Ancient Hawaii and Discovery and settlement of Hawaii A projection of the Polynesian triangle on the globe. Between about and BC speakers of Austronesian languages spread through the islands of Southeast Asia — almost certainly starting out from Taiwan as tribes whose natives were thought to have previously arrived from mainland South China about years ago — into the edges of western Micronesia and on into Melanesia.
Yet this string of tiny islands some of them measuring only a few square miles, or even a few acres lost in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean has produced an artistic tradition that is among the most imaginative, the most poetic and the most eclectic in the world.
Defying all definition or classification, these works are now at last appreciated in their own right, freed from the shackles of an overtly Eurocentric approach.
But the study of the art of this strange and colourful world, often dreamlike and sometimes macabre or disturbing, is nevertheless still in its infancy. When European sailors started to ply the waters of the Pacific in the 16th century, they were astonished by the huge diversity of peoples they encountered.
But at the same time, cultural similarities emerged across great distances inthe French explorer Dumont d'Uville, a true man of the Enlightenment and as such obsessed with meticulous systems of classification, laid the foundations for the division of this vast area of the world into three zones: Although this division remains in common use, largely for reasons of convenience, it is impossible now to ignore the somewhat artificial nature of the criteria upon which it rests.
Naturally, the temptation to underline the characteristics specific to each region is almost irresistible. Polynesian art, for instance, is easily distinguished by its elegance and its finished quality; its Melanesian counterpart is more terrifying, playing on spectacular effects and the element of surprise, and the art of Micronesia favours surface decoration.
Yet the boundaries between these apparently fixed entities remain fluid. Research over the last 20 years had redefined four great creative centres, thus laying emphasis on the circulation of motifs and objects, as well as of people, within this vast territory of islands and oceans.
New Guinea and Australia make up the first group, representing the only zone speaking non-Austronesian languages and also the area of earliest habitation, by peoples of Asian origin.
The populations of the second group, which comprises the islands of Melanesia, from the Admiralty Islands to New Caledonia, as well as the Tonga Islands, Fiji and Samoa, formerly known collectively as western Polynesia, is strictly Austronesian in origin.
The third group brings together the markedly homogeneous populations of central and eastern Polynesia, including Easter Island, the Marquesas Islands, Hawaii and New Zealand.
Micronesia, finally, forms the fourth district grouping by virtue of its Asian origins. Bark cloth on cane framework, highlights in red, white and black pigments.
More interesting still are a number of lines of reflection tending to emphasize similarities of differences. One example is the fondness of these island-dwellers for transforming the human body into the support for a work of art, another is the complex organization of spathal volumes manifested in the creation of the sumptuous and deeply religious buildings known as 'big houses' or 'meeting houses,' whose immediately recognizable outlines are to be found through a region stretching from Indonesia and southern Polynesia.
And finally, there remains the question to which scholars are still doggedly trying to find the answer: And this is only one of the many unanswered questions and mysteries that hover over these cultures, demonized by some and fantasized by others. The state of affairs is undoubtedly due to the poor conditions under which these objects have come down to us: But we should be grateful, nevertheless, to the early explorers, navigators and ethnologists who first offered these singular and sophisticated works of art to Western eyes.
We should also thank the artists of the early 20th century who rescued from the ranks of 'crafts' works with 'convulsive beauty' they found strangely compelling. Carving from the stem of a Maori great war canoe, New Zealand.
Wood Among the latter was Alberto Giacometti.
In a radio interview on April 6,he observed to Georges Charbonnier: Here we are not dealing with the imitation of an eye, but with the imitation of a gaze. All other elements are there to support this gaze.
But the strangest thing of all is that these Oceanian masks Realm of the Sea As Polynesia's name suggests, many it undoubtedly is, with its string of basalt lava islands rising from the depths of the ocean.
And many-faceted, too, in the arts that have flourished in the hands of its inhabitants: Oriented exclusively toward the sea, which infuses their art and rituals in obsessive fashion, Polynesians are above all else seafarers haunted by a world of spirits and of ancestors who must be honoured.
Few peoples, it seems, have so endeavoured to understand the creation of the world and the origins of time. Thus, most of their foundation myths begin in the po, or original darkness, and tell the story of how Father Sky and Mother Earth together created all the other divinities and finally all their offspring, each of these divine beings personifying a particular aspect of the natural world.
The darkness of the interior recalls the po, while the pillars that support the main roof beam are the embodiment of the support offered by the ancestral gods, whose carved effigies they bear.
Other regions have 'portable statues of the gods, but the most impressive effigies of divine figures generally form an integral part of the ceremonial groups. We are familiar with the great tiki of the Marquesas Islands, their powerful cylindrical bodies - as though in anticipation of Cubism - so fascinated Picasso, he kept one such piece in his studio.
And who could forget the monumental statues of Easter Island, as enigmatic as they are colossal, 'mediating between sky and earth, between men and chiefs, and between chiefs and gods. Wood, lime inlay In this profoundly hierarchical world, where power was concentrated in the hands of a hereditary oligarchy, two concepts specific to Polynesia underlay all artistic endeavour.
Mana was a sort of 'grace' granted to certain individuals, rendering them not only different and superior to other people but also taboo, that is as in its adopted sense in Western languages 'forbidden' or even 'dangerous. Yet any study of the languages of Polynesia reveals one notable feature the complete absence of any term or concept to designate artistic endeavour as an activity in its own right.From Conversion to Conquest: The Early Spanish Mission in the caninariojana.coml of Pacific History 17 (): The First Taint of Civilization: A History of the Caroline and Marshall Islands in Pre-colonial Days, Honolulu: University of Hawaii.
From Conquest to Colonization: Spain in the Mariana Islands to Polynesian navigation used some navigational instruments, which predate and are distinct from the machined metal tools used by European navigators (such as the sextant, first produced in ; the sea astrolabe, from around late 15th century; and the marine chronometer, invented in ).
However, they also relied heavily on close observation of sea sign and a large body of knowledge from oral tradition. Oct 30, · Female patients experience a broader range of chemotherapy side effects compared with their male counterparts, according to the results of a study presented at the European .
The early Spanish explorers had sailed through the Carolines in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries on their way to the Spice Islands; and had sprinkled names like Islas de los Reyes, Barbudos, and Martires. A year earlier, both Spain and Germany had claimed the Caroline Islands which had brought the two countries to a brink of war in .
The islands of Micronesia lie in the Western Pacific near the equator, east of the Philippines and north of Melanesia. They include the Marianas, the Carolines, the Marshalls, Kiribati, and Nauru. The total land area of the islands is some square miles, a very small area compared to the 3 million square miles of water in Micronesia.
The main ships which travel between the Pacific Islands of Micronesia are called the FSM Caroline Voyager and the Micro Glory. Pacific Islands of Micronesia Trains and Buses A school bus service between Yap’s capital of Colonia and smaller villages is the only significant public bus network on any of the Pacific Islands of Micronesia.