The Quest for Origins: Who First Discovered and Settled the Pacific Islands?

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University of Hawaii Press, May 31, 2003 - History - 235 pages
Did they come from space, from Egypt, from the Americas? From other ancient civilizations? These are some of today's most fanciful claims about the first settlers of the islands of the Pacific. But none of them correctly answer the question: Where did the Polynesians come from?

This book is a thoughtful and devastating critique of such "new" learning, and a careful and accessible survey of modern archaeological, anthropological, genetic, and linguistics findings about the origins of Pacific Islanders. Professor Howe also examines the two-hundred-year-old history of Western ideas about Polynesian origins in the context of ever-changing fads and intellectual fashions.
 

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Contents

CONTEXTS OF INQUIRY
13
The idea of prehistory and the significance of the Pacific
18
Constructing the Pacific
24
SOME MAINSTREAM IDEAS 1760s1860s
27
Enlightenment science Pacific explorers and the human species
28
The Cook Voyages
32
Evangelical missionaries 1800s1860s
36
SOME MAINSTREAM IDEAS 1860s1940s
42
Synthesis?
115
TransPacific connections?
119
ALTERNATIVE IDEAS
121
American origins
122
Spanish and other connections
130
Sunken continents
132
NEW LEARNING or old learning?
139
New diffusionism
141

Race diffusion adaptation 1900s1940s
50
CURRENT IDEAS when and where?
60
Global context
63
Towards Near Oceania
64
Towards Remote Oceania
67
Artefactactivity trails
71
Biological trails
81
Linguistic trails
83
Answers?
88
CURRENT IDEAS how?
92
Navigation
99
Maritime technology
106
Prototypic voyaging
111
New Age prehistory
146
New geology
154
Does it matter?
155
MAORI ORIGINS creating New Zealand prehistory
159
The heroic model
160
The adaptive model
171
Some current issues
176
CONCLUSION
183
REFERENCES
186
BIBLIOGRAPHY
209
INDEX
224
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Editor: Howe, K. R.; K. R. Howe is professor of history at Massey University, Auckland.

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