Fish Poisoning and Polynesian Migration
The blog of Pasefika Archive Contact Subscribe
Although many theories of Polynesian Migration exist the most prevalant are those who place The Islands of Manu'a, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji (athough melanesian had strong regional ties) as the source of the Lapita and Polynesian people who later migrated to Marquesas, Tahiti and Rarotonga, and later to Aotearoa, Hawai'i and Rapa Nui. Many theories have been documented reasons for these migrations including, exploration, settlement of new lands, war, lack of food and water supply.
This article has proposed another theory having to do with food supply, specifically, fish poisoning. Polynesianfood for the ocean included reef fish but also kinds of reef animals like octopus, sea cucumbers, crabs, and also deep sea fish. Polynesians historically had many vessels and the ability not only to travel thousand of miles but also hundreds giving them the capability to travel beyond the reef to fish.
On land, Polynesian cultures did experience famine, for which some even had famine provisions (special foods buired underground) but they also had taro, bannanas, coconut, chickens, pigs among other above ground food soucres.
In conclusion although the article proposes a great theory based on scientific data, it may only be a piece of a greater puzzle as to reasons for Polynesian migration throughout the Pacific.