Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia
THE POLYNESIAN TRIANGLE is an area of ten million square miles, defined by the three points of Hawai‘i, New Zealand, and Easter Island. All the islands inside this triangle were originally settled by a clearly identifiable group of voyagers: a people with a single language and set of customs, a distinctive arsenal of tools and skills, and a collection of plants and animals that they carried with them wherever they went. They had no knowledge of writing or metal tools and yet they succeeded in colonizing the largest ocean on the planet, occupying every habitable rock between New Guinea and the Galapagos, and establishing what was until the modern era the largest single culture area in the world.
Sea People tells the story of these remarkable voyagers and of the many people—explorers, linguists, anthropologists, navigators, folklorists—who have puzzled over their astonishing history for more than three hundred years.