From: email@example.com (Yuri Kuchinsky) Newsgroups: sci.archaeology,sci.anthropology,rec.arts.books,soc.culture.native Subject: pineapple, papaya in ancient Polynesia Date: 18 Aug 1998 19:26:47 GMT Greetings, I've already posted about quite a few unusual "archaic" varieties of South American crops on Easter Island, and in other places in Polynesia. I believe it is only his stubbornness that prevents Ross from accepting that his position is extremely weak. His recent strategies have been stonewalling, obfuscating, and demands to be educated about some basic facts of botany, strangely enough also mixed in with abundant insults. These are the strategies of a desperate man. He refuses to consult the widely published volumes from which I cited, and instead demands that I type in and upload more and more quotes for him. Why should I even bother, considering his attitude? But nevertheless, in spite of all this, once again I will provide more info for him and for some other "objective" individuals. How did these unusual archaic SA plant varieties ever get to EI? As usual, Ross refused to offer a theory of his own. Pure negativity is his chosen tactic -- he rarely clarifies his own position on anything adequately beyond offering mere platitudes. But the simple truth is that these plants could not have been brought to EI by European missionaries. Here's what Heyerdahl says in his EARLY MAN AND THE OCEAN, 1978, It is important to note that the first foreign plants successfully introduced to EI were those carried by the first missionaries to settle there, who arrived two decades before Thomson. (pp. 226-7) So did the EI natives interviewed by Thomson have giant memory holes, or something? I think it is quite insulting to suggest, like Ross does, that they could have forgotten in 20 years if those plants were indeed introduced by missionaries, and that their testimony should count for nothing. Once again we're dealing with extreme Eurocentric arrogance on the part of Ross. Yes, it gets pretty tiring after a while... But let's go on. Now I would like to cite further evidence for such plants based on the work of the botanist F.B.H. Brown. This is what Heyerdahl writes, The flora of the Marquesas group was thoroughly studied by F.B.H. Brown and published in a three-volume report by the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in 1931-35. (p. 228) Brown described a number of Fijian plants on the Marquesas. But also, ... he was led on purely botanical grounds to challenge current thought in anthropology by arguing that other plants in the Marquesan flora with equal certainty revealed human voyages from South America in pre-European time. (p. 228) Here's what Brown wrote about pineapple. Heyerdahl says, Brown extended the New World list with the pineapple, Ananas sativus, a strictly American plant with a small fruited form growing spontaneously from Brazil to the Andean highlands. He argued that its pre-Columbian growth in the Marquesas group implies an early crossing of the East Pacific by native craft: [Brown quote:] A native of tropical America, it is evidently of ancient aboriginal introduction in the Marquesas, where it is to be found in all inhabited valleys. A few plants occur here and there at low altitudes, but it seems to have been planted more commonly in the arid uplands." (p. 229) So this is additional botanical evidence about pineapple that Ross has been asking for. As if this would make any difference for him? I'm sure he already has a hundred other avoidance tactics in store... Anything but to accept the obvious: ancient Native Americans strongly influenced Polynesian civilizations. But here's more new information about yet another early important American crop in Polynesia, the papaya. This also comes from Brown via Heyerdahl. Heyerdahl writes, The papaya (Carica Papaya) is another fruit incapable of propagation by sea. It belongs to the genus Carica, native of tropical America, with a smaller, less tasty variety from Colombia to Peru, where it was often modelled by the pre-Inca pottery makers on the coast. Brown writes: Carica papaya ... At least two varieties are present in the Marquesas: vi inana (vi inata), recognised by the Marquesans as one of their ancient food plants, is doubtless of aboriginal [i.e. pre-European] introduction. Its fruit is smaller and less palatable than the vi Oahu which is claimed by the natives to have been introduced from Hawaii by the early missionaries. ... The native name of the species is vi inana, vi inata, or vi Oahu in the Marquesas; ita in Tahiti; ninita in Rarotonga; eita in Rimatara; and hei in Hawaii. (pp. 229-30) Much more information is found in this book further about the very same unusual pre-European pineapple variety also in Hawaii. I've already given information about this same pineapple on Easter Island, as described by Thomson. So what more can Ross really want? I can just see him next demanding, "Give me more evidence! This is not enough!" Such tactics are now wearing thin. I think it is pretty obvious that the gentleman has made up his mind to avoid reality, to stall, and to obfuscate till Kingdom Come. Any pretence of scholarly objectivity on his part is fading fast... Regards, Yuri. Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.globalserve.net/~yuku Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away -=O=- Philip K. DickClick here to go one level up in the directory.