Sailing and travel tales

The People of the Marquesas

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Ancient Marquesas

Ancient Marquesas

In some valleys are the long deserted “towns” of the ancients. Ancient stone roads, stone platforms, stone lined pits, stone walls and stone tikis. Acres of them, largely abandoned unless recovered from the vines and trees for tourists to speculate on the activities that may or may not have taken place on these sites.

The people of these islands today enjoy a tranquillity and goodness of lifestyle that we have not found anywhere else on our travels, including New Zealand.

Once populated by thousands of people now only about 2000 live on each island. It’s fairly clear that these people share a common ancient history with the Maori of New Zealand.

The Maoris left their homeland in big canoes. Trees to make such canoes could have been found on the Marquesan islands at one time but not on the Tuamotu atolls.

The NZ Maori left to find a new land because of food shortages. The Marquesas have a history of failing food crops because of lack of rainfall – and high population.

The Marquesans made stone “tikis”, man-size sometimes. . The Maoris make small greenstone “tikis”.

It is possible in New Zealand that without a large population the large stonework skills were lost. The NZ Maoris carved in wood and so do the Marquesans.

The ancient Marquesans   built their “maraes “on stone blocks. The walls of the buildings were woven or thatched, the supporting poles carved wooden poles  and the rooves thatched.

Marquesans understand the NZ maori language enough to communicate.”Mana” and “Tapu” are similarly understood by The Marquesans.

There was a near native mouse on the Marquesas. It came from Chile one source said. It is now extinct. The maori brought the rat and a dog that didn’t bark.  Like New Zealand it seems there were no native land mammals , only native reptiles and birds. There is a big black native pigeon that has been rescued from extinction recently. It had been too “good for the pot”.

I asked about “native” mammals because I wondered where they got the skins for their drums from before the goats, cows and horses arrived. Was it from human skins!

The NZ Maori do not have a similar traditional drum. They did not have mammals to provide a skin in New Zealand.

Both “Maoris”, NZ and The Marquesas have a cannibalistic past history and both had enslaved people.

The NZ climate would have been too cold for the food trees of French Polynesia to establish – breadfruit, coconut, mangos, papaya, bananas, taro.

Kumara grows here and food is called Kai!

Many Marquesans look like the NZ Maori. The Marquesans say they came from Asia originally.

Very ancient statues of monkey like figures are found on Niku Hiva – maybe  created from a memory of a now lost and forgotten Asian homeland.

The ancients monkeys

Written by teoranga

August 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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