dumbing down Polynesian history
   Author:   Yuri Kuchinsky
   Date: 1998/08/04
   Forums: sci.archaeology, sci.anthropology

I wrote previously,

Yuri Kuchinsky (yuku@globalserve.net) wrote on 2 Aug 1998 14:08:11 GMT:

: 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.

Here's some more evidence to back all this up. So many people asked me to
present more of this evidence, and I'm glad to oblige.

First, here's a quote summarizing these native Polynesian traditions that
are unfortunately all too little known at this time. I was quite surprised
how many scholars here were blissfully unaware of these traditions... This
sure was an obvious sign of trouble in the Mainstream Camp...

"...according to the statements in their own traditions and genealogies,
the Polynesians have ... found the islands reached by them -- such as New
Zealand, Niue, Rarotonga, Tahiti, Hawaii -- possessed by a dark-coloured
population." (Friederici, G., MALAIO-POLYNESISCHE WANDERUNGEN, Deutch.
Geographentages zu Strassburg, 1914. Berlin, 1915, p. 203)

And also this ref. The Polynesian settlers in Rarotonga

"...found a black people already there, and an earlier god, Rongo, a dark
god..." (St. Johnston T. R., THE ISLANDERS OF THE PACIFIC, NY, 1921, p.

This early dark skinned people is referred to in Rarotongan tradition as
Manahune. It also happens to be that in Tuamotu, a different island group,
a very similar very early indigenous Negroid tribe is also mentioned as

Moreover, these traditional narratives of Tuamotu Natives have _also_ been
confirmed by early European visitors.

How often do I need to explain to Ross that it is impermissible to dismiss
Native histories out of hand? This sort of Eurocentrism is now passe in
the world of scholarship. Too bad that Ross still hasn't caught up with
what's going on in the academic world, and in our society at large.

Because Elsdon Best wrote that a tribe of very similar description as
given by Tuamotu's Polynesians was also seen by F. W. Beechey at Bow
Island in the 1820s. And Best adds that

"...this is said of a people of the Paumotu Group, in Eastern Polynesia."
(Elsdon Best, POLYNESIAN VOYAGERS, Dominion Mus. Monogr., No. 5.,
Wellington, NZ, 1923, p. 49)

The same highly indicative concurrence of data from both European
observers, and from Native accounts, is also found in the Marquesas Group.
In 1595, the Mendana expedition visitors, among whom there was a Negro,
were told by the Natives of Tahuata Island that peoples looking like this
man were to be found on the islands south of them.

But south of Tahuata are the remote Tuamotu-atolls Reao, Pukarua, and
Napuka. And Freiederici, in the same publication that was already quoted
above, described what looked like a Negroid population there. He referred
to "foreign, darkcolourd elements" (p. 204) on these atolls.

So here we have a very interesting concurrence of data that critics who
have a habit of arrogantly dismissing Native traditions out of hand may
find it quite difficult to deal with. Could BOTH the native traditions AND
the early observers be so wrong in these cases?

I think modern "Polynesian experts" will need incredible hubris to try to
pretend that their vaunted expertise and "latest research" can triumph
over these anthropological realities.

Or aren't they rather, for some unstated reason of their own, really
trying to bury the real Polynesian history under the mounds of their
desperate obfuscations?


Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- [21]http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku  UPDATED

You are a heroine, Dorothy. Your house landed on top
of the Wicked Witch of the North. You have set the
Munchkins free  -=O=- The Wizard of Oz

Click here to go one level up in the directory.