Though the term Polynesia was familiar to me, I really didn't know where it was or what countries it defined. It wasn't until I worked on the coloring book
Life in Ancient Polynesia (see below) that I got a clear understanding of the geographical area that comprised the countries and ethnic groups known as Polynesian.
They are not countries at all, but all islands located in the South Pacific, a triangular-shaped area made up of over 1,000 islands from (and including) Hawaii to New Zealand.
Other major islands include Tahiti, (French Polynesia, located within the Society Islands), Samoa, Tonga, and Easter Island where those magnificent ancient
stone monoliths are found.
In addition, I will include on this page all the countries and islands shown in the picture below.
Here is an excerpt from my review of the Life in Ancient Polynesia Coloring Book
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!
Wikipedia has a very long and detailed
article about Polynesia as a whole, and specific information about many of the islands. In addition, there are numerous links for additional information
as usual. Map above, courtesy of Wikipedia.
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