Pacific World Research Paper

1457 Words6 Pages
The Pacific Ocean spreads out to cover the largest part of the world, full of islands that vary in area and population sizes. These islands have experienced major shifts over the last 3000 years going from unpopulated volcanoes in the middle of the ocean, to highly populated societies with diverse cultures and complicated social hierarchies. Starting about 1000 BCE the pacific world experienced four different major migration periods that changed the way that the most isolated areas in the world developed into the astounding world that James Cook and the other European explorers discovered in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. The spread and maintenance of a single very similar culture across the ocean, as well as the development of highly stratified…show more content…
The push out into the middle of the Pacific didn’t start until about 1000 BCE when the Lapita culture began to appear in the islands of the Pacific World. Migrating primarily from South East Asia again and also parts of Austronesia, they began to settle in Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa. Here, over the course of the next 500 years, the beginnings of the modern pacific culture that we know now started to emerge. The ideas of mana, and kapu, as well as the tradition of Hawaiki, an ancient homeland, were fully developed by around 500 BCE where the Lapita migration had already ended. Travel to the other islands had come to a close and the islands each began to develop their own unique quirks and traditions, while still holding on to a majority of their shared heritage. Islands untouched by man were quickly cultivated and transformed into agricultural egalitarian societies, forever shaping the islands from their original forms and preventing anyone from knowing exactly what they looked like 3000 years ago, and setting them up for the next period of voyaging…show more content…
Up until this moment, the Hawaiian Islands had stood alone as one of the few areas in the world to have remained free of human influence by the turn of the millennium. However, even back to about 500 CE, the Polynesian people began to sail again. This was the beginning of the exploring people of the Pacific World. During this phase the Vaka Moana had become the vessel of choice for the Islanders, as they explored nearly the entire ocean. During the first half of this period, settlement began in Tahiti early, and from there to Micronesia, and even out to Rapa Nui. Also during this same time frame, sweet potatoes arrived in the islands, a native food from South America. As the voyaging people continued to traverse the Pacific, by about 1000 CE, the Tahitians managed to make their way to the Hawaiian islands, untouched after almost 2000 years of sailing the ocean, and however many thousands of years of human history the volcanic island chain was finally settled. Then, for about another 300 years, travel between Tahiti and Hawaii was rather common. This allowed for a large amount of culture sharing and even a language that maintained a large number of similarities across the ocean for the next 500 years after travel had come to an end. Although the migrations came to a close, the cultures began to settle into themselves and expanded across the islands in their own

More about Pacific World Research Paper

Open Document