Where is Polynesia?


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Where is Polynesia?

And how were the “many islands” settled?

Migration as ‘an elaborate, usually slow-moving waltz involving two partners – the atmosphere and the ocean’. (maritime historian Brian Fagan)

 

Exploration is wonder… A wonder we have all experienced…from childhood. The primeval urge to crawl, to walk, to run. The wish to physically move and explore within your surrounds.

 

Some of us have more confidence than others…

 

Little by little our boundaries expand and grow wider… to what limit? Is there a limit?

 

Traditionally, those with more confidence and courage in exploratory ‘wonder’ morphed from growing childhood into ‘ancient mariners’ who sort to migrate… to explore… to discover.

 

As a fellow human, can you contemplate what it would take to physically leave a known place, without the known certainty of being able to return, whenever you wished? Thrill seekers today find expression in extreme sports. A most radical comparative is possibly the 5 second bungee jump contemplated as a holiday activity, to step out of the ‘ordinary’, to courageously (or stupidly) trust the rope? But how does this compare with the inner strength, trust, courage and faith of our ancient ancestors as they set upon their imminent navigational feats of the age?

 

We are all too-familiar with our GPS navigation, our mobile phone satellite maps and our facebook connections. Often it’s hard to imagine life without these gadgets as they automatically gift to us instant location and connection. There is no consideration of seasonal winds, celestial movements, knowledge of climatological events nor the wisdom of elders standing beside you.

 

So to begin… which way will we go?

 

Historical migration records highlight the relative lack of travel expeditions in a northerly or southerly direction. These directions risked exposure to extreme increases or decreases in temperature. To travel east or west was a much more ‘popular’ choice in traditional migrational routes of ocean or foot navigators. Ecological wisdom was obvious ~ follow the sun and you will stay warm.

“How shall we account for this Nation spreading itself so far over this Vast ocean?” is the question Cook asks in his journal (l778)…

Read more… January 2017 Issue 3