Polynesian contact with Pre-Columbian Americas

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Polynesian contact with Pre-Columbian Americas

Post by The Spiffy Creeper on Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:19 am

I was just thinking about Polynesian Sailors and the fact that they traveled thousands of miles by boat in their time. They reached almost every island and the pacific. The question I was pondering was: Did the Polynesians ever made Pre-Columbian contact with The Americas? It seems possible to me with how far they traveled. Some historians have proposed that they did but I wanted to hear what you guys thought about that.
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Re: Polynesian contact with Pre-Columbian Americas

Post by ItsAGiraffe on Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:05 pm

I think the entire world was in much greater contact pre-Columbus than what people tend to believe. There was an experiment in 1947, actually, the Kon-Tiki Expedition, which saw a recreation of an indigenous South American raft successfully reach Polynesia. Combine that with the links that anthropologists tend to draw between and, for a specific example, the Rapa Nui polynesians of Easter Island (similarities in art style mostly), and I think there is considerable evidence for some form of communication, or at least acknowledgement.
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Re: Polynesian contact with Pre-Columbian Americas

Post by EmperorTigerstar on Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:00 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if the Polynesians did interact with the natives of America.
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Re: Polynesian contact with Pre-Columbian Americas

Post by Zedphyr on Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:13 pm

I have been doing a lot of research into Hawai'i and Polynesian lately so here's my two cents on it. The contact with Pre-Colombian is entirely possible but very unlikely. Between Hawai'i and the main land US, there is not island that isn't literally off the coast of California. The closest island to the America's that could have had Polynesians on them, was Easter Island. Though out the Pacific there are many island in between Hawai'i and Indonesia but there is a lack of connecting islands and evidence to assume that there was any interaction between Polynesians and Pre-Colombian Natives. Even under the chance that they did meet, extended contact with them would be nearly impossible, hell most of the Polynesian island did talk to each other unless if they were very close together (i.e. the Hawai'ian islands.)
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Re: Polynesian contact with Pre-Columbian Americas

Post by Thorfinn Karlsefni on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:26 pm

Zedphyr wrote:I have been doing a lot of research into Hawai'i and Polynesian lately so here's my two cents on it. The contact with Pre-Colombian is entirely possible but very unlikely. Between Hawai'i and the main land US, there is not island that isn't literally off the coast of California. The closest island to the America's that could have had Polynesians on them, was Easter Island. Though out the Pacific there are many island in between Hawai'i and Indonesia but there is a lack of connecting islands and evidence to assume that there was any interaction between Polynesians and Pre-Colombian Natives. Even under the chance that they did meet, extended contact with them would be nearly impossible, hell most of the Polynesian island did talk to each other unless if they were very close together (i.e. the Hawai'ian islands.)

Interesting. I never doubted the Polynesians were aware of the existence of the far rim of their Ocean. Contact, if any, was clearly limited, or so far back in history that no known memory of it exists. I think the Polynesian culture viewed the world differently than the European and East Asian cultures. I believe they looked at islands as being useful and continents as being rather less welcoming, perhaps due to the presense of much larger groups that would either have destroyed or absorbed any small colony of coast dwellers. The Vikings along the Atlantic coast of North America encountered the same problem. Contact was one thing, settlement quite another question. Like the Norse, the Polynesians could cross the ocean, but needed to find uninhabited locations on which to transplant their relatively small settlements.
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