Oh my! Did I ever learn a lot from this book. When I bought it, I really had no idea what or where Polynesia even was. But I do now, and so much more. I did lots of research for colors, mostly, but the book itself is so informative, and is laid out in chronological order. It begins with the first people who migrated from Southeast Asia, (Southern Mongoloids), who set out across the Pacific Ocean to Melanesia, in about 3000 B.C. In about 1500 B.C., they set out east, and began settling in Samoa and Tonga. As populations grew and territorial wars began, groups of people set out to the other islands. The central islands are the Society Islands, (which includes Tahiti), and the Marquesas. Around A.D. 500, others sailed southeast to Rapa Nui, now known as Easter Island, and northeast to Hawaii. Still others went to the extreme southwest corner of the triangle and landed at New Zealand. The entire triangle takes up over 10 million square miles, and the complete migration took over 2000 years. Interesting stuff!
Here is a sampling of pictures for you to enjoy. They are from pages 6-7, 11, 14, 16, 18-19, 34, and 37.
The first picture depicts life in Melanesia before the migration through the Polynesian Triangle began. The people made use of all the resources the islands had to offer for food and other necessities. The Polynesians were excellent canoe builders and a seasoned seafaring people. Next shown are people who migrated to Tonga, weaving pandang (breadfruit) leaves and working with tapa (bark-cloth).
Tattooing was an important part of Samoan life—"a mark of manhood" and "marks of pride and accomplishment." Marquesas Island chiefs and warriors had tattoos all over their bodies. They lived in steep valleys because of the rugged and mountainous land.
Tahitian war canoes were sometimes over 100 feet long. Other double-hulled canoes were for traveling and smaller ones were for fishing. The Maoris are still the indigenous people of New Zealand. Facial tattoos, and "fierce, eruptive dance-greetings" are called haka. The Maoris are famous for sticking out their tongues and rolling their eyes back. It was part of being a warrior, and there are many videos of this fascinating tradition that you may watch online.
Hawaiians were skilled in making cloaks out of feathers, of which the garments used thousands. Yellow was a sign of high rank
Stone heads at Easter Island (with added bodies!)
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