The Customs and Traditions of French Polynesia
European missionaries did everything to destroy traditional Polynesian culture. They destroyed temples (“marae”), forbade tattoos (they have a mystical character in Polynesian life) and many local crafts. Missionaries sought to force Polynesians to follow the teachings of the Bible and their own oppressive “commandments,” but fortunately, many traditions of the Sea Peoples survived so much pressure from foreign cultures, and a peculiar Renaissance of the mid to late 20th century brought many old traditional crafts and the famous Polynesian arts of singing, dancing and legends back to life.
Polynesians regard politeness and the whole set of rituals of communication as an art. Any event, including acquaintance, is, in their opinion, a contact not of people but of spirits, so it is furnished accordingly. In Polynesian culture has always been a strong taboo of a number of things and events, so it is not surprising that even the simplest in the eyes of the European event, the locals accompany a whole complex of ceremonies, bearing a protective character. These include dances, songs and “crowning” with flower wreaths – all these are echoes of ancient rituals.
The Polynesian concept of “family” includes not only husband, wife and children, but also all the numerous cousins, uncles, aunts, etc. – Such a “large family” is called a “feti”. Within kinship families there is an extensive system of mutual aid and collective farming. Often all inhabitants of one settlement are connected by kinship ties, and then a large community lives as a single family. It is also widespread to accept other people’s children (“faamu”) into the “feti”, who thus fall under the protection of all relatives (but more often they are “placed” in the families of childless women).
Women (“wahine”) have always dominated Polynesian society. Today it is the wife and mother who often rules the family with an “iron hand”. The man (husband) only fulfills her wishes, but there is no diktat here – the labor differentiation of the islanders is visible even to the naked eye, so the “orders” most often coincide with the traditional occupations of the men. Accordingly, the female half of the family is also engaged in their own business, and only for the holidays there is an external “equality” in the families (there has always been an internal one). In addition, the local women are not only beautiful but also intellectual. Most of them are well educated and have a genetically inherited ability to be beautiful.
Polynesians by nature are very cheerful and friendly people. They treat all visitors to the islands with no ostentatious piety. Tourists are literally pampered, but few notice that none of the islanders lose their dignity. Here you will rarely see a beggar or a beggar, there is no prostitution as such, no one runs after the tourist with the proposal to buy something or necessarily visit this place. Everything is quiet and peaceful, even kind of lazy. However, the level of service is the highest, and the number of all kinds of holidays and ceremonies on the islands has long entered the proverbs.
Many note such a characteristic feature of the islanders as laziness and idleness. The missionaries naively believed that the “savages” were not adapted by creation itself to work and could only lie under palm trees and sing songs. However, history has clearly demonstrated the opposite. Wonderful sailors and warriors, long before our era conquered Great Ocean on their small canoes with rockers (Polynesian invention), and supported their empire for many hundreds years without devastating wars and genocide, so typical for Europeans, they just had their own view on life. No one would rush and fuss on the islands, indeed. And why should they? Life on the island a couple of kilometers across does not contribute to vanity, the boundless waters of the ocean do not dispose to hurry. Although overwork the locals really do not like to.
Even considering the fact that on the beaches you can find a lot of ladies topless or in frank bikinis, the islanders have the same ideas about the appropriateness of such forms of clothing as in most European countries. You should not offend the locals by participating in acts that are not allowed in your native country. Polynesians are not such louts as they seem to some snobs from “civilized countries,” so it is simply unsafe to bully locals, not even talking about the relevance of such actions in terms of morality.
Local women dress in bright “pareo” (“pareo”, 2 meters of cloth simply wrapped around the body), men – in the male equivalent of this dress. Dress code is very loose – almost everywhere you can go as you please, only in Papeete bathing suits and shorts are not considered appropriate form of clothing. In the evenings, it is advisable to wear light pants, shirts or light dresses that cover the knees. Sandals or beach slippers with sturdy soles are worth carrying – many reef areas have quite a few pebbles with sharp cutting edges, and the coastal sea creatures have many defenses (needles, spines, poisonous prickles, etc.).
– Have you not been to Tahiti? – Tahiti, Tahiti, we haven’t been to Tahiti. We’re well fed here too!
I’m as simple and innocent as a savage from Easter Island. When they tell me, “You might get eaten,” I tense up and take action. But when they start reading me a culinary treatise describing a thousand ways to cook a young man’s thigh, I fall asleep by about the third chapter, oblivious to the looming threat.
The Polynesians are, generally speaking, a group of kindred peoples inhabiting Polynesia. Before contact with Europeans, these peoples had a very rich history, as epic and pathos as, say, the history of the Vikings. Like the latter, the Polynesians acquired the greatest memeticism as ancient seafarers. But, if historians had a special word for Scandinavian sailors, for their Pacific counterparts, due to much less developed topic – no. And that is why the article is simply entitled “Polynesians,” although it will mainly be about these ocean explorers. What they are notable for is this:
- They created the present (with some reservations) civilization with numerous specific features on an extremely poor material basis: the absence of metals, pottery, very limited opportunities for agriculture and cattle breeding, an acute shortage of areas for life and everything, except seafood – even with fresh water things were often difficult;
- In these conditions, they were the first in the world to enter the open ocean and, until Columbus, were the only people in the world who felt confident there, and, given that navigation for Polynesians is by no means a sport, but a purely applied mode of transport, one should not be surprised if it suddenly turns out that they did not use ships at all in the process of doing so;
- Despite the related fucking development of astronomy, geography and a lot of related knowledge, all this was promoted within the framework of magical thinking, not even reaching the level of the Vikings and Phoenicians in mathematics;
- They were extremely harsh even against the background of your Vikings, although a lot of things have finished the “black legend” of the European colonizers;
- When confronted with these colonizers showed amazing resistance to their onslaught, especially impressive in the context of the aforementioned meager material base.
All this adds +100500 to the pathos of this theme. Oh, and yes, the lulz – there are some in there, too.
A little geography [ edit ]
Polynesia is part of Oceania (no, not that one) – a big piece of the globe with a shitload of islands and a big ocean space between them (sometimes they even add Australia to it). Melanesia and Micronesia closely adjoin Polynesia. Each of these groups of archipelagos has its own peculiarity, about which we should speak in detail.
Melanesia is a group of rather large and fertile islands, including even such an independent center of the emergence of agriculture as New Guinea. These islands are quite close to each other. All this caused the conservative and relatively peaceful development and, as a consequence, the long-term stagnation of primitive society. That is why the Melanesian history is not so interesting.
Micronesia is the other extreme. The islands there are so small that one could hardly live on them at all. The local population somehow adapted, but they didn’t have enough strength for civilization. The first settlers fucked off from many islands in horror after a short period of living, because there is a limit to the patience of even primitive people to natural conditions.
Polynesia is the golden mean. The islands and archipelagos of different sizes and kinds, distant from each other for cosmic distances for those times, as well as the abundance of ocean currents. This led to the emergence of complex social structures and very advanced navigation. Because of this, the history of Polynesia is very interesting and dynamic. The Polynesian state of Kiribati is crossed by the Line of Date Change, which makes it have two extra time zones.
Also, the term “Polynesian triangle” (not to be confused!) is often used in relation to Polynesia. It is so called because it is indeed a crooked-ass triangle with fuzzy borders in places, but clear peaks in the three fringes of the Polynesian world – Hawaii, New Zealand and Easter Island. The area of the triangle exceeds that of a small country like that, but the land there is less than 2%.
Origins [ edit ]
Where did the eating come from [ edit ]
By the second millennium B.C., the entire landmass of this shitty planet was already, for the most part, inhabited. The exceptions were: Antarctica, the Arctic islands, for you see, as well as the Polynesian triangle, due to its inaccessibility. In the contiguous areas of Melanesia there was a local tusa of the most likely ancestors of the Polynesians, but a further deepening into the subject is fraught with a surplus of archaeological matan.
Around the middle of the millennium, the Lapita peoples settle the archipelagos of Tonga and Samoa and, somewhat later, this branch breaks off all connection with Melanesia (which is expressed, in particular, in the rapid collapse of pottery due to the lack of kosher clay in Polynesia). After several centuries of isolation, proto-Polynesians are probably experiencing terrible overpopulation, which forces them not only to rediscover Melanesia, but also to rush headlong into discovering anything at all. The algorithm for this case is described below.
Polynesian sprouting mechanism in the Pacific [ edit ]
Technological backwardness has not prevented the Polynesians from flooding the entire Pacific with themselves. And it is not only in the pumped up seafaring skills (more about that below), but also in the mentality caused by the climate favorable for reproduction and at the same time extreme competition for resources. Roughly, the development of the Pacific Ocean proceeds as follows:
- Tribe A finds an uninhabited island with animals and coconuts.
- Tribe A reproduces and populates the entire island.
- Tribe A falls into resource scarcity and has a Battle. That is, the tribe disintegrates into A1, A2…Up. The goal of each tribe is to win the multilateral war.
- The A1 tribe loses the Battle. The surviving members of the A1 tribe are given canoes, rafts, pigs, rats, chickens and other animals.
- The A1 tribe chooses an arbitrary direction to emigrate. In fact, he doesn’t know anything outside his island, so the direction of emigration usually chooses the ocean current.
- The A1 tribe goes to feed the fish or swim somewhere.
- The surviving members of the A1 tribe land on an uninhabited island. GoTo 1
It is clear that in this colonization scheme there is a much better chance to swim to the bottom than to the neighboring island. However, the losing tribe has absolutely nothing to lose, so they are more interested in taking part in an exciting voyage of discovery than becoming a victim of cannibalism. Oddly enough, once a year and a stick shoots – once in a hundred years and the method of unscientific gauge somewhere but sailed. So, for example, Easter Island was inhabited by these fellows, who sailed on rafts 4000 km with babes and rats. A striking illustration of these facts is that the Polynesians, whose islands were further than 500 km from each other, had virtually no contact with each other. For it’s kind of useless to establish trade and merchandise communication in a scrambling canoe.
Hawaii [ edit ]
On December 7, 1941, a Japanese fleet of six aircraft carriers: the Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, Soryu, Shokaku, and Zuikaku. As well as two battleships, the Hiei and Kirishima, appeared on the traverse off the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The first strike air force numbered 50 Zero fighters, 40 torpedo bombers and 81 dive bombers. This raid resulted in the sinking of four U.S. Navy battleships.
In today’s culture, this root is firmly associated with one of the U.S. states. In fact, the Polynesians sought to slap this sign on as many islands as possible. The only clue is that one of the centers of their original expansion was the island of Savaii in the Samoan archipelago, which in the mythology of eastern Polynesia (which is the hardest to reach because of the unreal distances and, consequently, the unusually rich navigation) became the image of the lost paradise.
Hawaii as we know it is not even a cosplay, but a cosplay of a cosplay of a cosplay. That’s how it is.