Polynesia is an archipelago of more than a thousand islands in the middle and southern Pacific Ocean, forming a triangle. Triangular shape with Hawaii, New Zealand, and Easter Island at its corners.
The Greek term for many islands is Polynesia. It is possible to divide Polynesian history into four distinct periods.
Between 1800 B.C. and 700 B.C., there was an age of discovery and colonization, followed by a period of pre-European expansion between 700 B.C. and 1595 A.D. North-west Melanesia was the first place where a separate civilization emerged, and it soon expanded across the Pacific.
European navigators made no significant discoveries on Polynesian islands until 1595 when Alvaro de Mendaa de Neira became the first European to set foot on one. British navigator James Cook was the first European to set foot in Polynesia.
It was only in the early 1900s that almost every Polynesian island was colonized by Western forces following this.
In the process of colonization, the West brought sickness and oppression to the indigenous people, forcing them to adopt new religions, cultures, and languages.
After Pearl Harbor, several islands were utilized as military bases by the United States and the Allies during World War II. Polynesia achieved its freedom in large part after World War II.
West Polynesian and East Polynesian are two separate civilizations in Polynesia today. In the West Polynesian culture, large populations, robust marriage structures, and well-developed legal and commercial systems distinguish the people.
Tonga, Niue, Samoa, and the Polynesian outliers are among the west Polynesian islands. The Cook Islands, Hawaii, Tahiti, Easter Island, and other tiny islands exemplify East Polynesian culture.
Except for New Zealand, most of the sovereign Polynesian islands rely heavily on foreign assistance for most of their monetary needs. Tourism, which has played a major role in the growth of contemporary Polynesia, usually serves to augment this.
Tourist numbers might fluctuate dramatically from year to year, which has some locals concerned about the impact on the environment.
The Polynesian region is divided into six sovereign states, two political subdivisions that are part of bigger states, two autonomous entities, and five territories. One of Polynesia’s two political divisions is Hawaii, one of the 50 U.S. states.
At the same time, American Samoa, one of Polynesia’s territories, is controlled by the U.S. New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Samoa are the six Polynesian nations. In terms of people and geographical area, New Zealand is the biggest of the Polynesian nations.
More than 4.9 million people call New Zealand home, covering an area of 103,483 square miles (268,021 square kilometers).
Also See: Pacific Rim Countries 2022
Only 260,000 individuals in New Zealand describe themselves as Polynesian, a fraction of the country’s 4 million residents. Before 1947, New Zealand was a British colony, but the Statute of Westminster gave the country complete independence.
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