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Tiki Central Forums » » General Tiki » » Polynesian history
Polynesian history
aikiman44
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Joined: Nov 08, 2004
Posts: 281
From: NY
Posted: 2005-02-22 4:30 pm   Permalink

In Jared Diamond's book Collapse, there's a significant amount on the history of Easter Island, Pitcairn Island and general Polyesian history, most of it relating to collapsing cultures due in part to environmental problems. Fascinating stuff. Are people familiar with this stuff? Should I post some of it in summary?

 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11140
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2005-02-22 5:47 pm   Permalink

Everybody SHOULD be familiar with his writings, the man is brilliant.

Please post ahead.


 
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Tiki Chris
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Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1543
From: London
Posted: 2005-02-22 6:03 pm   Permalink

follow this link to an interview w/ jared diamond. great stuff.

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/episodes/02162005

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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-02-23 6:38 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-02-22 16:30, aikiman44 wrote:
In Jared Diamond's book Collapse, there's a significant amount on the history of Easter Island . . . Should I post some of it in summary?



Please do.

Regarding Easter Island, Tikibars provided the following interesting facts:

In the late 18th century, the island was lambasted with the moai-toppling tribal wars, slave raids, and smallpox all back-to-back. It was said by a missionary at the time that the total population of the island at the time was 110. He included himself in the census for a total of 111. According to Heyerdahl in his 1985 tome Easter Island The Mystery Solved (his final word on the subject and an amazing book that states his case very very convincingly), in the 1980s there was only one living original "long ear" descendant left alive.

According to moast theories, the long ears, who built the moai and arrived on the island first, were defeated by the short-ears, who arrived later and toppled the moai, and from whom just about all of the native Rapa Nui living today are escended.

To digress further... 'long ears' and 'short ears' may have been a mistranslation of the word 'eepe' vs 'epe', which would make 'long ears' translate as 'slender people' in reality, and 'short ears' into 'stocky people'. That one is in debate too.

The so-called Batlle of Poike Ditch has been completely debunked - no battle occurred and no one was roasted alive.

In spite of what I posted above or elsewhere, the most up-to-the-minute theories actually say there weren't two tribes at all: there were two CLASSES, same genetics and lineage (all from Hotu Matua) and that the thin people overthrew the corpulent people, but they were all of the same race and, if one were to go back 30-40 generations, all related.

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic=7445&forum=1&start=15


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Holler Waller
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 13, 2011
Posts: 201
From: NW TN
Posted: 2014-03-28 12:26 pm   Permalink

How could Polynesians have made it to Brazil? Indeed ~

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/28/world/americas/discoveries-challenge-beliefs-on-humans-arrival-in-the-americas.html?hp&_r=3

More American History actually
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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2014-03-29 10:00 am   Permalink

Here is the Jared Diamond thread:

http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=17462&forum=1&hilite=Diamond

Dr. Diamond provides the following explanation of the factors which caused the collapse of the pre-contact Rapa Nui culture on Easter Island*:

1. Geographic placement: It is southern location reduces the amount of rain it receives. EI, and the Hawaiian Islands Necker and Nihau, are the least forested of the Pacific because they do not receive as much rain as other Pacific Islands.

2. Lack of ability to trade. Due to the EI isolation,it did not have the opportunity to supplement its foodstuffs by trade. It also prevented EI from introducing other, large animals, like pigs, into their diet.

3. Lack of coconuts. Too cold for coconuts, which is a staple in much of the other Pacific islands.

4. Ruling Class inability or refusal to appreciate deforestation issues, while building bigger and bigger moai.
Ironically, EI had the largest type of palm trees ever known to exist. However, these were consumed without preservation.

5. Lack of trees resulted in ability to maintain or make canoes necessary to fish off-shore, which had supplemented the diet, by, for example, dolphin. Also, there is only one beach, Akena, which could have allowed one to use fishing nets.

6. Lack of trees reduced the amount of birds which were part of the EI diet.

7. Funerary practices. Burning of the dead required inordinate amount of fuel to generate sufficient heat for cremation. Only much later did EI turn to burials.

8. After these factors became chronic, the commoners tore down each others moai (and maybe their own) as a way of revolting against the ruling elite. Canabalism resulted as one of the few ways of obtaining protein.


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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1305
Posted: 2014-03-29 10:26 am   Permalink

Here's a very interesting article on sexual practices in pre-contact Hawaii: http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/biblio/articles/2000to2004/2004-sexual-behavior-in-pre-contact-hawaii.html

Some highlights:

* Men and women all had a special "chant" that was given them to describe their genitals.
* Aside from father/daughter and mother/son incest, there were very few sexual acts that were kapu. Sex between adults and children, homosexual acts, polygamy, polyandry—their sexual hangups were few, and sex was generally considered a good thing no matter the circumstance. The word for orgasm, le'a, is the same as for fun or joy.
* The adults would train the children in the art of pleasing their partners, and apparently quite effectively.
* Women would prepare the infant males for future ritual genital cutting by blowing into their penises.

Is it any wonder that the early explorers who landed here thought it paradise, or that the missionaries worked so hard to convert the "heathens"?
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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2014-03-29 11:22 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-03-29 10:26, TikiTacky wrote:
Here's a very interesting article on sexual practices in pre-contact Hawaii: http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/biblio/articles/2000to2004/2004-sexual-behavior-in-pre-contact-hawaii.html





Good post.

I thought this discussion of nudity being non sexual was interesting:

In traditional Hawai‘i, nudity was not seen primarily as being sexual. Warm climate often dictates less clothing. The basic dress was a malo (loin cloth) for adult males and a leaf or tapa (bark) skirt for adult females. The female breasts were not covered. Very young children went uncovered. A young male was permitted to wear a malo only after he began to live in the hale mua (“men’s house”), usually between the ages of 4 and 6 (Handy and Pukui, 1958, P. 9). Once the pubic hair began to grow, the genitals were covered, reportedly out of respect for the piko ma‘i (genitals) and to protect the organs that gave progeny. A tapa robe might be added for protection against the cold or sun (Handy, 1930, P. 10), not for modesty.



 
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Atomic Tiki Punk
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Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 6017
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2014-03-29 11:27 am   Permalink

"Future ritual genital cutting!" Hell no, I won't go!

 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2014-03-29 2:04 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2014-03-29 11:27, Atomic Tiki Punk wrote:
"Future ritual genital cutting!" Hell no, I won't go!



GENITAL PREPARATION - PENIS
Subincision of the foreskin was practiced, and ostensibly, to prepare for this practice, the penis was blown into daily starting from birth (Handy and Pukui, 1958, p. 94; Pukui, Haertig, and Lee, 1972. p. 75). The blowing was said to loosen and balloon the foreskin and separate it from the glans, so that when the time of subincision came, the skin was quickly and easily slit. The blowing continued daily until the infant was old enough to urinate in an arch, wetting the blower, then it was done less often, perhaps three times a week until the young male was 6 or 7. 6
. . .

The penis-blowing procedure was said to guarantee health and efficient coitus (Pukui, Haertig, and Lee, 1972, p. 75). This procedure, and the vulva treatment to be mentioned, was said to make the genitals more beautiful and to be a form of “blessings with which loving relatives desired to endow the firstborn throughout life .... What was true for the firstborn was true for subsequent children, to a lesser degree” (Handy and Pukui, 1958, p. 94).


Seems more like the traditional Jewish bris ceremony, although one does hope that wine from pineapple or passion fruit would be used to attempt to dull the pain.



 
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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1305
Posted: 2014-03-29 2:12 pm   Permalink

Subincision of the foreskin is a little more dramatic than a simple circumcision. Here's a Wikipedia article. Be warned, there's a photo, and it's cringeworthy.

Edit: After reading the entire article (Ow. Ow. Ow.), it's apparent that the subincision performed in Hawaii was only on the tip of the foreskin, and not as hardcore as what was pictured. It apparently is closer to a bris, although it's only slit underneath, not removed.

Edit 2: I now know more than I care to about Hawaiian sexy times.
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[ This Message was edited by: TikiTacky 2014-03-29 14:19 ]


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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2014-03-29 5:49 pm   Permalink

Another section of that interesting article from that University of Hawaii article is on the subject of the Kapu and how it restricted women from eating certain foods or from eating with males. This seemingly is an odd, and seemingly discriminatory, distinction.

Under the kapu system, there were forms of bondage and slavery, human sacrifice (Valeri, 1985), and infanticide (Malo, 1951, p. 70; Kamakau, 1961, p. 234). While adult females were afforded many rights and some had great status, it was kapu for them to eat certain foods; they could be put to death for eating pork, certain kinds of bananas or coconuts, and certain fish (Malo, 1951, p. 29). Poi and taro4 (basic staples of the Hawai‘ian diet) were not to be eaten from the same dish by males and females. Furthermore, in certain circumstances upon threat of death, adult males and adult females were not allowed to eat together, although they could have sex together. Religious laws controlled eating more than they controlled sex.

Some suggest that the restrictiveness of the Kapu led to the demise of traditional Hawaiian society and the abandonment of worship of the Tiki Gods.

Shortly after his father's death and his succession to power, Kamehameha's son Liholiho disregarded the sanctity of the kapu system that was the backbone of Hawaiian society. Encouraged by his mother, Keopuolani, and regent Ka'ahumanu, two of Kamehameha's widows, Liholiho defied tradition by allowing men and women to eat together without restriction at a feast attended by high chiefs and several foreigners. Called the 'Ai Noa, his act shook the foundation and eventually brought the demise of an entire belief system. Ultimately, the ancient gods were abandoned as temples were dismantled and idols burned.
http://www.hawaiihistory.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ig.page&PageID=275







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Cammo
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Joined: May 18, 2006
Posts: 1952
From: San Diego
Posted: 2014-03-29 6:22 pm   Permalink

For a really interesting take on the subject, check out the incredibly controversial Bruno Bettelheim's:

"Symbolic Wounds; Puberty Rites and the Envious Male, 1954 "

Where he basically puts forth the idea that with circumcision, boys are imitating women's first menstrual cycle. The bleeding of the girls' sexual organs freaked out the whole community - so menstruating women were traditionally shut up in dark back huts and the boys were publicly celebrated with cuts on their schwangs...

[ This Message was edited by: Cammo 2014-03-29 18:22 ]


 
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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1305
Posted: 2014-03-29 7:01 pm   Permalink

"Neat."

 
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Cammo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2006
Posts: 1952
From: San Diego
Posted: 2014-03-30 07:34 am   Permalink

I just read Margaret Mead's "Coming Of Age in Samoa" - a lot of it has been discounted, and I don't think Mead had any idea at all how much Samoan society had already changed by the 1920's when she visited. Nonetheless, you can see exactly how seriously they took division of the sexes; Samoans were simply not allowed any contact whatsoever with the other sex. Mead thought that these prison-like guidelines were actually much more psychologically good for the teenagers as there was an age-old pre-approved outlet for almost all behavior types.

There was a short period (when very young) when all the village kids play together, but even this was incredibly brief due to Samoans basically making their children slaves of every adult whim...


 
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