dumbing down Polynesian history
   Author:   Yuri Kuchinsky
   Date: 1998/08/02
   Forums: sci.archaeology, sci.anthropology

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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.

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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=- [20]http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku

I doubt, therefore I might be.
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