The Info List - Polynesian Triangle

The Polynesian Triangle
Polynesian Triangle
is a region of the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
with three island groups at its corners: Hawaiʻi (formerly "the Sandwich Islands"), Easter Island
Easter Island
(Rapa Nui) and New Zealand
New Zealand
(Aotearoa). It is often used as a simple way to define Polynesia. Outside the triangle, there are traces of Polynesian settlement as far north as Necker Island (Mokumanamana), as far east as Salas y Gómez Island (Motu Motiro Hiva), and as far south as Enderby Island
Enderby Island
(Motu Maha). There was also once Polynesian settlement on Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island
and Kermadec Island (Rangitahua). However, by the time the Europeans first arrived, these islands were all uninhabited. Today, the most numerous Polynesian peoples
Polynesian peoples
are the Māori, Hawaiians, Tongans, Samoans, and Tahitians. The native languages of this vast triangle are Polynesian languages, which are classified by linguists as part of the Oceanic subgroup of Malayo-Polynesian. They ultimately derive from the proto-Austronesian language spoken in Southeast Asia 5,000 years ago. There are also numerous Polynesian outlier
Polynesian outlier
islands outside the triangle in neighboring Melanesia
and Micronesia.


1 History 2 See also 3 References 4 External links

History[edit] Further information: Polynesian navigation
Polynesian navigation
and Discovery and settlement of Hawaii Anthropologists believe that all modern Polynesian cultures descend from a single protoculture established in the South Pacific by migrant Malayo-Polynesian people (see also Lapita). There is also some evidence that Polynesians ventured as far east as the Isla Salas y Gómez and as far south as the subantarctic islands to the south of New Zealand, however none of these islands are reckoned with Polynesia proper, as no viable settlements have survived. A shard of pottery has been found in the Antipodes Islands, and is now in the Te Papa museum in Wellington, and there are also remains of a Polynesian settlement dating back to the 13th century on Enderby Island
Enderby Island
in the Auckland Islands.[1][2][3][4] In contrast to the shape of a triangle, another theory states that the geography of Polynesian society and navigation pathways more accurately resemble the geometric qualities of an octopus with head centred on Ra'iātea
(French Polynesia) and tentacles spread out across the Pacific.[5] In Polynesian oral tradition the octopus is known by various names such as Taumata-Fe'e-Fa'atupu-Hau (Grand Octopus of Prosperity), Tumu-Ra'i-Fenua (Beginning-of-Heaven-and-Earth) and Te Wheke-a-Muturangi (The Octopus of Muturangi). See also[edit]

Ancient Hawaii Māori people
Māori people
origins Polynesian Leaders Group Te Wheke-a-Muturangi


^ O'Connor, Tom Polynesians in the Southern Ocean: Occupation of the Auckland Islands
Auckland Islands
in Prehistory in New Zealand
New Zealand
Geographic 69 (September–October 2004): 6-8) ^ Anderson, Atholl J., & Gerard R. O'Regan To the Final Shore: Prehistoric Colonisation of the Subantarctic Islands in South Polynesia
in Australian Archaeologist: Collected Papers in Honour of Jim Allen Canberra: Australian National University, 2000. 440-454. ^ Anderson, Atholl J., & Gerard R. O'Regan The Polynesian Archaeology of the Subantarctic Islands: An Initial Report on Enderby Island Southern Margins Project Report. Dunedin: Ngai Tahu Development Report, 1999 ^ Anderson, Atholl J. Subpolar Settlement in South Polynesia
Antiquity 79.306 (2005): 791-800 ^ E. Tetahiotupa, Au gré des vents et des courants (Éditions des Mers Australes) 2009, https://www.tahiti-infos.com/Pourquoi-le-Triangle-polynesien-est-une-pieuvre_a135121.html

External links[edit]

Polynesian Cultural Center Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

v t e


Polynesian triangle

Cook Islands Easter Island French Polynesia

Austral Islands Gambier Islands Marquesas Islands Society Islands Tuamotus

Hawaiian Islands New Zealand Niue Pitcairn Islands Rotuma Sala y Gómez Samoan Islands Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna

Polynesian outliers

Aniwa Anuta Emae Futuna Kapingamarangi Loyalty Islands Mele Nuguria Nukumanu Nukuoro Ontong Java Ouvéa Pileni Rennell Sikaiana Takuu Tikopia


Lau Islands

v t e

Regions of Oceania


Gulf of Carpentaria New Guinea

Bonis Peninsula Papuan Peninsula Huon Peninsula Huon Gulf Bird's Head Peninsula Gazelle Peninsula

New Zealand

South Island North Island

Coromandel Peninsula

Zealandia New Caledonia Solomon Islands (archipelago) Vanuatu

Kula Gulf

Australia Capital Country Eastern Australia Lake Eyre basin Murray–Darling basin Northern Australia Nullarbor Plain Outback Southern Australia


Sunraysia Great Victoria Desert Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf St Vincent Lefevre Peninsula Fleurieu Peninsula Yorke Peninsula Eyre Peninsula Mornington Peninsula Bellarine Peninsula Mount Henry Peninsula


Islands Region

Bismarck Archipelago Solomon Islands Archipelago

Fiji New Caledonia Papua New Guinea Vanuatu


Caroline Islands

Federated States of Micronesia Palau

Guam Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru Northern Mariana Islands Wake Island


Easter Island Hawaiian Islands Cook Islands French Polynesia

Austral Islands Gambier Islands Marquesas Islands Society Islands Tuamotu

Kermadec Islands Mangareva Islands Samoa Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu