Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Polynesians - Made In Taiwan

The Economist reports on some research which suggests that Hawaiki of Maori legend is in fact Taiwan:
Present day Taiwan has a population of 23m, but only 400,000 are descended from the island's original inhabitants ... Those 400,000 speak - or, at least historically spoke - languages belonging to a group known as Austronesian, which is unrelated to Chinese, but includes the Polynesian tongues. Indeed, small though the aboriginal Taiwanese population is, it accounts for nine of the ten linguistic sub-families of Austronesian. Hence the supposition that Hawaiki might be Taiwan. To check this out, [the researchers] decided to look at variations in mitochondrial DNA...[and] found three mutations shared by Taiwanese, Polynesians and Melanesians (who also speak Austronesian) which are not found in other Asians.
< ? kiwi blogs # >