While their neighbours, the Malays, Papuans and Polynesians, all cultivate the soil, and build substantial huts and houses, the Australian natives do neither.
Again, while they differ physically from neighbouring races, while there is practically nothing in common between them and the Malays, the Polynesians, or the Papuan Melanesians, they agree in type so closely among themselves that they must be regarded as forming one race.
This linguistic poverty proves that the Australian tongue has no affinity to the Polynesian group of languages, where denary enumeration prevails: the nearest Polynesians, the Maoris, counting in thousands.
The Maoris are Polynesians, and, in common with the majority of their kinsfolk throughout the Pacific, they have traditions which point to Savaii, originally Savaiki, the largest island of the Samoan group, as their cradleland.
The Rarotongas call themselves Maori, and state that their ancestors came from Hawaiki, and Pirima and Manono are the native names of two islands in the Samoan group. The almost identical languages of the Rarotongas and the Maoris strengthen the theory that the two peoples are descended from Polynesians migrating, possibly at widely different dates, from Samoa.
Physically the Maoris are true Polynesians, tall, well-built, with straight or slightly curved noses, high foreheads and oval faces.
- The Samoans are pure Polynesians, and according to the traditions of many Polynesian peoples Savaii was the centre of dispersion of the race over the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to New Zealand.
In any case, the Samoans are the most perfect type of Polynesians, of a light brown colour, splendid physique, and handsome regular features, with an average height of 5 ft.
All this, however, must necessarily be of the nature of the purest speculation, and the only facts which we are able to deduce in the present state of our knowledge of the subject may be summed up as follows: (a) That the Malays ethnologically belong to a race which is allied to the Polynesians; (b) that the theory formerly current to the effect that the Sakai and other similar races of the peninsula and archipelago belonged to the Malayan stock cannot be maintained, since recent investigations tend to identify them with the Mon-Annam or Mon-Khmer family of races; (c) that the Malays are, comparatively speaking, newcomers in the lands which they now inhabit; (d) that it is almost certain that their emigration took place from the south; (e) and that, at some remote period of their history, they came into close contact with the Polynesian race, probably before its dispersion over the extensive area which it now occupies.
That the stimulus is real is seen in the fact that among nude races flagrant immorality is far less common than among the more clothed; the contrast between the Polynesians and Melanesians, living as neighbours under similar conditions, is striking evidence on this point.
The natives in language and customs present affinities with some Polynesians, and have been held to be a survival of the eastward immigration of people of Caucasian stock which took place before those which established the " pre-Malay "peoples (such as the Dyaks and Battas) in the Malay Archipelago.
In the oceanic islands of the Pacific three different peoples occur, who have been called Melanesians, Polynesians and Micronesians.'
These form themselves naturally into two broad but very distinct divisions - the dark and brown races; the first division being represented by the Melanesians, and the Polynesians and Micronesians together forming the second.
Codrington (Melanesian Languages) has adduced evidence to prove that Melanesia is the most primitive form of the oceanic stock-language, and that both Malays and Polynesians speak later dialects of this archaic form of speech.
It is practically certain that the Polynesians at least are an older race than the Malays and their subfamilies.
The view which has received most general acceptance is that they represent a branch of the Caucasic division of mankind who migrated at a remote period possibly in Neolithic times from the Asiatic mainland travelling by way of the Malay Archipelago and gradually colonizing the eastern Pacific. The Polynesians, who, as represented by such groups as the Samoans and Marquesas islanders, are the physical equal of Europeans, are of a light brown colour, tall, well-proportioned, with regular and often beautiful features.
It is most probable that the two stocks have Asiatic ancestors in common, though the Polynesians remain today, what they must have always been in remote times, a distinct race.
They are undoubtedly a very hybrid race, owing this characteristic to their geographical position in the area where the dominating races of the Pacific, Malays, Polynesians, Melanesians, Japanese 1 From these the three main divisions of the islands are named Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia.
On the other hand they are considerably like the Mongoloid peoples of north and east Asia (less so to the Polynesians); so that the general tendency among anthropologists has been to admit a common origin, however remote, between the tribes of Tartary and of America.
Most birds for the primitive man are souls, and the Polynesians hold that birds convey from and into their idols the spirits which live therein.
Whatever be the origin of the Polynesians, they are not Malays, though, themselves of mixed blood, they have probably certain racial elements in common with the latter, who are undoubtedly hybrids.
There is every reason to believe that the Polynesians are ethnologically a far older race than the Malays, who, as they now exist, are a comparatively modern people; and thus Friedrich Miller's and D.
Joseph Deniker declares the Polynesians a separate ethnic group of the Indo-Pacific area, and in this view he is followed by A.
Of the migration itself no doubt is now felt, but the first entrance of the Polynesians into the Pacific must have been an event so remote that neither by tradition nor otherwise can it be even approximately fixed.
Owing to the admixture of the Polynesians with the Papuans in Fiji some authorities have thought the first settlement was in those islands, and that the settlers were eventually driven thence by the Papuan occupiers.
If the first resting-place of the Polynesians was in that group, there is good reason to believe that Samoa was the first permanent home of the race.
The Polynesians are invariably navigators.
The Polynesians were by no means a savage people when they entered the Pacific. Indeed their elaborate historical legends show that they possessed a considerable amount of civilization.
Those who are familiar with these legends, and have studied native manners and customs, see many unmistakable proofs that the Polynesians had, at their migration, considerable knowledge and culture, and that the race has greatly deteriorated.
The Polynesians are physically a very fine race.
Polynesians generally are of singularly cleanly habits, love bathing, and have a taste for neatness and order.
As a race the Polynesians are somewhat apathetic. An enervating climate and lavish natural resources incline them to lead easy lives.
Morgan, in Ancient Society, pp. 439-423, makes the Polynesians to have distinctive terms for grandfather, grandmother, grandson and granddaughter.
Even in this case the chiefs or ' Morgan has founded one of his forms of family - the consanguine - on the supposed existence in former times among the Malays and Polynesians of the custom of " intermarriage of brothers and sisters, own and collateral, in a group."
The Polynesians are exceedingly fond of rank and of titles.
Pottery was not manufactured by the Polynesians: a fact which, it has been argued, goes far to prove the remoteness of the Polynesian migration from the Malay Archipelago, where there is not a single tribe which does not possess the art.
The Polynesians, who have always been entirely without metals, are clever workers in wood.
The Polynesians were all polytheists.
The Polynesians invariably believe in the existence of the spirit of man after the death of the body.
5 Among the Polynesians generally it appears to have been the practice at times to eat a portion of a slain enemy to make his degradation the greater.
The general Micronesian type is a well-proportioned rather slightly built figure, with small and regular features; head high and well proportioned, but forehead rather retreating and narrow at the temples; cheek bones and chin slightly prominent; straight black hair, lanker than that of the Polynesians, colour somewhat darker than the Polynesians, the Marshalls being darker and more vigorous than the Carolines, while the Gilbert type, though smaller than the latter, is still darker and coarser.
The Polynesians set up sticks to see if the warriors they stood for were to fall in battle; on Hallowe'en in our own country the behaviour of nuts and other objects thrown into the fire is held to prognosticate the lot of the person to whom they have been assigned.
Lastly, there is usually to be discerned amongst such lower races a belief in unseen powers pervading the universe, this belief shaping itself into an animistic or spiritualistic theology, mostly resulting in some kind of worship. If, again, high savage or low barbaric types be selected, as among the North American Indians, Polynesians, and Kaffirs of South Africa, the same elements of culture appear, but at a more advanced stage, namely, a more full and accurate language, more knowledge of the laws of nature, more serviceable implements, more perfect industrial processes, more definite and fixed social order and frame of government, more systematic and philosophic schemes of religion and a more elaborate and ceremonial worship. At intervals new arts and ideas appear, such as agriculture and pasturage, the manufacture of pottery, the use of metal implements and the device of record and communication by picture writing.
KANAKA, a Polynesian word meaning "man," used by Polynesians to describe themselves.
The Fijians are a people of Melanesian (Papuan) stock much crossed with Polynesians (Tongans and Samoans).