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Thursday, June 15, 2017

HOKULEA HOMECOMING: Part 1--How Did This All Begin?

Hokulea returns to Honolulu on Saturday.  How did this all begin?

The Out of Africa Theory, the current best guess, has China showing Homo sapiens appearance maybe 50,000 years ago.  Inhabitants of South China sailed to Taiwan around 8,000 years ago.  They became the early Polynesians when seafarers left Taiwan 5,200 years ago.  A recent Science article provided the following graphic:


It is still unclear when Polynesians came to Hawaii.  Various schools of thought had it between 300 and 800 AD.  A more reliable study indicated 1219-1266.  In any case, the mode of transport involved two canoes joined by a platform using sails and paddles, most likely from the Marquesas Islands.  Tahitians supposedly formed the second wave and more war-like invaders later.  While there are no written documents, legendary voyagers had remembered names:  Kupe, Holu Matu'a and Mo'ikeha.  These were not fishermen lost at sea, they largely were navigators, royals and the strongest from those islands.

In my posting of 11January2011, I said:

The 15th through 17th centuries were the age of ocean exploration.  The first country to test the waters was...China, as Zheng He visited west to Africa and east to America between 1405 and 1433, and was, of all the things, a Muslim.  Reportedly, He had 62 treasure ships, each larger than a football field, with up to 5 masts.  In comparison, Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria was all of 25 yards long, or one-fourth the length.  More than a century after He, Ferdinand Magellan's globe circling ships were one third the size.  But China gave up and Europe conquered the world.

Captain James Cook sailed into what he named the Sandwich Islands in 1778, after  John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, who was quite a celebrity, for he also invented the sandwich.  The King Kamehameha whose day was just recently celebrated ruled from 1791 to 1810, creating the Kingdom of Hawaii (based on the Hawaiian word for homeland, Owhyhee).  Good thing, for I'd rather live in Hawaii than the Sandwich Islands.

The first Christian missionaries arrived in 1820, led by Hiram Bingham, who was the grandfather of HB III, who popularized Machu Picchu.  Traders and whalers are blamed for bringing with them diseases, such that the 300,000 Hawaiians had dropped to 70,000 by 1853.

The sugar industry was responsible for the sociology of the islands, hiring workers from throughout Asia and even Portugal. In the 1890's the local elite, meaning Caucasians, imprisoned the author of Aloha Oe, Princess Liliuokalani, in Iolani Palace, and Hawaii was annexed to the U.S. in 1898.

I've been blogging about this journey for more than four years, closely following their progress.  Tomorrow, Part 2, Hokulea Homecoming.

2 comments:

Humaun Kabir said...

Thanks for the great post on your blog, it really gives me an insight on this topic.

Square and Stationary Earth Map

PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY said...

Clicked on your link and was amused that there is, still, a Flat Earth Society. I thought Eratosthenes more than two millennia ago proved that our surface is spherical? But I can empathize with your viewpoint, as almost nothing nothing I have advocated has become commercially profitable. Well, perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration, for wind energy seems to have done well, and I remain confident that a few more will in time succeed.