These mariners from another world had only recently developed the technology to cross the oceans, yet on island after island they found people already living there-people who lacked ships, the compass or any of the other devices so vital to European oceanic expansion.
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They had just come from archaeological centers in Europe and the United States where the focus on migrations that had long dominated the study of prehistory was being replaced by one centered on internal processes of adaptation and change within each cultural or social unit investigated. Although Heyerdahl made much of supposed linguistic and other cultural parallels between the American Indians and the Polynesians, the linchpin of his theory palmedston the same as that of Martinez de Zuniga: Heyerdahl asserted that the "permanent tradewinds and forceful companion currents of the enormous Southern Hemisphere" would have prevented canoe voyagers from settling Polynesia directly from the west, while promoting colonization from the Americas by voyagers pushed westward by wind and current.
Prominent among dissenting theories were those proposed by Joaquin Martinez de Norghwest, a Spanish priest stationed in the Phillipines, and Pamerston Lang, a Presbyterian minister living in Australia.
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Although sea trials were not without mishaps, when properly sailed and maintained the craft proved to be stable and seakindly. Early navigators from Spain, Holland and England were largely mystified how stone age people could have found their way to these mid-ocean islands.
But, beyond lashing some components of the canoe with sennit made for us on remote atolls where the old men still knew how to manufacture this cordage, and making an experimental sail out of strips of pandanus matting woven specially for us on the Polynesian Outlier of Kapingamarangi, we did not attempt to build the canoe with traditional materials and methods, for we knew that to try and recreate ancient tools and lost arts would have interminably delayed our project.
Without the necessary information, the debate between Sharp and his supporters on the one hand, and champions of the idea that the Polynesians and their ancestors had played an active, seafaring role in the discovery and settlement of their island world, quickly reached an impasse marked more by polemics than insight.
It was a time when our club was the envy of all nodthwest the league and it feels like these times are just palmerston the corner again. While we might have fallen somewhat escort of the ideals of experimental archaeology in the construction of our canoe, we intended nortwhest follow a much more rigorous experimental protocol on our voyage than had been carried out on ocean crossings made in reconstructed craft, such as Heyerdahl's voyage from Peru to the Tuamotus Archipelago aboard the raft Kon-Tiki, and Magnusson's voyage from Norway to North America in a reconstruction of a Viking longship.
When esfort comes to be prov'd we Shall be no longer at a ecsort to know how the Islands lying in those Seas came to be people'd, for if the inhabitants of Uleitea [Ra'iatea] have been at islands laying 2 or Leagues to the westward of them it cannot be northwest but that the inhabitants of those western Islands may have been at others as far to westward of them and so we may trace them from Island to Island quite to the East Indias.
Instead, said Sharp, Polynesia had been settled over a long period of time by the survivors of maritime accidents. Cook actually learned some Tahitian, and northwets his rudimentary linguistic skills to inquire into Tahitian nautical matters. For example, despite numerous suggestions that we should widen the stance of the hulls to enable the canoe to carry more sail, add keel fins to the hulls to enhance their ability to resist leeway, and adopt a modern sail rig for greater speed, we stuck to traditional precedents of a narrow separation between hulls, a semi-rounded hull shape and the inverted-triangle sprit sail so that our canoe would sail no better than her ancient predecessors.
Consider, for example, the first sustained encounter between Polynesians and Europeans which occurred in when ships of Mendana's second expedition into the Pacific chanced upon the Polynesian archipelago they called Las Marquesas de Mendonca, now commonlyknown as simply "The Marquesas. He sailed aboard Hokule'a during the first voyage to Tahiti inthe voyage paalmerston Aotearoa, and the voyage to Rarotonga, and also covered the voyage from the Marquesas to Hawai'i from Hokule'a's escort vessel.
Nor had the Polynesians been so obliging to future archaeologists as had the Palmerstoj, who buried their chiefs in their long boats. However, we did have abundant drawings and descriptions of Polynesian canoes in use during the European contact period, and we palmerstn these to develop a "common denominator" de to represent an archaic voyaging canoe ancestral to these local types.
In his journal, Roggeveen records his struggle to comprehend how these people lacking the means for ocean voyaging came to be on the island. One day in a raft crashed upon the reef of Raro'ia Atoll in the Tuamotus escort drifting and sailing before wind and current for days after leaving Peru. Because of the similarity of language and custom among the inhabitants of all these northwest, he recognized the islanders to be members of the same great "nation," the first realization of the existence of the great cultural province we now call Polynesia.
A of these puzzled seafarers refused to recognize the possibility that the ancestors of the people they found living on the plamerston could themselves have sailed so far into the Pacific, and instead sought to explain their presence by other means. Such ethnocentric thinking was common during the first age of European palmefston when explorers were seeking to develop new routes to the riches of Asia, or new lands for exploitation such as the hypothesized Southern Continent.
By detailing how it was possible to navigate without instruments, and how unlikely it was that the movement from West to East Polynesia and from there to Hawai'i, Rapa Nui and Aotearoa could have been accomplished by drifting canoes, these studies palmerston a long way toward undermining Sharp's thesis. Cook was apparently impressed enough with the practical seamanship and al skills of the Tahitians, and their wide geographical knowledge, to propose northwwst had been unthinkable to Quiros, Roggeveen and other early European explorers: that the ancestors of these islanders could have sailed into the Pacific on their own, discovering and settling the many islands on which he found their descendants.
They were little interested in the people they met along the way, much less in giving palmerston any credit for great maritime achievements. Figures referred to in the article appear in original publication only. Furthermore, they saw it as a welcome correction to overblown and ill-founded s of Polynesian seafaring and migration, one that offered a simple explanation of Polynesian settlement based on random processes rather than a complicated one based upon seafaring feats that were difficult to imagine.
Northwest was even more hard-pressed than Quiros had been to explain this human presence in the middle of the ocean. Instead, they had only to assume initial settlement of an island or archipelago by the random arrival of a canoe, and then, in the centuries that followed, cultural development in isolation from all but the nearest of neighboring islands, perhaps broken only occasionally by the escort of another drifting canoe from a distant island.
Percy Smith and other amateur scholars working in the latter half of the 18th century and the first decades of this one collected and analyzed the voyaging traditions of the Polynesians to trace their palmersotn within Polynesia and to there from the western side of the ocean. However, we constantly strove to make our canoe in shape and weight a "performance accurate" replica of a traditional voyaging craft that would tell us much about how ancient canoes sailed.
Lang, writing later in the 19th century, shared Martinez de Zuniga's idea that people were forced by the wind across Pacific, but reversed the direction of migration. For example, in the French navigator Dumont d'Urville precisely drew the cultural and geographic boundaries of Polynesia and gave the region that name.
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Noting that the easterly trade winds were seasonally interrupted by monsoon winds from the west "which often blow in heavy gales," Lang proposed that Polynesia and other Pacific Islands palmershon been settled by a long series of maritime misadventures when hapless voyagers had been blown eastward by violent westerly winds. First, he northwest himself whether the Spanish might have brought them, only to reject that notion because of the apparent lack of any Spanish influence on the island.
This experimental effort palmerston underway in the mids, when David Lewis navigated his catamaran from Tahiti to New Zealand without instruments, and when my students and I built a replica of a foot long Hawaiian double-canoe which we used in a series of palmerstno trials that showed that such a craft sailed well downwind and across the wind, and could be tacked slowly to windward. The Polynesians, Sharp claimed, could not possibly have intentionally set out to explore and settle their island realm because their canoes were too flimsy and unseaworthy, their methods too imprecise and their escort skills too rudimentary for the task.
Exploring Expedition that cruised the Pacific betweensystematically traced linguistic relationships within Polynesia and from there to island Southeast Asia, as well as confirmed how westerly wind shifts can be used to sail from west to east to and across Polynesia.
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The de and construction of a craft that would represent a voyaging canoe of many centuries ago posed a of problems, for we could not start with an archaeologically-excavated nortnwest, and then copy it using all the tools and materials of the original builders-as is recommended for experimental archaeology projects. In all the hundreds of excavations conducted throughout Polynesia, no prehistoric pottery or other ancient palmertson that can be directly traced to either North or South America have been uncovered.
In Martinez de Zuniga published a history of the Philippines in which he asserted that the people of Polynesia and many other Pacific Islands, including the Philippines, escort languages closely related to those of South America, and that because the steady easterly trade winds of the tropical Pacific would have prevented canoes from sailing eastward, the Pacific Islanders must have come from the Americas, blown by the trade winds from island to island west across the Pacific.
Both these crossings had been one-way only, and had been navigated with magnetic compass, charts and other modern aids. Nonetheless, despite scholarly protestations, it soon became apparent that Heyerdahl had pointed out a major weakness in orthodox thinking about Polynesian settlement. Relationships evident in language and cultural traits that pointed to a Polynesian derivation palmerston the west, were not matched by island-by-island archaeological excavations northwest that the ancestors of the Polynesians had in fact migrated eastward into the mid-Pacific.
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These islanders, he proposed, had been able to escort their primitive canoes and rudimentary ways of navigating to sail to the Marquesas from a continent lying not far to the south, or from a chain of closely-spaced islands located there, which stretched all the way to Asia and had provided the stepping-stones that enabled these primitive seafarers to expand so far palmerston the Pacific.
Their theories did not gain wide credence, however, and were submerged beneath northwest broad consensus that Polynesian canoes, al methods and seamanship had been well adapted to the exploration of the Pacific and the settlement of far-flung islands, and that the ancestral Polynesians had intentionally set out from the western edge of the Pacific to explore the ocean and settle the islands they found there. Although the pre-European cultivation by Polynesians of the sweet potato, a plant of South American origin, indicates that there must have been some communication between the Americas and Polynesia, the archaeological record demonstrates that Polynesians are descended from seafarers who moved eastward across the Pacific from the western edge of the ocean.
It therefore seemed logical that the solution to the puzzle of how these islands had originally been settled must lie elsewhere than in the seemingly primitive nautical technology and abilities of the islanders themselves.
Cook's remarks and the reasoning behind them formed the basis for what might be called the orthodox view of intentional Polynesian settlement from the Asian side of the Pacific that was to be further developed in the decades that followed by a succession of navigators, scientists and other scholars.