dumbing down Polynesian history Author: Yuri Kuchinsky Date: 1998/08/02 Forums: sci.archaeology, sci.anthropology _________________________________________________________________ Mainstream picture of Polynesian history is quite neat and simple. Deceptively so. Mainstream dumbed-down false dogma: There was only one wave of human settlement in Polynesia. People were moving from west to east gradually, and settling virgin lands (i.e. uninhabited islands). This is based on one basic false assumption of gradual uninterrupted upward cultural evolution, i.e. things were always becoming more complex and advanced. What the mainstream pseudo-history still cannot explain adequately: Where was the ultimate original centre of diffusion for Polynesian speakers? (It is generally agreed that the Polynesians left their mysterious still unlocated homeland ca. 2000 years ago. But where was it exactly?) REALITY CHECK: But this "mainstream agreed upon picture" breaks down when we consider, 1. The clear and obvious racial complexity of Polynesia. For example, the uncomfortable suggestion that very early Negroid populations are known a) from Native Polynesian accounts, b) from detailed accounts of earliest European observers, c) from the older studies by anthropologists -- the studies that have now been all but successfully swept under the rug. 2. The fact that highly sophisticated megalithic constructions appear at the earliest occupational levels both on EI and in Hawaii -- suspiciously close to South America where the same constructions flourished at the same time. These very special construction techniques in Polynesia seem to decline and/or disappear at later periods. 3. Various accounts of mysterious very early Pacific tribal cultures using sophisticated ocean-going rafts. These cultures were most likely associated with the megalithic constructions mentioned above. (Rafts were eminently suitable for transporting megaliths, unlike canoes used predominantly by later population groups.) Remnants of these earliest cultures were attested quite well in various ways in marginal/isolated areas of Polynesia in later times. --- THE BIG PICTURE, PART TWO What can Easter Island history tell us about early Polynesian history? EI mainstream dogma: One group of Polynesians got there very early from the west, and became isolated. Some very vague suggestions are made about "later contacts with S. America". (This, I suppose, as a backhanded way to accommodate the obvious: there are too many parallels between EI and SA that the Scholars cannot all sweep under the rug without making total fools of themselves.) This dogma is notoriously fuzzy and seemingly full of large holes. REALITY CHECK: EI is teaching us certain basic facts: 1. On EI, there were successive periods of rise and fall of civilizations. There were abrupt falls of old, and emergence of new civilizations, most likely because of external conquest, and/or possibly through internal upheavals associated with new population groups arriving. 2. Racial diversity on EI cannot be swept under the rug. Three quite distinct racial groups are very well attested by numerous early observers. Therefore, there are only two possibilities, i.e. either all early observers were stupid, or our modern mainstream scholars are wilfully incompetent and trying to escape from reality. Thus, EI racial diversity can never be reconciled with "one racial group, one boatload of them, got there early from the west, and became isolated". This can never be done. Even if this mythical "boatload" was originally multiracial -- already a big assumption -- they would have certainly intermarried and started to look all like the other within a couple of generations. If in doubt, go back to Human Genetics 100, folks... BASIC REALITY: From earliest times, the ocean was not an obstacle, but a highway. Ancient peoples were far more creative than is commonly assumed. They were apparently smarter than the modern professors. They were competent sailors thousands of years earlier than is commonly assumed. See: http://www.trends.net/~yuku/tran/xpacif.htm Corollary: EI was never really isolated. Same applies to most other places in Polynesia. A variety of tribes migrated and communicated and conquered throughout the many centuries, at least for 3000 years or so, everywhere among the Pacific Islands. THEORETICAL DEDUCTION: We can now discern what may be dubbed as the Scholars' Dumbing Down Process (TM): the irresistible urge to simplify the complex (primarily to make their own life a little easier). And so, the proverbial Occam's Razor becomes the Doggone Shovel -- the Shovel with which to bury the historical complexity, and to get rid of the Real History. Yuri. Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku I doubt, therefore I might be. _________________________________________________________________Click here to go one level up in the directory.