In 1832, Captain Dumont d'Urville basically defined the term Polynesia, which is derived from the Greek words for “many” and “island.” It comprises the islands found within the “Polynesian Triangle,” with Hawai'i in the north Pacific, New Zealand in the southwest, and Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in the far southeast. This definition stood in opposition to Micronesia (little islands) and Melanesia (black islands, due to the dark skin color of its inhabitants). Polynesia is further subdivided into two regions, West Polynesia (Tonga, Samoa, Futuna, ‘Uvea, and a few smaller islands) and East Polynesia, which includes the central archipelagoes of the Cooks, Australs, Societies, and Marquesas and the more isolated islands and archipelagos of Hawai'i, Easter Island, and New ...
Polynesia: Past and Present
Polynesia: Past and present