The POLYNESIAN HISTORY : Peter Leiataua AhChing.

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Posted by The POLYNESIAN HISTORY on February 05, 2004 at 22:30:41:

The Polynesian islands were settled from Western Polynesia to Eastern Polynesia, as indicated via carbon dating & periods of island settlements ( Lapita pottery ). Early Polynesians migrated from the Samoan islands (settled in 2000-500BC) to Marquesas (100AD) to Tahiti (300AD) to Hawaii (500AD) and then upon return voyages from the east into the west, Polynesians settled Aotearoa (800-1000AD) from the Cook Islands.

Sister islands found in SAMOA, TAHITI & HAWAII are as following: ( Upolu & Savaii ) in Samoa 2000-500BC, ( Uporu & Havaii ) in Tahiti 300AD now called Taha'a & Raiatea, ( Upolu on Hawai'i & Hamoa, Maui ) in Hawaii 500AD. This was a recreation of their sister island homes in SAMOA as the children of Savai'i settled new lands in the east from Western Polynesia.

Hamoa coast of Maui island is directly facing Upolu point of Hawai'i, these sister islands were named by the original Polynesians to recreate familiarity in Hawaii using their original island home names from Samoa ( Hamoa ). Upolu is the sister island to the big island of Savai'i in Western Polynesia ( Samoan islands ). 'S' is interchangably sounded as 'H' in the Polynesian dialects. 'Tonga' is pronounced 'Konga' by Samoans & Tongans a like with the interchanging T and K. Tama Samoa which means Samoan man is also Kama Hamoa in old Polynesian dialects.

Largest Samoan island of Savai'i was settled around 2000-500BC --> Havai'i ( Tahitian ) 300AD and Avaiki (Marquesas) 100 AD, --> Hawai'i ( Hawaiians ) 500AD and Hawaiki Aotearoa ( Maoris ) 800-1000 AD. Dates obtained via carbon dating and times of island settlement. European arrivals to Tahiti, Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Marquesas occured around 1700s AD.

The Polynesian recreation of their original homelands in Samoa upon their new lands in Eastern Polynesia has led to the following commonalities, today we have these places: Savai'i ( Samoa ), Havai'i ( Tahiti ), Hawai'i ( Hawaii, Big Island ), Samoa ( Samoa ), Hamoa ( Maui, Hawaii ), Ta'u ( Manu'a, Samoa ), Ka'u ( Big Island Hawai'i ), Upolu ( Samoa ), Uporu ( Tahiti ) & Upolu ( Big Island Hawai'i ). These were not coincidences, this was systematically done by the voyaging children of Savai'i, Samoa to claim ownership (land titles) and familiarity in their new found lands. Early European explorers inherently did the same thing, as they named American lands New England after England in Europe and many other lands around the world.

Savai'i, Samoa was inhabited predominantly by Samoans ( people of Upolu, Manono, Apolima, Manu'a and Tutuila island chains ), some Tongans ( island chains from Vavau..etc.) and some Fijians ( island chians from Suva ..etc ). These Polynesians mainly Samoans inhabited Savai'i, which is the western most Samoan island closest to Fiji and Tonga via inter-island canoe travels. Past devastating volcano eruptions of Savai'i ( live volcanoes even today ) may have caused its inhabitants to flea this large Samoan island by canoes to find homes elsewhere.

The Polynesian odyssey from Savai'i in the west moved towards the east and new homes were populated. They dispersed on to Upolu, Tutuila, Marquesas ( Nu'uhiva ), Tuamotus ( Havai'i & Uporu ), Tokelaus, Hawai'i ( Upolu, Hawai'i & Hamoa, Maui ), Rapa nui & finally Aotearoa ( New Zealand ). These new islands became their homes and with their arrival they carried the name of their motherland, ' SAVAI'I.'

Over the years, due to isolation, and dispersal, the original Polynesian language and culture started to change accordingly to their new environment and new island homes. The word Savai'i became Havai'i, 'Avaihi, Avahiki, Hawai'i and Hawaiki. Upolu became Uporu which was renamed Taha'a & Havai'i renamed Raiatea. The Tahiti sister islands {Uporu & Havaii 300AD} were renamed by the Tahiti French government. Also a place on the big island of Hawai'i carry the name Upolu, around the birthplace of Kamehameha, which points toward Hamoa (Samoa), Maui. The Hawaiian sister islands are in parts called Upolu on Hawai'i & Hamoa, Maui {Upolu, Hawai'i & Hamoa, Maui 500AD}. The oldest sister islands in Polynesia are in fact Upolu and Savai'i of Samoa which birthed pure Polynesians around 2000-500BC and migrated to the east in search of more lands.

Some ancient Polynesian bloodlines were intermixed, because Samoans, Tongans, and Fijians would occasionally intermarry and procreate Polynesian children. The children of Savai'i, mixed Polynesian Samoans or Savai'ians dispersed into the Pacific and found new homes. Each family unit carrying with them old customs and traditions, sometimes intermixing the languages and cultures. They found new homes in Eastern Polynesia and named the new lands accordingly to their pronunciations and enunciations. Language and customs soon developed differently due to population and cultural isolations, subcultures from an original Polynesian culture, the MOTHERLAND culture, Savai'i.

The biggest island of Samoa with volcanoes is Savai'i. It is the third largest island in Polynesia. The other two are Hawai'i the big island and Aotearoa New Zealand. Savaii's volcano eruptions, along with inter-island wars between Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji and frequent travels, lost canoes, exiled families or warriors, or a voyaging spirit of the people led to many opportunities for odyssey. Some odysseys were desired and some forced because of wars and exiles, A POLYNESIAN ODYSSEY. Today in Samoa, most people live on Upolu rather than the larger Savai'i due to destructive lava flows and volcano eruptions of the past, still very evident today geographically.

In 2003 the research team and wife of Thor Heyerdahl who died in April 2002 at age 87 are studying the largest and oldest man made structure in Polynesia called Pulemelei in Savai'i, Samoa. Interestingly, in the Hawaiian language Pule means Prayer and Mele means Chant and I means Here as in I Nei or Ne I or simply I. Literal translation of Pulemelei in Hawaiian as Pule mele i means ' Prayer chanting here.' In Samoan Pule me le i means literally ' Ownership here or Govern here.' This is a 2003 translation of Pulemelei in the two native Polynesian languages. Savaii's Pulemelei is about 2500 miles from Hawai'i within the Polynesian triangle.

Thor Heyerdahl was the Norwegian scientist in 1940s who theorized the origin of Polynesians from South America using the Kon tiki raft to prove possible species migration. A theory he based on the physical properties of the ocean currents. Like James Cook he soon learned about the periodic changing of these ocean currents to allow two directional migrations, west to east and vice versa. Heyerdahl's theory then did not include study of Savai'i, Samoa in Western Polynesia. In 2003, Thor Heyerdahl's research team is in Samoa studying the area he wanted to research, Savai'i.

Latest genetic studies in the journals on PNAS 2000 and GENETICS 2002 affirm the origins of Polynesians from sea-faring migrant people originating from around South East Asia. Both articles had these points made (1) Taiwan is not a link to Polynesians as once believed and (2) Polynesians have unique genetic markers like the ' Polynesian motif ' that distinguishes them from all other populations even their closest neighbors the Micronesians and Melanesians. Melanesian genes were found in the Tongan people like Fijians. A direct quote from the GENETICS 2002 article, ' It can be seen from the PC analysis (PCA) plot that the true Polynesian populations form a cluster although notably Tonga is the closest to the Melanesian populations. Tonga shares hg 24 and lineage 26.8 with Melanesian populations.' The islands of Tonga like Fiji border Melanesia which explains this evidence from Genetic analysis in 2002.

The Samoan word Tonga means 'South.' It is held in Samoan oral tradition that the original people of Tonga were Polynesians from Samoa. Later, Melanesians moved in from nearby Fiji and Vanuatu. Tonga-Samoan Polynesians procreated with the Melanesians of Fiji and Vanuatu and developed the modern-day Tongan bloodlines, which explains the scientific findings of mixed Polynesian-Melanesian genetic markers of Tongans (Genetics 2002). Melanesian cultural influence was very strong in the Tonga islands, thus Polynesians retreated back to Samoa. To keep the Polynesian bloodline strong, royalty of Tonga sought marriage with Samoan Alii families, hence Queen Salamasina & Taufaahau Tupou. These old traditions are well known in the southern Polynesian islands.

Polynesian Samoans and Eastern Polynesians do not have these Melanesian genetic markers. They have unique Polynesian genetic markers which are also found in Tongans, yet now we know that it is not entirely pure in Tonga. Inherently as Polynesians we know from similarities that Tonga is a part of the Polynesian family. At the University of Hawaii as with most scientists, it is known that Polynesians were birthed pure in the Samoa and Tonga realm (Savai'i & Upolu), the 'Sa moa' meaning the 'Sacred center or Sacred heart' of Polynesia. 'Sa means sacred' and 'moa means heart or center' in the Polynesian Samoan language.

Ancient Samoa had ruling high chiefs ( Aliis ) and at periods Samoa had Kings. TUPU SILI O SAMOA ( King of Samoa ) existed when a high paramount Alii Chief would hold several Alii titles and claim kingdomship upon the people and lands. Early kings of Samoa included Tupua I'amafana, Lei'ataua, Mata'afa, and the more recent, the Malietoa. Today the Head of State is Malietoa which means Brave warrior.

Samoan islands were given the name by Europeans as the NAVIGATOR ISLANDS due to the large number of voyaging outrigger canoes, competent sailors, and large canoe builders. Tongan islands and Tahiti islands were the FRIENDLY ISLANDS. Hawai'ian islands were named the SANDWICH ISLANDS.

Greetings in the Polynesian dialects or languages: Fiji ( Bula vinaka or bula ). Tonga ( Malo lelei ). Malo lelei in Samoan means good greetings. Samoa ( taloFa or KaloFa = greetings ), aloFa in Samoan means love. Marquesas ( taloHa or KaloHa = greetings ). Hawaii ( aloHa = greetings and love ) 'F' in aloFa ( Samoan ) is replaced by 'H' in aloHa means love ( Hawaiian & Samoan ). Aotearoa Maori ( Kia ora aRoha ). Tahiti ( Iorana ).

Fiji ( Bula vinaka ), Tonga ( Malo lelei ) SAMOA ( TaloFa ) ---> MARQUESAS ( TaloHa ) ---> HAWAII ( aloHa ) ---> AOTEAROA New Zealand ( aRoHa ). Tahiti ( Iorana ).

It is important to realize why the Maori of New Zealand 800-1000AD, the Maoli of Hawai'i 500AD, the Maohi of Tahiti 300AD were able to remember where they came from originally other than their new island homes. The Eastern Polynesians were recent migrants unlike the long settled Mao'i of Samoa. The newly settled Eastern Polynesians voyaged with a recent recollection of where they came from, because they had only arrived to their new islands not long before the Europeans came into Polynesia and recorded their recollections. The Mao'i of Savai'i, Samoa had been settled since around 2000-500BC and because of multiple generations that remained in Samoa, they only knew their origins as being from Samoa. Samoans according to the latest genetic studies of 2002 AD are pure blooded Polynesians and have been since 2000-500BC without any Melanesian or Micronesian genes. Unique Polynesian genetics is determined from the presence of the Polynesian motif, a specific genetic DNA sequence, present only in the Polynesian people.

References. (1) Pacific Journals. (2) GENETICS 2002 (3) PNAS 2000 (4) World Encyclopedias. (5) Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii. (6) Hawaiian King David Kalakaua 1888, Legends & Myths of Hawaii. (7) Hawaiian Legends of Ghosts and Ghost-Gods, by W.D. Westervelt. Boston, G.H. Ellis Press [1916].(8) Fornander's Ancient History of the Hawaiian People. Abraham Fornander. Mutual Publishing Company 1996. (9) Ruling Chiefs of Hawaii. Samuel Manaiakalani Kamakau & M.K. Pukui. Kamehameha School Press, 1995.


IDEAS & WRITINGS Copywrited 2003 Peter Leiataua AhChing at John A. Burns School of Medicine & University of Hawaii at Manoa.


Copyright 2003 Peter Leiataua AhChing. All Rights Reserved

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