and NZ from Tahiti. This has pretty much been confirmed by anthropologists and DNA testing alike. They all share the same language. Note that this is significantly different to the Melanesian langauges, although all are part of the Malayo-Austronesian macro-family, including the native language of Madagascar. Moriori were almost certainly a Maori tribe WHO were driven off shore to the remote Chatham Islands. There one of the great tragedies of history occurred. Over the centuries they forgot the art of battle and became among the most passive peoples on this Earth. But when the British arrived they led the Maori to them, and an almighty slaughter ensued. The Moriori were all but wiped out. I believe the last püre Moriori died in the 1920s.
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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby iul » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 19:07

Oh, Morioris, why didn't you kill each other for centuries so you wouldn't forget the art of war?

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Wed, 11 Jun 2014, 21:54

This is a map of pre-colonial DNA patterns, not an accurate map of migrations. Polynesians arrived in NZ from Tahiti, not Samoa or Tonga as the arrows here would appear to indicate (and even a rudimentary analysis of linguistics would support this). What this demonstrates is the general progression of chromosone haplogroups, as opposed to the actual migration routes they followed.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Suavai » Thu, 12 Jun 2014, 05:13

Adamstown 7's wrote:I was of the understanding that the maoris were travellers from Taiwan not Tahiti? Is That righT?? And there is definately some links between the Maori and Easter Islands. The indiginous name for it is Rapa Nui for christ sake! There were also the Morioris, who were indiginous to Aotearoa. Most were raveged by the Taranaki Maori tribe, fleeing to the chatham islands. The last full blooded Moriori (Tommy Solomon) Died in 1933.


they did not flee to the chathams/Rekohu they are believe to have settled there around about the same time the NZ maori where settling the NZ mainland islands, it was actually two tribes that went there Ngati Mutunga and Ngati Tama and they where fleeing enemies they had made during the musket wars and where looking for a safe haven, and actually came on a pakeha ship the rodney. They slew the moriori and enslaved the rest, one thing that made it easy for them was the Moriori practice of a certain form of pacifism, called nunukus law, which forbade all out war they only had ritualized single combate at the time to settle disputes, nunuku was some chief who had brought the custom into place and it was a compact with the gods as an answer to the problems warfare had given them in the past.The irony is the local tribes of moriori welcomed them and looked after them after many where sick from the voyage, then they turned on their hosts, it must of been savage as the two tribes where hardened by a generation of warfare during the musket wars while the moriori had only generations of peace at that time, they did outnumber them and where just as a physically strong people but they had a council and decided to stick to their traditions. Yes many where eaten. Also the european sealers had ignored their tapu about sealing in the breeding grounds which purpose was to keep and maintain the seal numbers and in fact pretty much wiped out the colonies depriving the moriori of one of their staples. Their history is a sad history of NZ, one of complete exploitation and disregard of a dignified and peaceful people.

This sire might shed further light on the Topic. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/moriori/page-4

DNA testing on human remains, and on the remains of the kiore or polynesian rat on the chathams shows that they are a polynesian group and are linked to the same groups as the NZ maori. But in isolation on the chathams they had their own culture and their language differed a bit but was not totally different either.

Another theory and well its not a theory but a fact is that it was not one voyage of discovering then only the people in that one group colonizing an island in fact it was many voyages, and return journeys as well. And at certain times voyages between different islands was common, ok maybe not for the most far flung ones like Hawai'i, Rapanui and Aotearoa but trade/travel between islands in fiji, tonga, and samoa was common and travel between the cook islands, tahiti, Tuamotu's, and the Marguesas. Yes Aotearoa was settled from a group from eastern/central polynesia the language is more closely linked to Tahiti, and the Cook Islands in the cook islands they speak different dialects of cook island maori lol and it and tahitian and NZ maori are very similar. One island group though in the cooks Pukapuka/nassau speak a language that is closer Tokelau and Samoan but it makes sense as it is closer to Tokelau and Samoa than it is to Rarotonga.

And Rarotonga for example was not just settled once but at least twice by at least three different groups. Its other older name is Tumutevarovaro. But the gist of it is, no they did not just all jump in a canoe and set out to randomly find a place and stay there and never return there was often return voyages, they had the navigation skills to do that. There where voyages of discovery as well as voyages of settlement, and well established trading and traveling for other purposes.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Suavai » Thu, 12 Jun 2014, 05:18

Adamstown 7's wrote:I was of the understanding that the maoris were travellers from Taiwan not Tahiti? Is That righT?? And there is definately some links between the Maori and Easter Islands. The indiginous name for it is Rapa Nui for christ sake! There were also the Morioris, who were indiginous to Aotearoa. Most were raveged by the Taranaki Maori tribe, fleeing to the chatham islands. The last full blooded Moriori (Tommy Solomon) Died in 1933.


Yes from eastern polynesia, but according to the main theory all polynesians including the ones who later settled NZ came from south east asia via taiwan.

So just to make a rough guess, first to fiji/tonga/samoa, later to cook islands, then tahiti, tuamoto's and marquesas, then on to Aotearoa, Hawaii and Rapanui. Tonga and Samoa where settled before the other islands in the central and eastern pacific, then to the north and south and far east.

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Re: Polynesian origins

Postby Rowan » Fri, 13 Jun 2014, 10:56

Thanx, Suavai. That was a good read :thumbup:
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