From: yuku@globalserve.net (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. Dick


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