Taiwan Madagascar Austronesian Island culture

The First Great Seafarers

Polynesia (made up of approximately 1.000 islands in the Pacific Ocean) is said to be the last part of the world to be inhabited by humans 3000 years ago. Contrary to earlier belief, researchers have found last year that the DNA of current inhabitants of for example the Solomon Islands and Tahiti bare strong resemblance to those of a culture from South East Asia, a culture that was called Lapita (now Taiwan). Earlier research already established descendants from the Lapita culture are found on islands in the Indian Ocean and even as far as Madagascar, making them the first great seafarers to have crossed the globes’ oceans between 5000 and 3000 years ago, and therefor the first to have built ships that were capable of long distance travel.

Interesting enough, a lot of the cultures on these islands still have a lot in common today, this common heritage is called Austronesian. Our networkmember Small Island, Big Song unites them through music and film, creating songs with musicians from the Indian and Pacific ocean. One of the musicians featured on their label is Chilean/Easter Islander Yoyo Tuki, who captered a very unique moment of connection in Australia a couple of weeks ago: a native Bornean, Solomon Islander and Taroko (indigenous Taiwanese) and himself (Rapa Nui) sat together and counted to 10 in their mother tongue, which turns out to be identical for the 4 of them. You can watch the video here:

If you want to read more details relating this topic, please go to the Daily Mail.