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Coordinates: 16°51′11″S 148°24′19″E / 16.8529613°S 148.4052203°E / -16.8529613; 148.4052203

Polynesia
Polynesia
is generally defined as the islands within the Polynesian triangle

The three major cultural areas in the Pacific Ocean: Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia

Polynesia
Polynesia
(UK: /ˌpɒlɪˈniːziə/; US: /ˌpɑːləˈniːʒə/, from Greek: πολύς polys "many" and Greek: νῆσος nēsos "island") is a subregion of Oceania, made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia
Polynesia
are termed Polynesians, and share many similar traits including language family, culture, and beliefs.[1] Historically, they had a strong tradition of sailing and using stars to navigate at night. The term Polynesia
Polynesia
was first used in 1756 by French writer Charles de Brosses, and originally applied to all the islands of the Pacific. In 1831, Jules Dumont d'Urville
Jules Dumont d'Urville
proposed a restriction on its use during a lecture to the Geographical Society of Paris. Historically, the islands of the South Seas
South Seas
have been known as South Sea Islands,[2] and their inhabitants as South Sea Islanders, even though the Hawaiian Islands are located in the North Pacific. Another term, the Polynesian Triangle, explicitly includes the Hawaiian Islands, as they form its northern vertex.

Contents

1 Geography

1.1 Geology 1.2 Geographic area 1.3 Island
Island
groups

1.3.1 Core area 1.3.2 Outliers

1.3.2.1 Melanesia 1.3.2.2 Micronesia 1.3.2.3 Subantarctic islands

2 History

2.1 Origins and expansion 2.2 Culture 2.3 Political history

2.3.1 Tonga
Tonga
16th century–present 2.3.2 Samoa
Samoa
Malietoa–present 2.3.3 Tahiti 2.3.4 Hawaii 2.3.5 New Zealand
New Zealand
Māori 2.3.6 Fiji 2.3.7 Cook Islands 2.3.8 Tuvalu

3 Links to the Americas 4 Cultures 5 Languages 6 Economy 7 Inter-Polynesian cooperation 8 Navigation 9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

Geography[edit]

Cook's Bay on Moorea, French Polynesia

Mokoliʻi Isle near Oahu, Hawaii

Geology[edit] Polynesia
Polynesia
is characterized by a small amount of land spread over a very large portion of the mid and southern Pacific Ocean. Most Polynesian islands and archipelagos, including the Hawaiian Islands and Samoa, are composed of volcanic islands built by hotspots. New Zealand, Norfolk Island, and Ouvéa, the Polynesian outlier
Polynesian outlier
near New Caledonia, are the unsubmerged portions of the largely sunken continent of Zealandia. Zealandia
Zealandia
is believed to have mostly sunk 23 million years ago and recently resurfaced geologically due to a change in the movements of the Pacific Plate
Pacific Plate
in relation to the Indo-Australian plate, which served to uplift the New Zealand
New Zealand
portion. At first, the Pacific plate was subducted under the Australian plate. The Alpine Fault
Alpine Fault
that traverses the South Island
Island
is currently a transform fault while the convergent plate boundary from the North Island
Island
northwards is called the Kermadec- Tonga
Tonga
Subduction Zone. The volcanism associated with this subduction zone is the origin of the Kermadec and Tongan island archipelagos. Out of approximately 300,000 or 310,000 square kilometres (117,000 or 118,000 sq mi) of land, over 270,000 km2 (103,000 sq mi) are within New Zealand; the Hawaiian archipelago comprises about half the remainder. The Zealandia continent has approximately 3,600,000 km2 (1,400,000 sq mi) of continental shelf. The oldest rocks in the region are found in New Zealand
New Zealand
and are believed to be about 510 million years old. The oldest Polynesian rocks outside of Zealandia are to be found in the Hawaiian Emperor Seamount Chain and are 80 million years old. Geographic area[edit] Polynesia
Polynesia
is generally defined as the islands within the Polynesian Triangle, although there are some islands that are inhabited by Polynesian people
Polynesian people
situated outside the Polynesian Triangle. Geographically, the Polynesian Triangle
Polynesian Triangle
is drawn by connecting the points of Hawaii, New Zealand
New Zealand
and Easter Island. The other main island groups located within the Polynesian Triangle
Polynesian Triangle
are Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Niue, Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna
and French Polynesia. There are also small Polynesian settlements in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Caroline Islands, and in Vanuatu. An island group with strong Polynesian cultural traits outside of this great triangle is Rotuma, situated north of Fiji. The people of Rotuma
Rotuma
have many common Polynesian traits but speak a non-Polynesian language. Some of the Lau Islands
Lau Islands
to the southeast of Fiji
Fiji
have strong historic and cultural links with Tonga. However, in essence, Polynesia
Polynesia
is a cultural term referring to one of the three parts of Oceania
Oceania
(the others being Micronesia
Micronesia
and Melanesia). Island
Island
groups[edit] The following are the islands and island groups, either nations or overseas territories of former colonial powers, that are of native Polynesian culture
Polynesian culture
or where archaeological evidence indicates Polynesian settlement in the past.[3] Some islands of Polynesian origin are outside the general triangle that geographically defines the region. Core area[edit]

Country or dependency Notes

 American Samoa Unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US; self-governing under supervision of the Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior.

 Cook Islands Self-governing state in free association with New Zealand

 Easter Island Province and special territory of Chile

 French Polynesia Overseas country of France

 Hawaii A state of the United States

 New Zealand Independent nation

 Niue Self-governing state in free association with New Zealand

 Norfolk Island An Australian External Territory

 Pitcairn Islands A British Overseas Territory

 Samoa Independent nation

 Tokelau Overseas dependency of New Zealand

 Tonga Independent nation

 Tuvalu Independent nation

 Wallis and Futuna Collectivity of France

Rotuma Fijian dependency

Fijian Lau Islands The Phoenix Islands
Phoenix Islands
and Line Islands, most of which are part of Kiribati, had no permanent settlements until European colonization, but are sometimes considered to be inside the Polynesian triangle[citation needed]. In pre-colonial times, Polynesian populations also existed in the Kermadec Islands, the Auckland Islands
Auckland Islands
and Norfolk Island. However, when European explorers arrived, these islands were uninhabited. Outliers[edit] Main article: Polynesian outliers Melanesia[edit]

Anuta
Anuta
(in the Solomon Islands) Bellona Island
Island
(in the Solomon Islands) Emae
Emae
(in Vanuatu) Fiji Mele (in Vanuatu) Nuguria
Nuguria
(in Papua New Guinea) Nukumanu
Nukumanu
(in Papua New Guinea) Ontong Java
Ontong Java
(in the Solomon Islands) Pileni
Pileni
(in the Solomon Islands) Rennell (in the Solomon Islands) Sikaiana
Sikaiana
(in the Solomon Islands) Takuu
Takuu
(in Papua New Guinea) Tikopia
Tikopia
(in the Solomon Islands) The United States
United States
Minor Outlying Islands

Micronesia[edit]

Kapingamarangi
Kapingamarangi
(in the Federated States of Micronesia) Nukuoro
Nukuoro
(in the Federated States of Micronesia)

Subantarctic islands[edit]

Auckland Islands
Auckland Islands
(the most southerly known evidence of Polynesian settlement)[4][5][6][7]

History[edit] Origins and expansion[edit]

The Polynesian spread of colonization in the Pacific

Moai
Moai
at Ahu Tongariki on Rapa Nui

The Polynesian people
Polynesian people
are considered to be by linguistic, archaeological and human genetic ancestry a subset of the sea-migrating Austronesian people. Tracing Polynesian languages
Polynesian languages
places their prehistoric origins in the Malay Archipelago, and ultimately, in Taiwan. Between about 3000 and 1000 BC speakers of Austronesian languages began spreading from Taiwan
Taiwan
into Island
Island
Southeast Asia.[8][9][10] There are three theories regarding the spread of humans across the Pacific to Polynesia. These are outlined well by Kayser et al. (2000)[11] and are as follows:

Express Train model: A recent (c. 3000–1000 BC) expansion out of Taiwan, via the Philippines
Philippines
and eastern Indonesia
Indonesia
and from the northwest ("Bird's Head") of New Guinea, on to Island
Island
Melanesia
Melanesia
by roughly 1400 BC, reaching western Polynesian islands around 900 BC. This theory is supported by the majority of current genetic, linguistic, and archaeological data. Entangled Bank model: Emphasizes the long history of Austronesian speakers' cultural and genetic interactions with indigenous Island Southeast Asians and Melanesians along the way to becoming the first Polynesians. Slow Boat model: Similar to the express-train model but with a longer hiatus in Melanesia
Melanesia
along with admixture, both genetically, culturally and linguistically with the local population. This is supported by the Y-chromosome data of Kayser et al. (2000), which shows that all three haplotypes of Polynesian Y chromosomes can be traced back to Melanesia.[9]

In the archaeological record there are well-defined traces of this expansion which allow the path it took to be followed and dated with some certainty. It is thought that by roughly 1400 BC,[12] "Lapita Peoples", so-named after their pottery tradition, appeared in the Bismarck Archipelago
Archipelago
of northwest Melanesia. This culture is seen as having adapted and evolved through time and space since its emergence "Out of Taiwan". They had given up rice production, for instance, after encountering and adapting to breadfruit in the Bird's Head
Bird's Head
area of New Guinea. The results of research at the Teouma Lapita
Lapita
site (Efate Island, Vanuatu) and the Talasiu Lapita
Lapita
site (near Nuku'alofa, Tonga) published in 2016 supports the Express Train model; although with the qualification that the migration bypassed New Guinea
New Guinea
and Island Melanesia. The conclusion from research published in 2016 is that the initial population of those two sites appears to come directly from Taiwan
Taiwan
or the northern Philippines
Philippines
and did not mix with the ‘AustraloPapuans’ of New Guinea
New Guinea
and the Solomon Islands.[13] The preliminary analysis of skulls found at the Teouma and Talasiu Lapita sites is that they lack Australian or Papuan affinities and instead have affinities to mainland Asian populations.[14] DNA analysis of modern Polynesians
Polynesians
indicates that there has been intermarriage resulting in a mixed Asian-Papuan ancestry of the Polynesians. Research at the Teouma and Talasiu Lapita
Lapita
sites implies that the migration and intermarriage, which resulted in the mixed Asian-Papuan ancestry of the Polynesians,[9] occurred after the first initial migration to Vanuatu
Vanuatu
and Tonga.[13][15] The most eastern site for Lapita
Lapita
archaeological remains recovered so far is at Mulifanua
Mulifanua
on Upolu. The Mulifanua
Mulifanua
site, where 4,288 pottery shards have been found and studied, has a "true" age of c. 1000 BC based on C14 dating.[16] A 2010 study places the beginning of the human archaeological sequences of Polynesia
Polynesia
in Tonga
Tonga
at 900 B.C.[17] Within a mere three or four centuries, between 1300 and 900 BC, the Lapita
Lapita
archaeological culture spread 6,000 km further to the east from the Bismarck Archipelago, until reaching as far as Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa
Samoa
which were first populated around 3,000 years ago as previously mentioned.[18] A cultural divide began to develop between Fiji
Fiji
to the west, and the distinctive Polynesian language
Polynesian language
and culture emerging on Tonga
Tonga
and Samoa
Samoa
to the east. Where there was once faint evidence of uniquely shared developments in Fijian and Polynesian speech, most of this is now called "borrowing" and is thought to have occurred in those and later years more than as a result of continuing unity of their earliest dialects on those far-flung lands. Contacts were mediated especially through the eastern Lau Islands
Lau Islands
of Fiji. This is where most Fijian-Polynesian linguistic interaction occurred.[citation needed]

Grinding stones discovered from archaeology in Samoa

Tiny populations may have been involved at first;[17][clarification needed] although Professor Matisoo-Smith of the Otago study said that the founding Māori population of New Zealand
New Zealand
must have been in the hundreds, much larger than previously thought.[19] Culture[edit] The Polynesians
Polynesians
were matrilineal and matrilocal Stone Age
Stone Age
societies upon arrival in Fiji, Tonga
Tonga
and Samoa, after having been through at least some time in the Bismarck Archipelago. The modern Polynesians still show human genetic results of a Melanesian culture which allowed indigenous men, but not women, to "marry in" – useful evidence for matrilocality.[8][9][20][21] Atholl Anderson wrote that that analysis of mtDNA (female) and Y chromosome (male) concluded that that the ancestors of Polynesian women came from Taiwan
Taiwan
while those of Polynesian men came from New Guinea. Subsequently it was found that 96% of Polynesian mtDNA has an Asian origin, as does one-third of Polynesian Y chromosomes; the remaining two-thirds from New Guinea
New Guinea
and nearby islands; this is consistent with matrilocal residence patterns.[22] Although matrilocality and matrilineality receded at some early time, Polynesians
Polynesians
and most other Austronesian speakers in the Pacific Islands, were/are still highly "matricentric" in their traditional jurisprudence.[20] The Lapita
Lapita
pottery for which the general archaeological complex of the earliest "Oceanic" Austronesian speakers in the Pacific Islands are named also went away in Western Polynesia. Language, social life and material culture were very distinctly "Polynesian" by the time Eastern Polynesia
Eastern Polynesia
was being settled after a "pause" of 1000 years or more in Western Polynesia. The dating of the settlement of Eastern Polynesia, including Hawai'i, Easter Island, and New Zealand, is not agreed upon in every instance. Most recently, a 2010 study using meta-analysis of the most reliable radiocarbon dates available suggested that the colonization of Eastern Polynesia
Polynesia
(including Hawaii
Hawaii
and New Zealand) proceeded in two short episodes: in the Society Islands
Society Islands
from 1025–1120 AD and further afield from 1190–1290 AD,[23] with Easter Island
Island
being settled around 1200.[24][25] Other archeological models developed in recent decades, which are challenged by that recent set of radiocarbon dating interpretations, have pointed to dates of between 300 and 500 AD, or alternatively 800 AD (as supported by Jared Diamond) for the settlement of Easter Island, and similarly, a date of 500 AD has been suggested for Hawaii. Linguistically, there is a very distinct "East Polynesian" subgroup with many shared innovations not seen in other Polynesian languages. The Marquesas
Marquesas
dialects are perhaps the source of the oldest Hawaiian speech which is overlaid by Tahitian variety speech, as Hawaiian oral histories would suggest. The earliest varieties of New Zealand
New Zealand
Maori speech may have had multiple sources from around central Eastern Polynesia
Eastern Polynesia
as Maori oral histories would suggest.[citation needed] Political history[edit] Tonga
Tonga
16th century–present[edit] After a bloody civil war, political power in Tonga
Tonga
eventually fell under the Tu'i Kanokupolu
Tu'i Kanokupolu
dynasty in the 16th century. In 1845 the ambitious young warrior, strategist, and orator Tāufaʻāhau united Tonga
Tonga
into a more Western-style kingdom. He held the chiefly title of Tuʻi Kanokupolu, but had been baptised with the name Jiaoji ("George") in 1831. In 1875, with the help of the missionary Shirley Waldemar Baker, he declared Tonga
Tonga
a constitutional monarchy, formally adopted the western royal style, emancipated the "serfs", enshrined a code of law, land tenure, and freedom of the press, and limited the power of the chiefs. Tonga
Tonga
became a British-protected state under a Treaty of Friendship on 18 May 1900, when European settlers and rival Tongan chiefs tried to oust the second king. Within the British Empire, which posted no higher permanent representative on Tonga
Tonga
than a British Consul (1901–1970), Tonga
Tonga
formed part of the British Western Pacific Territories (under a colonial High Commissioner, residing in Fiji) from 1901 until 1952. Despite being under the protectorate, Tonga retained its monarchy without interruption. On June 4, 1970 the Kingdom of Tonga
Tonga
received independence from the British protectorate. Samoa
Samoa
Malietoa–present[edit] Samoa
Samoa
remained under Malietoa chieftains until its East-West division by Tripartite Convention (1899)
Tripartite Convention (1899)
subsequent annexation by the German Empire and the United States. The German-controlled Western portion of Samoa
Samoa
(consisting of the bulk of Samoan territory) was occupied by New Zealand in WWI, and administered by it under a Class C League of Nations Mandate until receiving independence on January 1, 1962. The new Independent State of Samoa
Samoa
was not a monarchy, though the Malietoa title-holder remained very influential. It officially ended, however with the death of Malietoa Tanumafili II
Malietoa Tanumafili II
on May 11, 2007. Tahiti[edit] Main article: Pomare Dynasty Hawaii[edit]

Polynesians
Polynesians
with outrigger canoes at Waikiki beach, Oahu
Oahu
Island, early 20th century

Main article: Kingdom of Hawaii New Zealand
New Zealand
Māori[edit] On October 28, 1835 members of the Ngāpuhi
Ngāpuhi
and surrounding Māori tribes (iwi) issued a "declaration of independence", as a "confederation of tribes" to resist potential French colonization efforts and to prevent the ships and cargo of Māori merchants from being seized at foreign ports. They received recognition from the British monarch in 1836. (See United Tribes of New Zealand, New Zealand Declaration of Independence, James Busby.) Using the Treaty of Waitangi
Treaty of Waitangi
and right of discovery as a basis, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
annexed New Zealand
New Zealand
as a part of New South Wales
New South Wales
in 1840. In response to the actions of the colonial government, Māori looked to form a monarchy inclusive of all Māori tribes in order to reduce vulnerability to the British divide-and-conquer strategy. Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, high priest and chief of the Ngāti Mahuta tribe of the Waikato
Waikato
iwi, was crowned as the Māori king in 1858. The king's territory consisted primarily of the lands in the center of the North Island, and the iwi constituted the most powerful non-signatories of the Treaty of Waitangi, with Te Wherowhero also never having signed it.[26] (See Kingitanga.) All tribes were incorporated into rule under the colonial government by the late 19th century. Although Māori were given the privilege of being legally enfranchised subjects of the British Empire under the Treaty, Māori culture
Māori culture
and language (te reo Māori) were actively suppressed by the colonial government and by economic and social pressures from the Pakeha society. Efforts were made to preserve indigenous culture starting in the late 1950s and culminating in the Waitangi Tribunal's interpretation of language and culture being included in the treasures set to be preserved under the Treaty of Waitangi. Moving from a low point of 15,000 speakers in the 1970s, there are now over 157,000 people who have some proficiency in the standard Māori language
Māori language
according to the 2006 census[27] in New Zealand, due in large part to government recognition and promotion of the language. Fiji[edit] See also: History of Fiji, Seru Epenisa Cakobau, and Fiji
Fiji
during the time of Cakobau The Lau islands were subject to periods of Tongan rulership and then Fijian control until their eventual conquest by Seru Epenisa Cakobau of the Kingdom of Fiji
Fiji
by 1871. In around 1855 a Tongan prince, Enele Ma'afu, proclaimed the Lau islands as his kingdom, and took the title Tui Lau. Fiji
Fiji
itself had been ruled by numerous divided chieftains until Cakobau unified the landmass. The Lapita
Lapita
culture, the ancestors of the Polynesians, existed in Fiji
Fiji
from 3500 BCE until they were displaced by the Melanesians about a thousand years later. (Interestingly, Samoans
Samoans
and subsequent Polynesian cultures adopted Melanesian face painting methods.) In 1873, Cakobau ceded a Fiji
Fiji
heavily indebted to foreign creditors to the United Kingdom. It became independent on 10 October 1970 and a republic on 28 September 1987. Cook Islands[edit] See also: History of the Cook Islands The Cook Islands
Cook Islands
is made up of 15 Islands comprising the Northern and Southern Groups. The islands are spread out across many kilometers of a vast ocean. The largest of these islands is called Rarotonga, which is also the political and economic capital of the nation. The Cook Islands
Cook Islands
were formerly known as the Hervey Islands, but this name only refers to the Northern Groups. It is unknown when this name was changed to reflect the current name. It is thought that the Cook Islands were settled in two periods: the Tahitian Period, when the country was settled between 900 - 1300 AD. The second settlement, the Maui Settlement, occurred in 1600 AD, when a large contingent from Tahiti
Tahiti
settled in Rarotonga, in the Takitumu district. Cook Islanders are ethnically Polynesians
Polynesians
or Eastern Polynesia. They are culturally associated with Tahiti, Eastern Islands, NZ Maori and Hawaii. Early in the 17th century, became the first race to settle in New Zealand. Tuvalu[edit] Main article: History of Tuvalu

Canoe
Canoe
carving on Nanumea
Nanumea
atoll, Tuvalu

The reef islands and atolls of Tuvalu
Tuvalu
are identified as being part of West Polynesia. During pre-European-contact times there was frequent canoe voyaging between the islands as Polynesian navigation
Polynesian navigation
skills are recognised to have allowed deliberate journeys on double-hull sailing canoes or outrigger canoes.[28] Eight of the nine islands of Tuvalu were inhabited; thus the name, Tuvalu, means "eight standing together" in Tuvaluan. The pattern of settlement that is believed to have occurred is that the Polynesians
Polynesians
spread out from Samoa
Samoa
and Tonga
Tonga
into the Tuvaluan atolls, with Tuvalu
Tuvalu
providing a stepping stone for migration into the Polynesian Outlier communities in Melanesia
Melanesia
and Micronesia.[29][30][31] Stories as to the ancestors of the Tuvaluans vary from island to island. On Niutao,[32] Funafuti
Funafuti
and Vaitupu
Vaitupu
the founding ancestor is described as being from Samoa;[33][34] whereas on Nanumea
Nanumea
the founding ancestor is described as being from Tonga.[33] The extent of influence of the Tuʻi Tonga
Tonga
line of Tongan kings, which originated in the 10th century, is understood to have extended to some of the islands of Tuvalu
Tuvalu
in the 11th to mid-13th century.[34] The oral history of Niutao
Niutao
recalls that in the 15th century Tongan warriors were defeated in a battle on the reef of Niutao. Tongan warriors also invaded Niutao
Niutao
later in the 15th century and again were repelled. A third and fourth Tongan invasion of Niutao
Niutao
occurred in the late 16th century, again with the Tongans being defeated.[32] Fishing was the primary source of protein, with the cuisine of Tuvalu reflecting food that could be grown on low-lying atolls. Navigation between the islands of Tuvalu
Tuvalu
was carried out using outrigger canoes. The population levels of the low-lying islands of Tuvalu
Tuvalu
had to be managed because of the effects of periodic droughts and the risk of severe famine if the gardens were poisoned by salt from the storm-surge of a tropical cyclone. Links to the Americas[edit] See also: Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact § Possible Polynesian trans-oceanic contact The sweet potato, called kūmara in Māori and kumar in Quechua, is native to the Americas and was widespread in Polynesia
Polynesia
when Europeans first reached the Pacific. Remains of the plant in the Cook Islands have been radiocarbon-dated to 1000, and current thinking is that it was brought to central Polynesia
Polynesia
c. 700 and spread across Polynesia from there, possibly by Polynesians
Polynesians
who had traveled to South America and back.[35] Thor Heyerdahl
Thor Heyerdahl
proposed in the mid-20th century that the Polynesians had migrated from the northwest coast of Canada by large whale-hunting dugouts, and from South America
South America
on balsa-log boats.[36][37] Many anthropologists have criticised Heyerdahl's theory, including Wade Davis in his book The Wayfinders. Davis says that Heyerdahl "ignored the overwhelming body of linguistic, ethnographic, and ethnobotanical evidence, augmented today by genetic and archaeological data, indicating that he was patently wrong."[38] Cultures[edit] Main article: Polynesian culture

Painting of Tahitian Women on the Beach by Paul Gauguin—Musée d'Orsay

Polynesia
Polynesia
divides into two distinct cultural groups, East Polynesia and West Polynesia. The culture of West Polynesia
Polynesia
is conditioned to high populations. It has strong institutions of marriage and well-developed judicial, monetary and trading traditions. It comprises the groups of Tonga, Niue, Samoa
Samoa
and extends to the atolls of Tuvalu to the north. The pattern of settlement that is believed to have occurred is that the Polynesians
Polynesians
spread out from the Samoan Islands into the Tuvaluan atolls, with Tuvalu
Tuvalu
providing a stepping stone to migration into the Polynesian Outlier communities in Melanesia
Melanesia
and Micronesia.[29][30][31] Eastern Polynesian cultures are highly adapted to smaller islands and atolls, principally the Cook Islands, Tahiti, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, Hawaii, Rapa Nui
Rapa Nui
and smaller central-pacific groups. The large islands of New Zealand
New Zealand
were first settled by Eastern Polynesians who adapted their culture to a non-tropical environment. Unlike Melanesia, leaders were chosen in Polynesia
Polynesia
based on their hereditary bloodline. Samoa, however, had another system of government that combines elements of heredity and real-world skills to choose leaders. This system is called Fa'amatai. According to Ben R. Finney and Eric M. Jones, "On Tahiti, for example, the 35,000 Polynesians living there at the time of European discovery were divided between high-status persons with full access to food and other resources, and low-status persons with limited access."[39]

Carving from the ridgepole of a Māori house, ca 1840

Religion, farming, fishing, weather prediction, out-rigger canoe (similar to modern catamarans) construction and navigation were highly developed skills because the population of an entire island depended on them. Trading of both luxuries and mundane items was important to all groups. Periodic droughts and subsequent famines often led to war.[39] Many low-lying islands could suffer severe famine if their gardens were poisoned by the salt from the storm-surge of a tropical cyclone. In these cases fishing, the primary source of protein, would not ease loss of food energy. Navigators, in particular, were highly respected and each island maintained a house of navigation with a canoe-building area. Settlements by the Polynesians
Polynesians
were of two categories: the hamlet and the village. The size of the island inhabited determined whether or not a hamlet would be built. The larger volcanic islands usually had hamlets because of the many zones that could be divided across the island. Food and resources were more plentiful. These settlements of four to five houses (usually with gardens) were established so that there would be no overlap between the zones. Villages, on the other hand, were built on the coasts of smaller islands and consisted of thirty or more houses—in the case of atolls, on only one of the group so that food cultivation was on the others. Usually these villages were fortified with walls and palisades made of stone and wood.[40] However, New Zealand
New Zealand
demonstrates the opposite: large volcanic islands with fortified villages. As well as being great navigators, these people were artists and artisans of great skill. Simple objects, such as fish-hooks would be manufactured to exacting standards for different catches and decorated even when the decoration was not part of the function. Stone and wooden weapons were considered to be more powerful the better they were made and decorated. In some island groups weaving was a strong part of the culture and gifting woven articles was an ingrained practice. Dwellings were imbued with character by the skill of their building. Body decoration and jewelry is of an international standard to this day. The religious attributes of Polynesians
Polynesians
were common over the whole Pacific region. While there are some differences in their spoken languages they largely have the same explanation for the creation of the earth and sky, for the gods that rule aspects of life and for the religious practices of everyday life. People traveled thousands of miles to celebrations that they all owned communally. Beginning in the 1820s large numbers of missionaries worked in the islands, converting many groups to Christianity. Polynesia, argues Ian Breward, is now "one of the most strongly Christian regions in the world....Christianity was rapidly and successfully incorporated into Polynesian culture. War and slavery disappeared."[41] Languages[edit] Main article: Polynesian languages Polynesian languages
Polynesian languages
are all members of the family of Oceanic languages, a sub-branch of the Austronesian language family. Polynesian languages
Polynesian languages
show a considerable degree of similarity. The vowels are generally the same—a, e, i, o, and u, pronounced as in Italian, Spanish, and German—and the consonants are always followed by a vowel. The languages of various island groups show changes in consonants. R and v are used in central and eastern Polynesia
Polynesia
whereas l and v are used in western Polynesia. The glottal stop is increasingly represented by an inverted comma or ‘okina. In the Society Islands, the original Proto-Polynesian *k and *ng have merged as glottal stop; so the name for the ancestral homeland, deriving from Proto-Nuclear Polynesian *sawaiki,[42] becomes Havai'i. In New Zealand, where the original *w is used instead of v, the ancient home is Hawaiki. In the Cook Islands, where the glottal stop replaces the original *s (with a likely intermediate stage of *h), it is ‘Avaiki. In the Hawaiian islands, where the glottal stop replaces the original k, the largest island of the group is named Hawai‘i. In Samoa, where the original s is used instead of h, v replaces w, and the glottal stop replaces the original k, the largest island is called Savai'i.[1] Economy[edit] With the exception of New Zealand, the majority of independent Polynesian islands derive much of their income from foreign aid and remittances from those who live in other countries. Some encourage their young people to go where they can earn good money to remit to their stay-at-home relatives. Many Polynesian locations, such as Easter Island, supplement this with tourism income. Some have more unusual sources of income, such as Tuvalu
Tuvalu
which marketed its '.tv' internet top-level domain name or the Cooks that relied on postage stamp sales.

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa, who initiated the Polynesian Leaders Group
Polynesian Leaders Group
in late 2011.

Inter-Polynesian cooperation[edit] After several years of discussing a potential regional grouping, three sovereign states (Samoa, Tonga
Tonga
and Tuvalu) and five self-governing but non-sovereign territories formally launched, in November 2011, the Polynesian Leaders Group, intended to cooperate on a variety of issues including culture and language, education, responses to climate change, and trade and investment. It does not, however, constitute a political or monetary union.[43][44][45] Navigation[edit] Main article: Polynesian navigation Polynesia
Polynesia
comprised islands diffused throughout a triangular area with sides of four thousand miles. The area from the Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands
in the north, to Easter Island
Island
in the east and to New Zealand
New Zealand
in the south were all settled by Polynesians. Navigators traveled to small inhabited islands using only their own senses and knowledge passed by oral tradition from navigator to apprentice. In order to locate directions at various times of day and year, navigators in Eastern Polynesia
Eastern Polynesia
memorized important facts: the motion of specific stars, and where they would rise on the horizon of the ocean; weather; times of travel; wildlife species (which congregate at particular positions); directions of swells on the ocean, and how the crew would feel their motion; colors of the sea and sky, especially how clouds would cluster at the locations of some islands; and angles for approaching harbors.

Polynesian (Hawaiian) navigators sailing multi-hulled canoe, ca 1781

A common fishing canoe va'a with outrigger in Savai'i
Savai'i
island, Samoa, 2009

These wayfinding techniques, along with outrigger canoe construction methods, were kept as guild secrets. Generally each island maintained a guild of navigators who had very high status; in times of famine or difficulty these navigators could trade for aid or evacuate people to neighboring islands. On his first voyage of Pacific exploration Cook had the services of a Polynesian navigator, Tupaia, who drew a hand-drawn chart of the islands within 3,200 km (2,000 mi) radius (to the north and west) of his home island of Ra'iatea. Tupaia had knowledge of 130 islands and named 74 on his chart.[46] Tupaia had navigated from Ra'iatea
Ra'iatea
in short voyages to 13 islands. He had not visited western Polynesia, as since his grandfather's time the extent of voyaging by Raiateans has diminished to the islands of eastern Polynesia. His grandfather and father had passed to Tupaia the knowledge as to the location of the major islands of western Polynesia and the navigation information necessary to voyage to Fiji, Samoa
Samoa
and Tonga.[47] As the Admiralty orders directed Cook to search for the “Great Southern Continent”, Cook ignored Tupaia's chart and his skills as a navigator. To this day, original traditional methods of Polynesian Navigation
Navigation
are still taught in the Polynesian outlier
Polynesian outlier
of Taumako Island
Island
in the Solomon Islands. From a single chicken bone recovered from the archaeological site of El Arenal-1, on the Arauco Peninsula, Chile, a 2007 research report looking at radiocarbon dating and an ancient DNA sequence indicate that Polynesian navigators may have reached the Americas at least 100 years before Columbus (who arrived 1492 AD), introducing chickens to South America.[48][49] A later report looking at the same specimens concluded:

A published, apparently pre-Columbian, Chilean specimen and six pre-European Polynesian specimens also cluster with the same European/Indian subcontinental/Southeast Asian sequences, providing no support for a Polynesian introduction of chickens to South America. In contrast, sequences from two archaeological sites on Easter Island group with an uncommon haplogroup from Indonesia, Japan, and China and may represent a genetic signature of an early Polynesian dispersal. Modeling of the potential marine carbon contribution to the Chilean archaeological specimen casts further doubt on claims for pre-Columbian chickens, and definitive proof will require further analyses of ancient DNA sequences and radiocarbon and stable isotope data from archaeological excavations within both Chile
Chile
and Polynesia.[50]

Knowledge of the traditional Polynesian methods of navigation were largely lost after contact with and colonization by Europeans. This left the problem of accounting for the presence of the Polynesians
Polynesians
in such isolated and scattered parts of the Pacific. By the late 19th century to the early 20th century a more generous view of Polynesian navigation had come into favor, perhaps creating a romantic picture of their canoes, seamanship and navigational expertise. In the mid to late 1960s, scholars began testing sailing and paddling experiments related to Polynesian navigation: David Lewis sailed his catamaran from Tahiti
Tahiti
to New Zealand
New Zealand
using stellar navigation without instruments and Ben Finney built a 40-foot replica of a Hawaiian double canoe "Nalehia" and tested it in Hawaii.[51] Meanwhile, Micronesian ethnographic research in the Caroline Islands
Caroline Islands
revealed that traditional stellar navigational methods were still in every day use. Recent re-creations of Polynesian voyaging have used methods based largely on Micronesian methods and the teachings of a Micronesian navigator, Mau Piailug. It is probable that the Polynesian navigators employed a whole range of techniques including use of the stars, the movement of ocean currents and wave patterns, the air and sea interference patterns caused by islands and atolls, the flight of birds, the winds and the weather. Scientists think that long-distance Polynesian voyaging followed the seasonal paths of birds. There are some references in their oral traditions to the flight of birds and some say that there were range marks onshore pointing to distant islands in line with these flyways. One theory is that they would have taken a frigatebird with them. These birds refuse to land on the water as their feathers will become waterlogged making it impossible to fly. When the voyagers thought they were close to land they may have released the bird, which would either fly towards land or else return to the canoe. It is likely that the Polynesians
Polynesians
also used wave and swell formations to navigate. It is thought that the Polynesian navigators may have measured the time it took to sail between islands in "canoe-days’’ or a similar type of expression. Also, people of the Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands
used special devices called stick charts, showing the places and directions of swells and wave-breaks, with tiny seashells affixed to them to mark the positions of islands along the way. Materials for these maps were readily available on beaches, and their making was simple; however, their effective use needed years and years of study.[52] See also[edit]

Geography portal Oceania
Oceania
portal

List of Polynesians Polynesian mythology Polynesian Society Polynesian Voyaging Society Films set in Polynesia

References[edit]

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Kermadec Islands
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of an Island People. Thames and Hudson. pp. 45–65. ISBN 0500274509.  ^ "Who were the first humans to reach New Zealand
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(with map)". Stuff (Fairfax). 22 January 2018.  ^ a b Hage, P. (1998). "Was Proto Oceanic Society matrilineal?". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 107 (4): 365–379. JSTOR 20706828.  ^ Marck, J. (2008). "Proto Oceanic Society was matrilineal". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 117 (4): 345–382. JSTOR 20707458.  ^ Anderson, Atholl (2016). The First Migration: Māori Origins 3000BC- AD1450. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books. p. 20. ISBN 9780947492793.  ^ Wilmshurst, J. M.; Hunt, T. L.; Lipo, C. P.; Anderson, A. J. (2010). "High-precision radiocarbon dating shows recent and rapid initial human colonization of East Polynesia". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108 (5): 1815–20. Bibcode:2011PNAS..108.1815W. doi:10.1073/pnas.1015876108. PMC 3033267 . PMID 21187404.  ^ Hunt, T. L.; Lipo, C. P. (2006). "Late Colonization of Easter Island". Science. 311 (5767): 1603–1606. Bibcode:2006Sci...311.1603H. doi:10.1126/science.1121879. PMID 16527931.  ^ Hunt, Terry; Lipo, Carl (2011). The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island. Free Press. ISBN 1-4391-5031-1.  ^ "The Treaty of Waitangi". The colonisation of New Zealand. Retrieved 20 September 2011.  ^ " Māori language
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Further reading[edit]

Gatty, Harold (1999). Finding Your Ways Without Map or Compass. Dover Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-486-40613-X. 

External links[edit]

Look up polynesia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
has media related to: Polynesia
Polynesia
(category)

History of Easter Island
Island
illustrated by stamps Interview with David Lewis Lewis commenting on Spirits of the Voyage Useful introduction to Maori society, including canoe voyages Obituary: David Henry Lewis—including how he came to rediscover Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
navigation methods

v t e

Polynesia

Polynesian triangle

Cook Islands Easter Island French Polynesia

Austral Islands Gambier Islands Marquesas
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
Islands

Polynesian outliers

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

Polynesian-influenced

Lau Islands

v t e

Countries and territories of Oceania

Sovereign states

Entire

Australia Federated States of Micronesia Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru New Zealand Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu

In part

Chile

Easter Island Juan Fernández Islands

Indonesia

West Papua Papua

Japan

Bonin Islands Minami-Tori-Shima

United States

Hawaii Palmyra Atoll

Associated states of New Zealand

Niue Cook Islands

Dependencies and other territories

Australia

Ashmore and Cartier Islands Coral Sea
Coral Sea
Islands Norfolk Island

United States

American Samoa Baker Island Guam Howland Island Jarvis Island Johnston Atoll Kingman Reef Midway Atoll Northern Mariana Islands Wake Island

New Zealand

Tokelau

France

French Polynesia New Caledonia Wallis and Futuna

United Kingdom

Pitcairn Islands

v t e

Culture of indigenous Oceania

List of resources about traditional arts and culture of Oceania

Art

Ahu Australia Austronesia Cook Islands Hawaiʻi kapa (Hawaiʻi) Lei magimagi moai New Zealand

Māori

nguzu nguzu Oceania Papua New Guinea reimiro tā moko tabua ta'ovala tapa ["masi" (Fiji), "ngatu" (Tonga), "siapo" (Sāmoa), " ʻuha" (Rotuma)] tattoo tēfui tivaevae

Broad culture

areca nut kava, " ʻawa" (Hawaii), "yaqona" (Fiji), or "sakau" (Pohnpei) Kava
Kava
culture Lapita Māori Polynesia Polynesian navigation Sāmoa 'ava ceremony wood carving

Geo-specific, general

Australia

Australian Aboriginal astronomy)

Austronesia Caroline Islands, -Pwo Chatham Islands Cook Islands Easter Island Fiji

Lau Islands traditions and ceremonies

Guam Hawaiʻi

Lomilomi massage

Kiribati French Polynesia's Marquesas
Marquesas
Islands Marshall Islands

Stick charts of

Federated States of Micronesia Nauru New Caledonia New Zealand Niue Norfolk Island Palau Papua New Guinea Pitcairn Islands Sāmoa Solomon Islands Tonga Torres Strait Islands Tuvalu Vanuatu Wallis and Futuna Yap

navigation Weriyeng navigation school

Canoes

Aboriginal Dugout Alingano Maisu Bangka Drua Dugout (boat) Hawaiʻiloa Hōkūleʻa Kaep Karakoa Malia (Hawaiian) Māori migration Outrigger Paraw Polynesian sailing Proa Vinta Waka

list

Walap

Dance

'Aparima cibi fara fire dancing firewalking haka hivinau hula kailao kapa haka Kiribati meke 'ote'a pa'o'a poi Rotuma siva Tahiti tāmūrē tautoga Tonga 'upa'upa

Festivals

Australia

Garma Festival

Hawaiʻi

Aloha Festivals Merrie Monarch Festival World Invitational Hula
Hula
Festival

Fiji New Zealand

Pasifika Festival

The Pacific Community

Festival of Pacific Arts

Papua New Guinea

Languages

by area

v t e

Languages of Oceania

Sovereign states

Australia Federated States of Micronesia Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru New Zealand Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu

Associated states of New Zealand

Cook Islands Niue

Dependencies and other territories

American Samoa Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Easter Island French Polynesia Guam Hawaii New Caledonia Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Pitcairn Islands Tokelau Wallis and Futuna

by category

Languages of Oceania

Literature

v t e

Literature of Oceania

Sovereign states

Australia Federated States of Micronesia Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru New Zealand Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu

Associated states of New Zealand

Cook Islands Niue

Dependencies and other territories

American Samoa Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Easter Island French Polynesia Guam Hawaii New Caledonia Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Pitcairn Islands Tokelau Wallis and Futuna

Music

Austral Islands
Austral Islands
(French Polynesia) Australia Austronesia Cook Islands Easter Island Fiji Guam Hawaiʻi Kiribati Lali Melanesia Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia Nauru New Caledonia New Zealand

Māori

Niue Northern Mariana Islands Palau Papua New Guinea Polynesia Sāmoa Slit drum Solomon Islands Tahiti Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu Wallis and Futuna

Mythology

Australian Aboriginal Fijian Hawaiian Mangarevan Maohi Māori Melanesian Menehune Micronesian Oceanian legendary creatures Polynesian Rapa Nui Samoan Tuvaluan Vanuatuan

Research

Asian American and Pacific Islander Policy Research Consortium Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

People

Indigneous Australian Austronesian Bajau Chamorro Chatham Islander (Moriori or Rekohu) Fijian (iTaukei) Igorot Hawaiian (kānaka maoli) Māori Marshallese Melanesian Micronesian Negrito Norfolk Islander Papuan Polynesian Indigenous Polynesian (Mā’ohi) Rapa Nui Rotuman Ryukyuan Samoan (Tagata Māo‘i) Tahitian Taiwanese aborigines Tongan Torres Strait Islander Yami

Religion

v t e

Religion in Oceania

Sovereign states

Australia Federated States of Micronesia Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru New Zealand Palau Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu Vanuatu

Associated states of New Zealand

Cook Islands Niue

Dependencies and other territories

American Samoa Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Easter Island French Polynesia Guam Hawaii New Caledonia Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Pitcairn Islands Tokelau Wallis and Futuna

Not included: Oceanian: cinema, (indigenous) currency, dress, folkore, cuisine. Also see Category:Oceanian culture.

v t e

Regions of the world

v t e

Regions of Africa

Central Africa

Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Cape Lopez Mayombe Igboland

Mbaise

Maputaland Pool Malebo Congo Basin Chad Basin Congolese rainforests Ouaddaï highlands Ennedi Plateau

East Africa

African Great Lakes

Albertine Rift East African Rift Great Rift Valley Gregory Rift Rift Valley lakes Swahili coast Virunga Mountains Zanj

Horn of Africa

Afar Triangle Al-Habash Barbara Danakil Alps Danakil Desert Ethiopian Highlands Gulf of Aden Gulf of Tadjoura

Indian Ocean
Ocean
islands

Comoros Islands

North Africa

Maghreb

Barbary Coast Bashmur Ancient Libya Atlas Mountains

Nile Valley

Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt

Western Sahara

West Africa

Pepper Coast Gold Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Niger Basin Guinean Forests of West Africa Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta

Southern Africa

Madagascar

Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands

Rhodesia

North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta False Bay Hydra Bay

Macro-regions

Aethiopia Arab world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan (region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

v t e

Regions of Asia

Central

Greater Middle East Aral Sea

Aralkum Desert Caspian Sea Dead Sea Sea of Galilee

Transoxiana

Turan

Greater Khorasan Ariana Khwarezm Sistan Kazakhstania Eurasian Steppe

Asian Steppe Kazakh Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe

Mongolian-Manchurian grassland Wild Fields

Yedisan Muravsky Trail

Ural

Ural Mountains

Volga region Idel-Ural Kolyma Transbaikal Pryazovia Bjarmaland Kuban Zalesye Ingria Novorossiya Gornaya Shoriya Tulgas Iranian Plateau Altai Mountains Pamir Mountains Tian Shan Badakhshan Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Mount Imeon Mongolian Plateau Western Regions Taklamakan Desert Karakoram

Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract

Siachen Glacier

North

Inner Asia Northeast Far East

Russian Far East Okhotsk-Manchurian taiga

Extreme North Siberia

Baikalia
Baikalia
(Lake Baikal) Transbaikal Khatanga Gulf Baraba steppe

Kamchatka Peninsula Amur Basin Yenisei Gulf Yenisei Basin Beringia Sikhote-Alin

East

Japanese archipelago

Northeastern Japan
Japan
Arc Sakhalin Island
Island
Arc

Korean Peninsula Gobi Desert Taklamakan Desert Greater Khingan Mongolian Plateau Inner Asia Inner Mongolia Outer Mongolia China proper Manchuria

Outer Manchuria Inner Manchuria Northeast China Plain Mongolian-Manchurian grassland

North China Plain

Yan Mountains

Kunlun Mountains Liaodong Peninsula Himalayas Tibetan Plateau

Tibet

Tarim Basin Northern Silk Road Hexi Corridor Nanzhong Lingnan Liangguang Jiangnan Jianghuai Guanzhong Huizhou Wu Jiaozhou Zhongyuan Shaannan Ordos Loop

Loess Plateau Shaanbei

Hamgyong Mountains Central Mountain Range Japanese Alps Suzuka Mountains Leizhou Peninsula Gulf of Tonkin Yangtze River Delta Pearl River Delta Yenisei Basin Altai Mountains Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass

West

Greater Middle East

MENA MENASA Middle East

Red Sea Caspian Sea Mediterranean Sea Zagros Mountains Persian Gulf

Pirate Coast Strait of Hormuz Greater and Lesser Tunbs

Al-Faw Peninsula Gulf of Oman Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Aden Balochistan Arabian Peninsula

Najd Hejaz Tihamah Eastern Arabia South Arabia

Hadhramaut Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
coastal fog desert

Tigris–Euphrates Mesopotamia

Upper Mesopotamia Lower Mesopotamia Sawad Nineveh plains Akkad (region) Babylonia

Canaan Aram Eber-Nari Suhum Eastern Mediterranean Mashriq Kurdistan Levant

Southern Levant Transjordan Jordan Rift Valley

Israel Levantine Sea Golan Heights Hula
Hula
Valley Galilee Gilead Judea Samaria Arabah Anti-Lebanon Mountains Sinai Peninsula Arabian Desert Syrian Desert Fertile Crescent Azerbaijan Syria Palestine Iranian Plateau Armenian Highlands Caucasus

Caucasus
Caucasus
Mountains

Greater Caucasus Lesser Caucasus

North Caucasus South Caucasus

Kur-Araz Lowland Lankaran Lowland Alborz Absheron Peninsula

Anatolia Cilicia Cappadocia Alpide belt

South

Greater India Indian subcontinent Himalayas Hindu Kush Western Ghats Eastern Ghats Ganges Basin Ganges Delta Pashtunistan Punjab Balochistan Kashmir

Kashmir
Kashmir
Valley Pir Panjal Range

Thar Desert Indus Valley Indus River
Indus River
Delta Indus Valley Desert Indo-Gangetic Plain Eastern coastal plains Western Coastal Plains Meghalaya subtropical forests MENASA Lower Gangetic plains moist deciduous forests Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows Doab Bagar tract Great Rann of Kutch Little Rann of Kutch Deccan Plateau Coromandel Coast Konkan False Divi Point Hindi Belt Ladakh Aksai Chin Gilgit-Baltistan

Baltistan Shigar Valley

Karakoram

Saltoro Mountains

Siachen Glacier Bay of Bengal Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Mannar Trans- Karakoram
Karakoram
Tract Wakhan Corridor Wakhjir Pass Lakshadweep Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman Islands Nicobar Islands

Maldive Islands Alpide belt

Southeast

Mainland

Indochina Malay Peninsula

Maritime

Peninsular Malaysia Sunda Islands Greater Sunda Islands Lesser Sunda Islands

Indonesian Archipelago Timor New Guinea

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

Philippine Archipelago

Luzon Visayas Mindanao

Leyte Gulf Gulf of Thailand East Indies Nanyang Alpide belt

Asia-Pacific Tropical Asia Ring of Fire

v t e

Regions of Europe

North

Nordic Northwestern Scandinavia Scandinavian Peninsula Fennoscandia Baltoscandia Sápmi West Nordic Baltic Baltic Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Iceland Faroe Islands

East

Danubian countries Prussia Galicia Volhynia Donbass Sloboda Ukraine Sambia Peninsula

Amber Coast

Curonian Spit Izyum Trail Lithuania Minor Nemunas Delta Baltic Baltic Sea Vyborg Bay Karelia

East Karelia Karelian Isthmus

Lokhaniemi Southeastern

Balkans Aegean Islands Gulf of Chania North Caucasus Greater Caucasus Kabardia European Russia

Southern Russia

Central

Baltic Baltic Sea Alpine states Alpide belt Mitteleuropa Visegrád Group

West

Benelux Low Countries Northwest British Isles English Channel Channel Islands Cotentin Peninsula Normandy Brittany Gulf of Lion Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Pyrenees Alpide belt

South

Italian Peninsula Insular Italy Tuscan Archipelago Aegadian Islands Iberia

Al-Andalus Baetic System

Gibraltar Arc Southeastern Mediterranean Crimea Alpide belt

Germanic Celtic Slavic countries Uralic European Plain Eurasian Steppe Pontic–Caspian steppe Wild Fields Pannonian Basin

Great Hungarian Plain Little Hungarian Plain Eastern Slovak Lowland

v t e

Regions of North America

Northern

Eastern Canada Western Canada Canadian Prairies Central Canada Northern Canada Atlantic Canada The Maritimes French Canada English Canada Acadia

Acadian Peninsula

Quebec City–Windsor Corridor Peace River Country Cypress Hills Palliser's Triangle Canadian Shield Interior Alaska- Yukon
Yukon
lowland taiga Newfoundland (island) Vancouver Island Gulf Islands Strait of Georgia Canadian Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago Labrador Peninsula Gaspé Peninsula Avalon Peninsula

Bay de Verde Peninsula

Brodeur Peninsula Melville Peninsula Bruce Peninsula Banks Peninsula (Nunavut) Cook Peninsula Gulf of Boothia Georgian Bay Hudson Bay James Bay Greenland Pacific Northwest Inland Northwest Northeast

New England Mid-Atlantic Commonwealth

West

Midwest Upper Midwest Mountain States Intermountain West Basin and Range Province

Oregon Trail Mormon Corridor Calumet Region Southwest

Old Southwest

Llano Estacado Central United States

Tallgrass prairie

South

South Central Deep South Upland South

Four Corners East Coast West Coast Gulf Coast Third Coast Coastal states Eastern United States

Appalachia

Trans-Mississippi Great North Woods Great Plains Interior Plains Great Lakes Great Basin

Great Basin
Great Basin
Desert

Acadia Ozarks Ark-La-Tex Waxhaws Siouxland Twin Tiers Driftless Area Palouse Piedmont Atlantic coastal plain Outer Lands Black Dirt Region Blackstone Valley Piney Woods Rocky Mountains Mojave Desert The Dakotas The Carolinas Shawnee Hills San Fernando Valley Tornado Alley North Coast Lost Coast Emerald Triangle San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area

San Francisco Bay North Bay ( San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area) East Bay ( San Francisco Bay
San Francisco Bay
Area) Silicon Valley

Interior Alaska- Yukon
Yukon
lowland taiga Gulf of Mexico Lower Colorado River Valley Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta Colville Delta Arkansas Delta Mobile–Tensaw River Delta Mississippi Delta Mississippi River Delta Columbia River Estuary Great Basin High Desert Monterey Peninsula Upper Peninsula of Michigan Lower Peninsula of Michigan Virginia Peninsula Keweenaw Peninsula Middle Peninsula Delmarva Peninsula Alaska Peninsula Kenai Peninsula Niagara Peninsula Beringia Belt regions

Bible Belt Black Belt Corn Belt Cotton Belt Frost Belt Rice Belt Rust Belt Sun Belt Snow Belt

Latin

Northern Mexico Baja California Peninsula Gulf of California

Colorado River Delta

Gulf of Mexico Soconusco Tierra Caliente La Mixteca La Huasteca Bajío Valley of Mexico Mezquital Valley Sierra Madre de Oaxaca Yucatán Peninsula Basin and Range Province Western Caribbean Zone Isthmus of Panama Gulf of Panama

Pearl Islands

Azuero Peninsula Mosquito Coast West Indies Antilles

Greater Antilles Lesser Antilles

Leeward Leeward Antilles Windward

Lucayan Archipelago Southern Caribbean

Aridoamerica Mesoamerica Oasisamerica Northern Middle Anglo Latin

French Hispanic

American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

v t e

Regions of Oceania

Australasia

Gulf of Carpentaria New Guinea

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

New Zealand

South Island North Island

Coromandel Peninsula

Zealandia New Caledonia Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
(archipelago) Vanuatu

Kula Gulf

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

Maralinga

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

Melanesia

Islands Region

Bismarck Archipelago Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Archipelago

Fiji New Caledonia Papua New Guinea Vanuatu

Micronesia

Caroline Islands

Federated States of Micronesia Palau

Guam Kiribati Marshall Islands Nauru Northern Mariana Islands Wake Island

Polynesia

Easter Island Hawaiian Islands Cook Islands French Polynesia

Austral Islands Gambier Islands Marquesas
Marquesas
Islands Society Islands Tuamotu

Kermadec Islands Mangareva Islands Samoa Tokelau Tonga Tuvalu

Ring of Fire

v t e

Regions of South America

East

Amazon basin Atlantic Forest Caatinga Cerrado

North

Caribbean South America West Indies Los Llanos The Guianas Amazon basin

Amazon rainforest

Gulf of Paria Paria Peninsula Paraguaná Peninsula Orinoco Delta

South

Tierra del Fuego Patagonia Pampas Pantanal Gran Chaco Chiquitano dry forests Valdes Peninsula

West

Andes

Tropical Andes Wet Andes Dry Andes Pariacaca mountain range

Altiplano Atacama Desert

Latin Hispanic American Cordillera Ring of Fire LAC

v t e

Polar regions

Antarctic

Antarctic
Antarctic
Peninsula East Antarctica West Antarctica Eklund Islands Ecozone Extreme points Islands

Arctic

Arctic
Arctic
Alaska British Arctic
Arctic
Territories Canadian Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago Finnmark Greenland Northern Canada Northwest Territories Nunavik Nunavut Russian Arctic Sakha Sápmi Yukon North American Arctic

v t e

Earth's oceans and seas

Arctic
Arctic
Ocean

Amundsen Gulf Barents Sea Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea East Siberian Sea Greenland
Greenland
Sea Gulf of Boothia Kara Sea Laptev Sea Lincoln Sea Prince Gustav Adolf Sea Pechora Sea Queen Victoria Sea Wandel Sea White Sea

Atlantic Ocean

Adriatic Sea Aegean Sea Alboran Sea Archipelago
Archipelago
Sea Argentine Sea Baffin Bay Balearic Sea Baltic Sea Bay of Biscay Bay of Bothnia Bay of Campeche Bay of Fundy Black Sea Bothnian Sea Caribbean Sea Celtic Sea English Channel Foxe Basin Greenland
Greenland
Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Gulf of Lion Gulf of Guinea Gulf of Maine Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Saint Lawrence Gulf of Sidra Gulf of Venezuela Hudson Bay Ionian Sea Irish Sea Irminger Sea James Bay Labrador Sea Levantine Sea Libyan Sea Ligurian Sea Marmara Sea Mediterranean Sea Myrtoan Sea North Sea Norwegian Sea Sargasso Sea Sea of Åland Sea of Azov Sea of Crete Sea of the Hebrides Thracian Sea Tyrrhenian Sea Wadden Sea

Indian Ocean

Andaman Sea Arabian Sea Bali Sea Bay of Bengal Flores Sea Great Australian Bight Gulf of Aden Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Oman Gulf of Suez Java Sea Laccadive Sea Mozambique Channel Persian Gulf Red Sea Timor
Timor
Sea

Pacific Ocean

Arafura Sea Banda Sea Bering Sea Bismarck Sea Bohai Sea Bohol Sea Camotes Sea Celebes Sea Ceram Sea Chilean Sea Coral Sea East China Sea Gulf of Alaska Gulf of Anadyr Gulf of California Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf of Fonseca Gulf of Panama Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Tonkin Halmahera Sea Koro Sea Mar de Grau Molucca Sea Moro Gulf Philippine Sea Salish Sea Savu Sea Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Seto Inland Sea Shantar Sea Sibuyan Sea Solomon Sea South China Sea Sulu Sea Tasman Sea Visayan Sea Yellow Sea

Southern Ocean

Amundsen Sea Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Weddell Sea

Landlocked seas

Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Salton Sea

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 256240404 GND: 40467

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