Polynesia *** South Seas


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.

Map of Polynesia

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.


Books Pertaining to or Set in Polynesia


The Blue Lagoon
The Moon and Sixpence
Typee: A Romance of the South Seas

Collections with at least one South Sea Story

Just So Stories
Rain and Other South Sea Stories
South Sea Tales


Coloring Books

Life in Ancient Polynesia


Paul Gauguin (Artist)

Gauguin's Intimate Journals
Noa Noa: The Tahitian Journal

Paul Gauguin: Tahitian Landscape

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