Statement of problem. Provide a clear justification with evidence on why this study is relevant to psychology and worthy of doctoral-level study
February 15, 2018
How do electronic and Internet marketing support the IMC objectives?
February 15, 2018

Do the migrations of Pacifi c Islanders across the Pacifi c parallel the expansion of other societies in different parts of the globe during this period? Are their common patterns?

HIST-2321.WS1: World Civilizations I

1. What and How You Need to Answer: Be certain to answer only questions that have NOT already been answered by another student. Most questions require a minimum of explanation and detail in the 200-350 word range, and would benefit from detail and development to improve the value of this “online study guide.” Remember you need to only respond to a TOTAL of FOUR Collaboration questions for UNIT 1 (not 4 per chapter)

Chapter 02

20. What were the characteristics and accomplishments of Pelesets and Israelites? Explain, with examples.

21. What were the characteristics and accomplishments of the Mycenaeans? Explain, with examples.

22. What were the characteristics and accomplishments of the early Greeks? Explain, with examples.

23. What was the nature and importance of polytheism in the neolithic era? Explain, with examples.

2. unit 1 Essay topics

Read below the instructions and the chapter 5 Research topics -Americas and Oceania (the chapter 5 research topics- Americas and Oceania is below so please read it)

UN01 Essay Topics

As described in the syllabus, there are several possible approaches for essays. Below are outlines for each approach for any chapter, drawing upon material was freely taken from the publisher website.

GOALS:
1. Write an essay of more than 1100 words
2. In your own words – if you must quote, count the cut-n-pasted word count of the quote AND ADD IT
TO THE 1100 word minimum requirement. 350 words in quotes means the essay should total
MORE than 1450 words.
3. Adhere to rules of English grammar, spelling and punctuation
4. Keep the phrasing in the THIRD PERSON and the tense in the past.
(“One may conclude” not “I believe”, and “They WERE” not “They ARE”

APPROACH 1: The first possible approach would see you answer one or more of the questions immediately following the document or document fragment in the attached pdfs, below. Answer the question(s) by reading the document(s). You are to answer the question, with reference to the chosen document and the textbook in the form of an essay to be submitted via Canvas Turnitin button at the bottom of this page.

APPROACH 2: The second possible approach takes you to a list of three to five documents, as above. Choose one, and then answer the following QUESTIONS) You should present the answers IN THE FORM OF AN ESSAY and submit it via the button below With either approach, these document-based essays should provide a clearly articulated thesis, supported by relevant detail (names, dates, places, examples, etc.)

Americas & Oceania Chapter 5 Research topic

A

s the title of this chapter indicates, the story of the Americas and Oceania (also known as Polynesia or the

Pacifi c Islands) are the story of people who are “apart.” Traditionally these cultures have been viewed by his-

torians as “apart” from the larger, dominant narrative of Eurasia, both geographically and developmentally. Th

is

view uses the patt ern of development in Eurasia as a standard, or mode

l, against which other cultures are assessed.

Far too oft

en that assessment has meant judgment. It is now clear that although the Americas and Oceania were

separated from Eurasia geographically (Oceania less so), they followed the same basic patt

erns of development,

from foraging to sett

led agriculture to increasingly complex social structures and methods for organizing popula-

tions. In the Americas this latt

er patt

ern was made manifest in the city, typical of the Eurasian model. It this sense,

the Americas and Oceania are not “apart” at all, but further examples of the patt

erns exhibited elsewhere.

It is also clear that in the Americas and Oceania there are deviations from those same patt

erns, such as the lack

of cities in Oceania (in spite of population sizes that w

ould have supported urban centers), the lack of writing in

most of the Americas and all of Ocean

ia, and a few technological diff

erences (the lack of the wheel limited or no

metallurgy). However, even in this there is not a

complete “apartness,” for although the Americas and Oceania

developed diff

erently from Eurasia, they developed a patt

ern of their own and were very much connected to one

another. Furthermore, the islands of Oceania were very

much connected to Eurasia, as that was the point of origin

for the original sett

lers.Finally, one must acknowledge how very

connected these societies were to one another,

through trade in material goods as well as migration of people

. Historians are still trying to understand how these

societies connect; the lack of writt

en evidence has led many historians down paths of speculative dead-ends, as is

refl ected in the excerpt in this chapter from Th

or Heyerdahl, who had a controversial theory about how Oceania

might have connected to the Americas. It is important

to observe the process by which the theories of history

change with new evidence or new interpretations of old evidence.

Th is chapter introduces the mixed patt

erns of the Americas and Oceania: the patt

erns that are typical of all

societies and the patt

erns that are unique to their regions. It also explores the diversity with which those patt

erns

have materialized, from the large elevated monuments of the Americas to the rich oral tales in the Pacifi c Islands.

Th e sources in this chapter explore that mixed patt

ern and refl ect both the “apartness” of the Americas and Oceania

and the connectedness of these cultures as well. A prominent

historian’s description of a large urban center in Me-

soamerica is followed by a selection of primary sources from a variety of American and Polynesian cultures. Some

of the stories are foundation stories, such as how the fi rst people came to discover and sett

le New Zealand. Other

sources reveal the astounding ability of early Polynesians to sail across vast stretches of the Pacifi c Ocean without

the assistance of any modern navigational technology

. A common theme that is found in many of the sources

involves how humans have adapted to, and interacted with, their environments. Several of these are modern retell-

ings of tales that were only available orally for c

enturies; that fact alone indicates something of the diffi

culty in

studying a society that was complex but non-literate.

5.1 The Wealth of La Venta

Th is source is obviously not a primary source; it is an a

ccount by one of the foremost arch

aeologists and historians

of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica of the wealth of La Venta. La Venta was the secondOlmec urban center. Founded

c. 900 B.C.E., when the fi rst city of San Lorenzo was

abandoned for reasons that are not yet understood, La Ven-

taitself collapsed c. 600 B.C.E. for equally mysterious reasons.

Origins Apart: The

Americas and Oceania

Chapter

5

64

Chapter 5

Although evidence of Olmec writing was very recently disc

overed, it has not yet been translated and therefore

we must for the moment treat the Olmec as a non-literate society. Coe’s description of the physical remains of

La Venta gives us a glimpse of what was there as well as what is still there. Th

is source should give you some idea

of both the historical Olmec and the dilemmas faced by historians who are trying to re-create the history of non-

literate societies. Coe emphasizes that the Olmec were wealthy and had a mature culture (as one would expect

from a second city).

Source:

“Wealth of La Venta,” from

America’s First Civilization,

Michael Coe. (New York: American Heritage Publishing Co., Inc.,

1968), pp. 63-70.

La Venta’s greatest wealth and power were reached during its two fi nal building phases. According to the most

recent radiocarbon dates, this would have been after 800 B.C., but before its fi nal abandonment, perhaps

around 400 B.C. To this stage in the history of La Venta belong some of the fi nest offerings and burials ever

found in the New World. Many of these are either placed exactly on the center line running through the site,

or in relation to it, and the offerings themselves are often laid out so that their own long axis conforms with this

center line orientation.

One of the very richest such deposits was Offering No. 2, found in 1955, which has no fewer than fi fty-one

polished celts, mostly of jade or serpentine. Five of them are fi nely engraved with typically Olmec designs. Once

more, we are reminded of the incredible waste that the burial of these laboriously manufactured articles must

represent. Why did they do it? For the gods? or, more prosaically, as a display of the wealth that the Olmec lead-

ers possessed?

Apparently in certain cases they knew where these offering had been put. For this statement we have the

testimony of Offering No. 4. The goddess of archaeological fortune in her usual capriciousness decreed that

this would come to light in the late afternoon during the 1955 Drucker-Heizer expedition just before the regular

shift ended. “It was necessary to expose, record, photograph, and remove the fi nd in the few hours of remain-

ing daylight” because of fear of looting overnight. Offering No. 4 was hit upon under the fl oor of the Ceremonial

Court. Sixteen fi gurines of jade or serpentine and six celts of the same materials had been arranged in a little

group that is obviously meant to be a scene from real life. The fi gurines are typically Olmec, depicting men with

loincloths and with bald or shaven heads that have been deformed in childhood by binding. One rather eroded

fi gure stands with his back to a line of celts; the others are arranged about him and face him. As the excavators,

Drucker and Heizer, say, “We can only wonder.”

But this is not the end of the story. After the offering had been originally placed and covered up, a series

of fl oors of brightly colored clays—orange, rose, yellow, and white—was laid down over the entire court. Then,

no one knows how many years later, somebody dug a pit down through these fl oors as far as the tops of the

fi gurines and celts; and then, just as mysteriously, fi lled the pit up again. Why did they do this? Clearly, they

had kept some sort of record of where this offering was and had seemingly been rechecking to make sure it

was still there.

Burials have been mentioned. These might better be called “tombs,” for the rival in richness some of the

famous tombs of Old World archaeology. Most of them were uncovered by the Stirling expeditions of 1942 and

1943, for they belong to the fi nal building phases of La Venta and thus lie near the surface. Unfortunately, the

extremely acid soil of La Venta over the centuries has eaten away all traces of skeletons; nothing is left but the

most imperishable of the loot buried with the deal Olmec lord. The three best-stocked sepulchers were in Mount

A-2 on the north side of the Ceremonial Court and again naturally along the center line. The northernmost one is

65

Origins Apart: The Americas and Oceania

indeed curious, for it was built of gigantic basalt columns that in their natural form imitate tombs of wooden logs.

On the limestone-slab fl oor were found the bundled remains of what had probably been two infants, surrounded

(as in all La Venta burials) with brilliant red pigment. When these children, who must have been princes among

their own people, were laid to rest, they were accompanied by a treasure-trove in jade: four fi gurines (one a

seated woman with a tiny hematite mirror fragment on her breast), a jade clamshell, beads, ear ornaments, an

awl-like object that probably was used to draw sacrifi cial blood, a jade sting-ray spine, and a pair of jade hands.

Also in the same tomb were put a magnetite mirror and the tooth of an extinct giant shark.

Just to the south of this tomb was another, this time a sandstone sarcophagus. Again there was little or no

trace of bones, but since it is big enough to contain an adult body and pigment covered its fl oor, it was surely

a tomb. Its exterior was carved with a fearsome representation of a fl ame-browed werejaguar, while in its clay-

fi lled cavity were found more beautiful jades: paper-thin ear spools (somewhat circular, outfl aring objects set

into the ear lobe), a serpentine fi gurine, and another “awl” for ceremonial bloodletting.

Then La Venta comes to an end. The cause and nature of its fate is lost in mystery, a mystery that we shall

also see at the great Olmec center of San Lorenzo. All construction comes to a halt, no more tombs are built

and stocked, no more offerings are made beneath its multi-colored fl oors. Its rulers and people are gone, and

year after year the nortes come howling in from the coast, shrouding the ruins of La Venta in drift sands. Olmec

civilization had died.

Everything at La Venta is exotic, in the sense that it was brought from somewhere else. Even the brightly

colored clays had been specially selected and brought to the island, for they are not indigenous. Likewise, the

jade and serpentine (ton after ton of the latter) came from a distance and as yet unknown source. But the

greatest wonder if that most of the volcanic basali used in their monuments can only have come from the Tuxtla

Mountains, sixty miles due west of La Venta.

Dr. Howell Williams is the leading expert on volcanoes. He has long been intrigued by the Olmec “problem”

and in 1960 he began explorations and studies with Robert Heizer that have largely solved the mystery of the

rock source of the Olmec carvings at La Venta. By making thin sections of small pieces of rock taken from these

monuments, it is possible tocompare them under magnifi cation with samples from identifi ed lava fl ows in the

Tuxtlas. It now seems thatmost of the La Venta carvings are made from basalt in the region of the Cerro Cinte-

pee, an ancient cone among the many that make up the Tuxtla range. The lower slopes of these mountains are

strewn with gigantic boulders of exactly the same kind of basalt. Apparently, the Olmec came here and either

carved them on the spot or brought them to La Venta for working. Some are certainly large enough to make

a fair-sized Colossal Head, and possibly their natural shape suggested the idea of the huge heads in the fi rst

place.

If this question has been answered, an even larger one remains. How did they ever get the stones to La Venta

from the Tuxtlas? The engineering problems involved would be formidable even today. Certainly part of the jour-

ney could have been on enormous rafts, fl oating down the westernmost feeder streams of the Coatzacoalcos

River, then along the coast, east to the mouth of the Tonalá. But they would have had to have been dragged

at least twenty-fi ve miles overland to reach navigable waters within the Coatzacoalcos drainage. Remember

that the Colossal Heads, for instance, weigh an average of eighteen tons each. The problem was indeed formi-

dable.

During the fourth and last building stage at La Venta, the rulers suddenly hit upon a new architectural device:

they surrounded the Ceremonial Court with a kind of fence made up of huge columns of prismatic basalt. We

have also seen the use of such columns in the large tomb to its north. Where did they get these? As one fl ies

along the jungle-covered coastline of the Tuxtla region, prismatic basalt can be seen in its natural state, the

66

Chapter 5

columns breaking off from the lava fi elds that once reached the sea. If this really was their source, the quarrying

must have been a fearsome operation carried out from rafts, for this coast is often lashed by a heavy surf. One

wonders how many great Olmec stones now rest on the bottom of the sea.

Resding and Discussion Questions

1. Coe’s description of La Venta’s wealth focuses on burials found there, and the grave goods they contained.

What are the limitations in using grave sites as evidence for how people of the past lived?

2. Noticeably missing from the gravesites were human remains, which did not survive the highly acidic soil of

the area. Does that fact give us any possible clue about the ultimate failure of La Venta, and of San Lorenzo

before it?

3. What evidence does Coe present about the nature of Olmec trade?

66

Chapter 5

columns breaking off from the lava fi elds that once reached the sea. If this really was their source, the quarrying

must have been a fearsome operation carried out from rafts, for this coast is often lashed by a heavy surf. One

wonders how many great Olmec stones now rest on the bottom of the sea.

Resding and Discussion Questions

1. Coe’s description of La Venta’s wealth focuses on burials found there, and the grave goods they contained.

What are the limitations in using grave sites as evidence for how people of the past lived?

2. Noticeably missing from the gravesites were human remains, which did not survive the highly acidic soil of

the area. Does that fact give us any possible clue about the ultimate failure of La Venta, and of San Lorenzo

before it?

3. What evidence does Coe present about the nature of Olmec trade?

5.2 The Mound Builder Cultures of North America: Poverty Point

Th e following excerpt illustrates many of the issues involved in studying the mound builder cultures of the North

American Midwest and East. Although

the purpose of some mounds is clearly th

at of gravesites, the purpose of

other mounds is still unclear. Th

e excerpt also off

ers a glimpse at historians at work. Th

e anthropologists men-

tioned in this excerpt, working with the same evidence, present diff

erent theories about the meaning of Poverty

Point, Louisiana. Notice how they

speak to one another through their theories.

Source:

“Poverty Point Mounds,” from

Mound Builders of Ancient America: The Archaeology of a Myth,

Robert Silverberg. (Green-

wich, CT: New York Graphic Society Ltd., 1968), 256-260.

Several ideas have been proposed by way of tracing the supposed Mexican intrusion into the Ohio Valley.

One suggestion is that the puzzling Poverty Point site in northern Louisiana may have been a way station for

migrants on their way from Mexico to Ohio. At Poverty Point, near the town of Floyd, in West Carroll Parish, a

cluster of six mounds stands close to the banks of Bayou Mason. The largest mound is a fl at-topped T-shaped

structure 70 feet in height; the other mounds are from 1 to 21 feet high, and the entire group is laid out in a

vague semicircle.

The Poverty Point mounds were fi rst mentioned by Samuel H. Lockett in the Smithsonian Institution Annual

Report for 1872, and received their earliest detailed examination about fi fty years later when Clarence B. Moore

spied them from his steamboat,

Gopher

. But little attention was paid to them until recent times, when aerial

photographs of the group were taken for mapping purposes by the Mississippi River Commission of the U.S.

Army Engineers. In 1953, these photographs were studied by James A. Ford, then on the staff of the American

Museum of Natural History in New York. Ford was able to detect an unusual geometrical arrangement of the

mounds that had eluded previous observers.

It seemed to him that the worn ridges that arc today’s Poverty Point mounds once constituted a set of six

concentric octagons, the outermost one three fourths of a mile across; at some distant time in the past, a shift

in the channel of the Arkansas River had washed away the eastern half of the octagons. In the report that Ford

and C. H. Webb published in 1956 as one of the Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural

History, the speculation is offered that “if the concentric octagonal ridges were completed to the east in sym-

metrical fashion, the total length of ridge constructed would approximate 11.2 miles. Six feet high by eighty

feet across the base is a conservative estimate of the average original dimensions of the ridge cross-section. A

simple calculation gives the fi gure of about 530,000 cubic yards of earth,” a mass “over thirty-fi ve times the

cubage”’ of the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. The largest mound of this structure, Ford says, “is easily the most

spectacular of the accomplishments of these people. It measures 700 by 800 feet at the base and rises to 70

feet above the surrounding plain … it can be estimated that the fi nished mound required something over three

million man-hours of labor.”

Yet Ford thinks the entire huge structure was constructed in a single concerted effort: “The few examples

of chronological information that have been secured from excavations in various parts of the earthwork suggest

that probably all of it was built and inhabited at about the same time. It is obvious that the fi gure was construct-

ed according to an integrated plan that probably would not have prevailed if the town had grown by accretion

over a long span of time.” He estimates a population of several thousand, and calculates that it must have taken

twenty million 50-pound basket-loads of soil to build the earthworks. From this he draws the conclusion “that

this community must have been rather strictly organized. While a religious motivation may ultimately explain

the large amount of earth construction, this effort was obviously well-controlled. The geometrical arrangement

of the town … [is clearly the result] of central planning and direction. It is diffi cult to visualize how in a loosely

rganized society this quantity of essentially non-productive labor could have been expended.”

Radiocarbon dates for Poverty Point fell between 1200 and 100 B.C. Ford and Webb, who thought that the

site represented a southern colonial offshoot of the Adena or Hopewell mound-building cultures, preferred an

800-600 B.C. date for the fl ourishing of the community, which would place it several centuries after the emer-

gence of Adena. Bur the artifacts found at Poverty Point arc mostly of Archaic type; the site would be pure Late

Archaic but for the presence of those astonishing earthworks. No Adena or Hopewell material has been found.

And, though it seems impossible that such vast works could have been constructed without the support of an

agricultural economy, no traces of farming have been detected at Poverty Point; its inhabitants did not even

have pots to cook in, but prepared their food by heating balls of baked clay and throwing them into baskets or

other containers of water that could not be placed over a fi re.

Several possibilities exist: that Poverty Point was an indigenous Louisiana nonagricultural community which

somehow took to building immense earthworks, or that there was infl uence from Ohio, or that the site repre-

sents a settlement of northward-bound migrants who eventually reached the Ohio Valley and established the

Adena Culture. A more eccentric theory was propounded in 1930 by Henry Shetrone. Misinterpreting the baked

clay balls used in cooking as “gambling cones” of a sort employed by certain Western Indian tribes, Shetrone

suggested, possibly facetiously, that “considering the almost complete absence of potsherds and other ordinary

domestic accumulations, perhaps the Poverty Point site is all that remains of an aboriginal Monte Carlo, curi-

ously well named if prehistoric gambling led to the same fi nancial state as in modern times.” More likely, Poverty

Point was a sacred ceremonial city-but for whom? And when?

Another possible stopping-off place for Ohio-bound Mexicans has been pointed out in southern Louisiana

on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Here was the home of the Tchefuncte Culture, fi rst described by James A.

Ford and George I. Quimby in 1945. They wrote at that time, “Tchefuncte and Adena are easily distinguishable

by a majority of traits which they do not hold in common…. Indeed, it is surprising that there are any similarities

between Tchefuncte and Adena, considering their spatial separation and environmental difference. We believe,

however, that there is a fundamental similarity between the two cultures. But which way the infl uences fl owed-

from north to south or south to north-remains unsettled.

A substantial school of archaeologists fi nds the Mexican hypothesis, including suggested Louisiana way

stations, unacceptable. Webb and Baby, advocates of a Mexican origin, note that “it should be obvious that

the ancestral Adena people could come from one of two, and perhaps both, directions, i.e., south and north,”

and a northern origin is now frequently postulated. Don Dragoo, whose excavation of the Cresap Mound armed

68

Chapter 5

him with such an extraordinary perspective on the whole range of Adena development, has pointed out that

most of the “Mexican” traits found in Adena mounds come from late Adena mounds and are absent from those

he has identifi ed as early ones. “If we are to fi nd the origin of Adena,” he asks, “must we not look at the early

stages of this culture? How can we use traits that are present in the late stage of a culture, but not present in

the early stage, as indicators of origin? Are we to believe that the Adena people had all these ideas with them

when they arrived from Middle America but that they did not use them for several hundred years? On the basis

of the evidence as I see it, those who have looked towards Middle America for the origin of Adena culture have

done so with almost a complete disregard for the facts of the chronological development of Adena culture in

the Ohio Valley.”

He questions the resemblances Webb and his collaborators have seen between Adena practices and the

burial and skull-deformation customs of early Mexico. He objects that the supposedly ancestral Mexican cul-

tures had welldeveloped pottery techniques, using styles unlike any known for early Adena, and though he

fi nds the Mexican theory “romantic and thought-provoking,” he declares that “the time has come for serious

consideration of other possible sources for the roots of Adena.”

Dragoo fi nds signs of prototypical Adena in certain Late Archaic sites in the Northeast and in the lower Great

Lakes area. In this he bases much of his thinking on the work of the New York archaeologist William A. Ritchie,

who had found evidence of a formalized burial cult at the Muskalonge Lake and Red Lakes sites in New York.

At these Archaic settlements, burial of bundled bones, cremations, and fl exed bodies decorated with red ocher

had been practiced in small sandy knolls. Although mound building itself was unknown among these people,

Ritchie saw a “basic core of religiosity” in them, and “certain ideas possibly germinal to the development of the

burial cult.”

From New York, Dragoo traces the infl uence of this “basic core of religiosity” into Archaic cultures to the

west, among them the Red Ocher Culture of Illinois and surrounding states, which practiced burial in low artifi –

cial mounds on natural prominences, and the Glacial Kame Culture of north-estern Ohio, northeastern Indiana,

and southern Michigan, which buried its dead in kames, or natural knolls of gravel and sand deposited by gla-

ciers in Pleistocene times. He sees a “coalescence of ideas and practices concerning the disposal of the dead

that had developed in several widely scattered Archaic populations.” Thus he regards Adena more as a case of

spontaneous local generation than of open invasion from a distant land. This, Dragoo recognizes, is a radical ap-

proach; he is forced to explain away the fact that Adena people had pottery, while the other burial-cult peoples

of the East did not, by terming pottery an independent development among the Adenas, and he copes with the

complication of the distinctive Adena physique by saying that “if, as Snow believes … the picture of Adena man

is based upon the individuals of a selected group then our picture is not truly a representative cross-section of

the Adena population.” He believes that when more skulls have been recovered from early Adena mounds, few

of them will display the conspicuous chins and rounded crania of the “honored dead” of late Adena on

which

current physical assessments have been based.

Reading and Discussion Questions

1. What evidence does Ford present to defend his theory that the Poverty Point mounds were built by one

highly organized community? How do anthropologists “prove” such theories about non-literate societies?

2. Why is it important for historians to determine if Poverty Point represents an indigenous culture or one con-

nected to Adena and Hopewell? What are the implications in either theory?

3. In addition to the mounds themselves, the author of this excerpt used another kind of historical evidence:

writings by others historians from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. What are the complications in

using other historians as history?

69

Origins Apart: The Americas and Oceania

5.3

A Polynesian Creation Myth

Th e “Children of Heaven and Earth” is a Polynesian crea

tions myth. As with many Polynesian myths, versions of it

can be found throughout Oceania; this particular version is from the Maori of New Zealand. As New

Zealand was

one of the last of the Pacifi c Islands to be sett

led, it might be tempting to read this as the “fi nal” version of the myth.

Yet these myths are never fi nished; each island had

their own versions of them, and as

people migrated between

islands, and continued to trade w

ith one another, the versions were shared, passed back and forth, altered in subtle

ways by time and experience. Mythology such as this is as alive as the culture that creates it.

“Children of Heaven and Earth” begins with Rangi

and Papa, Heaven and Earth, the “source from which, in the

beginning, all things originated” and tells of how they came together to create all things. Creation results in the

separation of Heaven and Earth by their off spring, who go on to fright with one another.

Source:

“Children of Heaven and Earth” from

Polynesian Mythology: And Ancient Traditional History of the Maori as Told by Their

Priests and Chiefs.

Sir George Grey. (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs., Ltd., 1854), 1-8, 9.

Men had but one pair of primitive ancestors; they sprang from the vast heaven that exists above us, and from

the earth which lies beneath us. According to the traditions of our race, Rangi and Papa, or Heaven and Earth,

were the source from which, in the beginning, all things originated. Darkness then rested upon the heaven and

upon the earth, and they still both clave together, for they had not yet been rent apart; and the children they

had begotten were ever thinking amongst themselves what might be the difference between darkness and light;

they knew that beings had multiplied and increased, and yet light had never broken upon them, but it ever

continued dark. Hence these sayings are found in our ancient religious services: ‘There was darkness from the

fi rst division of time, unto the tenth, to the hundredth, to the thousandth’, that is, for a vast space of time; and

these divisions of times were considered as beings, and were each termed ‘a Po’; and on their account there

was as yet no world with its bright light, but darkness only for the beings which existed.

At last the beings who had been begotten by Heaven and Earth, worn out by the continued darkness, con-

sulted amongst themselves, saying: ‘Let us now determine what we should do with Rangi and Papa, whether it

would be better to slay them or to rend them apart.’ Then spoke Tu-matauenga, the fi ercest of the children of

Heaven and Earth: ‘It is well, let us slay them.’

Then spake Tane-mahuta, the father of forests and of all things that inhabit them, or that are constructed

from trees: ‘Nay, not so. It is better to rend them apart, and to let the heaven stand far above us, and the earth

lie under our feet. Let the sky become as a stranger to us, but the earth remain close to us as our nursing

mother.’

Hence, also, these sayings of old are found in our prayers: ‘Darkness, darkness, light, light, the seeking, the

searching, in chaos, in chaos’; these signifi ed the way in which the offspring of heaven and earth sought for

some mode of dealing with their parents, so that human beings might increase and live.

So, also, these sayings of old time. ‘The multitude, the length’, signifi ed the multitude of the thoughts of the

children of Heaven and Earth, and the length of time they considered whether they should slay their parents,

that human beings might be called into existence; for it was in this manner that they talked and consulted

amongst themselves.

But at length their plans having been agreed on, lo, Rongo-ma-tane, the god and father of the cultivated

food of man, rises up, that he may rend apart the heavens and the earth; he struggles, but he rends them not

apart. Lo, next, Tangaroa, the god and father of fi sh and reptiles, rises up, that he may rend apart the heavens

70

Chapter 5

and the earth; he also struggles, but he rends them not apart. Lo, next, Haumia-tikitiki, the god and father of the

food of man which springs without cultivation, rises up and struggles, but ineffectually. Lo, then, Tu-matauenga,

the god and father of fi erce human beings, rises up and struggles, but he, too, fails in his efforts. Then, at last,

slowly uprises Tane-mahuta, the god and mother of forests, of birds, and of insects, and he struggles with his

parents; in vain he strives to rend them apart with his hands and arms. Lo, he pauses; his head is now fi rmly

planted on his mother the earth, his feet he raises up and rests against his father the skies, he strains his back

and limbs with mighty effort. / Now are rent apart Rangi and Papa, and with cries and groans of woe they shriek

aloud: ‘Wherefore slay you thus your parents? Why commit you so dreadful a crime as to slay us, as to rend

your parents apart?’ But Tane-mahuta pauses not, he regards not their shrieks and cries; far, far beneath him

he presses down the earth; far, far above him he thrusts up the sky.

Hence these sayings of olden time: ‘It was the fi erce thrusting of Tane which tore the heaven from the earth,

so that they were rent apart, and darkness was made manifest, and so was the light.’

No sooner was heaven rent from earth than the multitude of human beings were discovered whom they had

begotten, and who had hitherto lain concealed between the bodies of Rangi and Papa.

Then, also, there arose in the breast of Tawhiri-ma-tea, the god and father of winds and storms, a fi erce

desire to wage war with his brothers, because they had rent apart their common parents. He from the fi rst had

refused to consent to his mother being torn from her lord and children; it was his brothers alone that wished for

this separation, and desired that Papa-tu-a-nuku, or the Earth alone, should be left as a parent for them.

The god of hurricanes and storms dreads also that the world should become too fair and beautiful, so he

rises, follows his father to the realm above, and hurries to the sheltered hollows in the boundless skies; there

he hides and clings, and nestling in this place of rest he consults long with his parent, and as the vast Heaven

listens to the suggestions of Tawhiri-ma-tea, thoughts and plans are formed in his breast, and Tawhiri-ma-tea

also understands what he should do. Then by himself and the vast Heaven were begotten his numerous brood,

and they rapidly increased and grew. Tawhiri-ma-tea despatches one of them to the westward, and one to the

southward, and one to the eastward, and one to the northward; and he gives corresponding names to himself

and to his progeny the mighty winds.

He next sends forth fi erce squalls, whirlwinds, dense clouds, massy clouds, dark clouds, gloomy thick

clouds, fi ery clouds, clouds which precede hurricanes, clouds of fi ery black, clouds refl ecting glowing red light,

clouds wildly drifting from all quarters and wildly bursting, clouds of thunder storms, and clouds hurriedly fl ying.

In the midst of these Tawhiri-ma-tea himself sweeps wildly on. Alas! alas! then rages the fi erce hurricane; and

whilst Tane-mahuta and his gigantic forests still stand, unconscious and unsuspecting, the blast of the breath

of the mouth of Tawhiri-ma-tea smites them, the gigantic trees are snapt off right in the middle; alas! alas! they

are rent to atoms, dashed to the earth, with boughs and branches torn and scattered, and lying on the earth,

trees and branches all alike left for the insect, for the grub, and for loathsome rottenness.

From the forests and their inhabitants Tawhiri-ma-tea next swoops down upon the seas, and lashes in his

wrath the ocean. Ah! ah! waves steep as cliffs arise, whose summits are so lofty that to look from them would

make the beholder giddy; these soon eddy in whirlpools, and Tangaroa, the god of ocean, and father of all that

dwell therein, fl ies affrighted through his seas; but before he fl ed, his children consulted together how they

might secure their safety, for Tangaroa had begotten Punga, and he had begotten two children, lka-tere, the

father of fi sh, and Tu-te-wehiwehi, or Tu-te-wanawana, the father of reptiles.

When Tangaroa fl ed for safety to the ocean, then Tu-te-wehiwehi and Ika-tere, and their children, disputed

together as to what they should do to escape from the storms, and Tu-te-wehiwehi and his party cried aloud:

‘Let us fl y inland’; but lka-tere and his party cried aloud: ‘Let us fl y to the sea.’ Some would not obey one order,

71

Origins Apart: The Americas and Oceania

some would not obey the other, and they escaped in two parties: the party of Tu-te-wehiwehi, or the reptiles,

hid themselves ashore; the party of Punga rushed to the sea. This is what, in our ancient religious services, is

called the separation of Tawhiri-ma-tea.

Hence these traditions have been handed down: ‘Ika-tere, the father of things which inhabit water, cried

aloud to Tu-te-wehiwehi: “Ho, ho, let us all escape to the sea.”

‘But Tu-te-wehiwehi shouted in answer: “Nay, nay, let us rather fl y inland.”

‘Then Ika-tere warned him, saying: “Fly inland, then; and the fate of you and your race will be, that when

they catch you, before you arc cooked, they will singe off your scales over a lighted wisp of dry fern.”

‘But Tu-te-wehiwehi answered him, saying: “Seek safety, then, in the sea; and the future fate of your race

will be, that when they serve out little baskets of cooked vegetable food to each person, you will be laid upon

the top of the food to give a relish to it.”

‘Then without delay these two races of beings, separated. The fi sh fl ed in confusion to the sea, the reptiles

sought safety in the forests and scrubs.’

Tangaroa, enraged at some of his children deserting him, and, being sheltered by the god of the forests on

dry land, has ever since waged war on his brother Tane, who, in return, has waged war against him.

Hence Tane supplies the offspring of his brother Tu-matauenga with canoes, with spears and with fi sh-hooks

made from his trees, and with nets woven from his fi brous plants, that they may destroy the offspring of Tan-

garoa; whilst Tangaroa, in return, swallows up the offspring of Tane, overwhelming canoes with the surges of

his sea, swallowing up the lands, trees, and houses that are swept off by fl oods, and ever wastes away, with his

lapping waves, the shores that confi ne him, that the giants of the forests may be washed down and swept out

into his boundless ocean, that he may then swallow up the insects, the young birds, and the various animals

which inhabit them.-all which things are recorded in the prayers which were offered to these gods.

Tawhiri-ma-tea next rushed on to attack his brothers Rongo-ma-tane and Haumia-tikitiki, the gods and

progenitors of cultivated and uncultivated food; but Papa, to save these for her other children, caught them up,

and hid them in a place of safety; and so well were these children of hers concealed by their mother Earth, that

Tawhiri-ma-tea sought for them in vain.

Tawhiri-ma-tea having thus vanquished all his other brothers, next rushed against Tu-matauenga, to try his

strength against his; he exerted all his force against him, but he could neither shake him nor prevail against

him. What did Tu-matauenga care for his brother’s wrath? he was the only one of the whole party of brothers

who had planned the destruction of their parents, and had shown himself brave and fi erce in war; his brothers

had yielded at once before the tremendous assaults of Tawhiri-ma-tea and his progeny-Tane-mahuta and his

offspring had been broken and torn in pieces-Tangaroa and his children had fl ed to the depths of the ocean or

the recesses of the shore-Rongo-ma-tane and Haumia-tikitiki had been hidden from him in the earth but Tu-

matauenga, or man, still stood erect and unshaken upon the breast of his mother Earth; and now at length the

hearts of Heaven and of the god of storms became tranquil, and their passions were assuaged.

Thus Tu-mataucnga devoured all his brothers, and consumed the whole of them, in revenge for their having

deserted him and left him to fi ght alone against Tawhiri-ma-tea and Rangi.

When his brothers had all thus been overcome by Tu’, he assumed several nam.es, namely, Tu-ka-riri, Tu-

ka-nguha, Tu-ka-taua, Tu-whaka-heke-tangata, Tu-mata-wha-iti, and Tu-mata-uenga; he assumed one name

for each of his attributes displayed in the victories over his brothers. Four of his brothers were entirely deposed

by him, and became his food; but one of them, Tawhiri-ma-tea, he could not vanquish or make common, by

eating him for food, so he, the last born child of Heaven and Earth, was left as an enemy for man, and still,

with a rage equal to that of Man, this elder brother ever attacks him in storms and hurricanes, endcavouring to

destroy him alike by sea and land.

71

Origins Apart: The Americas and Oceania

some would not obey the other, and they escaped in two parties: the party of Tu-te-wehiwehi, or the reptiles,

hid themselves ashore; the party of Punga rushed to the sea. This is what, in our ancient religious services, is

called the separation of Tawhiri-ma-tea.

Hence these traditions have been handed down: ‘Ika-tere, the father of things which inhabit water, cried

aloud to Tu-te-wehiwehi: “Ho, ho, let us all escape to the sea.”

‘But Tu-te-wehiwehi shouted in answer: “Nay, nay, let us rather fl y inland.”

‘Then Ika-tere warned him, saying: “Fly inland, then; and the fate of you and your race will be, that when

they catch you, before you arc cooked, they will singe off your scales over a lighted wisp of dry fern.”

‘But Tu-te-wehiwehi answered him, saying: “Seek safety, then, in the sea; and the future fate of your race

will be, that when they serve out little baskets of cooked vegetable food to each person, you will be laid upon

the top of the food to give a relish to it.”

‘Then without delay these two races of beings, separated. The fi sh fl ed in confusion to the sea, the reptiles

sought safety in the forests and scrubs.’

Tangaroa, enraged at some of his children deserting him, and, being sheltered by the god of the forests on

dry land, has ever since waged war on his brother Tane, who, in return, has waged war against him.

Hence Tane supplies the offspring of his brother Tu-matauenga with canoes, with spears and with fi sh-hooks

made from his trees, and with nets woven from his fi brous plants, that they may destroy the offspring of Tan-

garoa; whilst Tangaroa, in return, swallows up the offspring of Tane, overwhelming canoes with the surges of

his sea, swallowing up the lands, trees, and houses that are swept off by fl oods, and ever wastes away, with his

lapping waves, the shores that confi ne him, that the giants of the forests may be washed down and swept out

into his boundless ocean, that he may then swallow up the insects, the young birds, and the various animals

which inhabit them.-all which things are recorded in the prayers which were offered to these gods.

Tawhiri-ma-tea next rushed on to attack his brothers Rongo-ma-tane and Haumia-tikitiki, the gods and

progenitors of cultivated and uncultivated food; but Papa, to save these for her other children, caught them up,

and hid them in a place of safety; and so well were these children of hers concealed by their mother Earth that

Tawhiri-ma-tea sought for them in vain.

Tawhiri-ma-tea having thus vanquished all his other brothers, next rushed against Tu-matauenga, to try his

strength against his; he exerted all his force against him, but he could neither shake him nor prevail against

him. What did Tu-matauenga care for his brother’s wrath? he was the only one of the whole party of brothers

who had planned the destruction of their parents, and had shown himself brave and fi erce in war; his brothers

had yielded at once before the tremendous assaults of Tawhiri-ma-tea and his progeny-Tane-mahuta and his

offspring had been broken and torn in pieces-Tangaroa and his children had fl ed to the depths of the ocean or

the recesses of the shore-Rongo-ma-tane and Haumia-tikitiki had been hidden from him in the earth but Tu-

matauenga, or man, still stood erect and unshaken upon the breast of his mother Earth; and now at length the

hearts of Heaven and of the god of storms became tranquil, and their passions were assuaged.

Thus Tu-mataucnga devoured all his brothers, and consumed the whole of them, in revenge for their having

deserted him and left him to fi ght alone against Tawhiri-ma-tea and Rangi.

When his brothers had all thus been overcome by Tu’, he assumed several nam.es, namely, Tu-ka-riri, Tu-

ka-nguha, Tu-ka-taua, Tu-whaka-heke-tangata, Tu-mata-wha-iti, and Tu-mata-uenga; he assumed one name

for each of his attributes displayed in the victories over his brothers. Four of his brothers were entirely deposed

by him, and became his food; but one of them, Tawhiri-ma-tea, he could not vanquish or make common, by

eating him for food, so he, the last born child of Heaven and Earth, was left as an enemy for man, and still,

with a rage equal to that of Man, this elder brother ever attacks him in storms and hurricanes, endcavouring to

destroy him alike by sea and land.

72

Chapter 5

Reading and Discussion Questions

1. There are many things “created” in this story, including human beings. Discuss the creation of humans;

do all the brothers agree on the creation of humans? Is the creation of humans a signifi cant moment in the

story?

2. What is the signifi cance of the numerous incidents of intra-familial violence in the Polynesian creation

myth? Is the violence meant to refl ect literal violence in Polynesian society or is it a metaphor for something

else in their world?

3. Compare this creation myth with that of the Aryans of India, the Creation Hymn from the Rig Veda in Chap-

ter 3. How do the two myths compare in terms of creating vis-à-vis destruction?

4. As the Polynesians were a non-literate people, they had to transmit their tales orally. Although the version

presented here is not exactly the oral tale, as the very act of writing it down changes it, what elements in

the tale reveal its original oral nature?

5.4 Reed Chart from the Marshall Islands, South Pacifi

c

Traditional Micronesian and Polynesian maps of the Pacifi

c, such as this example here from the Marshall Islands,

shows sea lanes across the ocean in the form of linked reeds

between islands and atolls symbolized by small shells.

Each straight stick represents regular currents or waves

around the low lying atolls while the curved sticks depict

ocean swells.

Reading and Discussion Questions

1. How does this map demonstrate the ability of Pacifi c Islanders to overcome environmental challenges

despite the isolation from other cultures?

2. Do the migrations of Pacifi c Islanders across the Pacifi c parallel the expansion of other societies in different

parts of the globe during this period? Are their common patterns?

Source: Library of Congress

 

"PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH BLACKBOARD MASTERS AND GET AN AMAZING DISCOUNT"

Hi there! Click one of our representatives below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Chat with us on WhatsApp