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Star path to a new world: Reappraising an account of a Polynesian voyage to the American continent from an environmental history perspective.


For the past two centuries, scholars from many fields have attempted to prove that Pacific Islanders reached the American continent in pre-Columbian times. Guided by DNA analysis and radiocarbon dating on items like chicken bones and sweet potatoes, recent scholarship has brought to light strong evidence to support this argument. This article contributes to this long-standing debate, focusing on the Hawaiian Song of Kualii. The most compelling feature of this particular narrative is its reference to a pre-contact voyage towards a distant land called Kahiki, which is allegedly located on the American continent. This study revisits the document to determine the plausibility of such a destination and to ascertain the geographic area where the explorers may have landed. After reconstructing the star path followed by the Hawaiian explorers and analysing the descriptions of the unknown land's environment, the article proves that Hawaiian explorers discovered a country vastly different from their tropical homeland. The cold climate, the unknown forest trees and the strange people inhabiting the land all appeared to them as if they belonged to another world. Comparing the key elements of the explorers' sea route to the Eastern Pacific and prevailing winds in the Late Holocene, this study concludes that the coast of Southern California was their most plausible destination.


Polynesians, pre-Columbian contacts, oral traditions, Song of Kualii, Hawaii, California, Late Holocene


Polynesians were some of the most efficient seafarers in the world. Long before Columbus' enterprise in 1492, they had been sailing the Pacific, discovering and peopling countless islands scattered over the largest ocean on the Earth. They reached the extremities of the Polynesian Triangle at a period corresponding to the European Early Middle Ages. (1) Following these early migrations, Eastern Polynesians launched out into a second voyaging era that spanned from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries. (2) Owing to their command of navigation on the high seas, scholars from the nineteenth century onwards have raised what seems to be an obvious question: did Pacific Islanders reach the American continent? Such a long-standing issue has led to multiple scientific studies examined in detail by Terry L. Jones and other leading scholars in this field. (3)

Until recently, it has not been possible to come to a definitive conclusion about whether early Polynesians came to the American continent. During the last ten years, however, new contributions have brought to light strong evidence for pre-European Polynesian voyages to this continent. In 2007, DNA analysis illustrated that chicken bones found at the Chilean site of E1 Arenal-1 (Arauco District) corresponded to chickens with the same genetic origins as those of Polynesia. Researchers dated the bones from 1304 to 1424 using radiocarbon dating, which proved that these chickens had been introduced to Chile long before the arrival of Spaniards in the country. (4) In addition, in 2010 researchers identified six human crania from Mocha Island (near the coast of Arauco) as Polynesian. (5) In another study published in 2013, scholars analysed the diffusion of the sweet potato in the Pacific area. Based on DNA analysis of more than one thousand samples of sweet potatoes from Asian, South American and Pacific archaeological sites and European herbariums, the study concluded that sweet potatoes from Peru-Ecuador were introduced into the Pacific Islands before the coming of Europeans. (6) On the Pacific coast of North America, linguistic and archaeological evidence such as sewn plank canoes have also indicated that pre-Columbian contacts of Polynesians with Indian people of Southern California took place. (7)

These studies provided additional evidence to prove that Pacific Islanders had reached the American continent prior to European contact. While these studies are important, scholars are far from ending the debate on this contentious topic, and many questions remain unanswered. For instance, from where did Polynesians set off on these voyages to the American continent? What sea routes did they follow to reach the American shores? How did Polynesians remember these voyages, and how can their explorations be re-framed today within the history of Pacific Islanders? How can Polynesian songs illuminate these questions?

Over the past decades, the postcolonial approach has argued that 'Indigenous voices have been marginalized, distorted, and ignored'. (8) By studying Polynesian songs, scholars can bring natives' voices into this historical debate. As Jan Vansina claimed in his seminal book Oral Tradition as History (1985): 'Without oral traditions we would know very little about the past of large parts of the world, and we would not know them from the inside'. (9) Vansina was joined by scholars like Robert Borofsky and Charlotte Damm who have also asserted that oral traditions can be as relevant as western evidence, although they do not fully meet with western scientific standards. (10) Working with non-literate societies involves the acknowledgement that there were Indigenous organised systems of knowledge in pre-contact times and assumes the existence of two types of evidence scientific and ethnographic. (11) The multivocality of the evidence does not mean that one is more important than the other but that the scientific and ethnographic proofs are both partial, and so complement one another. Building on this understanding of oral traditions, this paper explores how the study of Polynesian songs can change scholars' perceptions of history, renewing the scholarly conversation regarding Polynesian voyages and providing additional evidence for pre-Columbian contacts.

Obviously, it is crucial to bear in mind the limitations of oral traditions before analysing this type of material. As has often been observed, oral traditions hold fragmentary and encoded data. Unravelling the mythical elements contained in oral traditions in favour of more empirical information is not a simple task. These songs are also difficult to date, and sometimes well-founded doubts arise as to how they were collected and translated by European scholars in the nineteenth or early twentieth century. Despite these shortcomings, Vansina argued 'oral traditions remain essential' in the reconstruction of the past of illiterate societies. (12) This is especially true in the study of environmental history. From Polynesian oral traditions, scholars can learn valuable information on places, environments, voyages, resources and natural hazards. For example, two recent studies illustrate how Maori and Hawaiian oral traditions widely recorded past catastrophic events including volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, storms and tsunamis. (13) The information collected not only provides scholars with a better understanding of the historical evolution of each type of event, but also illustrates vulnerability and resilience to natural hazards on the part of the Polynesian societies they describe. Another recent contribution also proves the value of Maori oral traditions for the knowledge of fish resources, native fishing practices and environmental changes from pre-European period to the present day. (14)

This paper aims to deconstruct the Hawaiian Song of Kualii from an environmental history perspective. The most compelling feature of the text is its reference to a pre-contact voyage towards a distant land called Kahiki, which is supposedly located on the American continent. (15) This study revisits the document in order to check the plausibility of such a destination and to ascertain the geographic area where the explorers could have landed. The paper is divided into five sections. After determining the validity of the song as an ethnohistorical source, I discuss the Polynesians' skills in undertaking overseas expeditions. I will then reconstruct the star path followed by the Hawaiian seafarers to reach what they referred to as Kahiki. Based on the descriptions provided in the song, I argue that the Hawaiian explorers were aware of having found an unknown world located in a temperate climate zone. In the final section, I discuss whether the explorers landed on the temperate coast of California or Southern Chile. The analysis is grounded on the comparison between the key elements of the star path followed by the explorers and the reconstruction of the Eastern Pacific prevailing winds in the Late Holocene, a crucial factor in this attempt to determine the final destination of the Hawaiian seafarers.


The Song of Kualii is composed of about 600 lines in Ancient Hawaiian language. In 1880, Abraham Fornander published the first translation of the song in English. In 1883, Curtis J. Lyons proposed a revised translation, using a different but very similar version of the song to that used for the Fornander translation. (16) Lyons benefitted from the assistance of a well-respected native historian, Samuel M. Kamakau, and a prominent linguist, Lorrin Andrews, who was the author of a reference dictionary of Hawaiian language. (17) As Lyons himself stated, this translation was the result of the cooperative, long-term efforts of the three men: 'We were in the habit of repairing together daily to the house of Mr. Kamakau, who would explain each line in his vigorous style, the translation being then made out, as I deemed, to most exactly express the force of the original, and written down'. (18) In his introduction to Lyons' translation, historian William D. Alexander, a founding member of the Hawaiian Historical Society and a Surveyor of Hawaii (1871-1901), praised the quality of the translation. He also pointed out the great interest of the song: 'It is valuable for the light it throws on the conceptions of the outside world entertained by the Hawaiians before the arrival of Captain Cook'. (19)

This article builds upon the Lyons translation, with additional comparisons to Fornander's original text. (20) However, before exploring the Song of Kualii, it is essential to explain why scholars should view this document as a valid ethnohistorical source. Though well established methods exist concerning written sources or archaeological remains, validating oral records is an even more delicate issue due to their immaterial nature. In their analysis of oral tradition, scholars have not used a single scholarly method, but have instead turned to diverse empirical methods to determine the veracity and authenticity of these narratives. Despite the diversity of these approaches, some ongoing concerns repeatedly appear as relevant steps in the validation process of Polynesian records.

The first step to assessing Polynesian songs as valid ethnohistorical sources considers whether they can be connected to one specific type of oral tradition, such as genealogy, formal greetings, poetry or accounts. (21) The Song of Kualii belongs among the voyaging accounts, which scholars regard as an important subset of oral traditions in Hawaii and Polynesia. (22) In order to preserve and pass on geographic information on new sea routes, environments and territories, Hawaiians created these voyaging accounts to share with contemporary and future explorers of their group. This information was absolutely vital for people living in insular environments with limited resources. In case of serious events, such as inter-tribal wars or major natural disasters, it prepared travellers who might need to take refuge or move towards another place, thus allowing the group to survive. This knowledge was handed down through generations in as faithful a manner as possible, as shown by the two strikingly similar versions of the Song of Kualii used by Fornander and Lyons that were collected from different native informants. According to Alexander in his introduction, Fornander gathered several independent versions and 'all substantially agree'. (23)

The second matter of importance concerns the credibility of the account. Scholars must take great care to disentangle legend from fact, which poses a real challenge when analysing oral traditions. (24) The Song of Kualii provides an interesting case in this respect. In the nineteenth century, the song was thought to refer to the heroic deeds of Kualii, a supposed chief of Oahu (Hawaiian Archipelago). (25) Nevertheless, as Martha Beckwith asserted in her authoritative book on the Hawaiian mythology, Ku-ali'i was, in fact, a legendary chief or a god belonging to the ancient Ku line. (26) This revelation does not mean, however, that the Song of Kualii is purely mythical; legendary characters and deities served as a starting point for many Hawaiian songs. This fact does not exclude these narratives from being based on historical events, places and people. In the case of the Song of Kualii, based on factual data of the Hawaiian explorers' journey, descriptions of the new country and people they found, and other concrete details embedded in the song, scholars from the late nineteenth century to the present have considered this voyaging account to be a credible source. (27)

The third and last factor to consider is an attempt to date the record. (28) Most ancient voyaging accounts from Hawaii are thought to come from the second era of voyages, due to the ancient form of the Hawaiian language commonly used in these songs. According to Alexander, the Song of Kualii is composed in a very old idiom: 'It is so antique in language, construction and imagery, that very few of the natives at the present day can understand much of it.' Additionally, based on the genealogy of the Hawaiian chiefs enumerated at the beginning of the document (lines 25-66) and a close study of these lines by Fornander, Alexander inferred that the Song of Kualii originated from the time of Moikeha and Laa-mai-Kahiki. (29) Born in 1310 and 1390, respectively, these two chiefs are considered by scholars to be great Hawaiian explorers. (30) Thus, from the preceding examination, the Song of Kualii can be regarded as a valid ethnohistorical source. It is a credible account of a voyage that Hawaiians performed towards an unknown land in the fourteenth century.


Before analysing the Song of Kualii, it is important to understand the context for Polynesian sea exploration and how it was possible for these explorers to undertake voyages through the Pacific region. Polynesians built canoes of different types. (31) The smaller ones, often outrigger canoes, were used for coastal navigation and fishing. They also had ocean-going double canoes, which were able to face the dangers of the open sea. (32) The Spanish explorer Pedro Fernandez de Quiros gave one of the earliest descriptions of these large watercrafts. On 1 March 1606, on an island named La Peregrina (Pukapuka, north of the Cook Islands), he described a native boat in the following way:

Of these palms the natives also make their canoes, and some very large
vessels, twenty yards in length and two wide, more or less, in which
they navigate for great distances. They hold about fifty persons. Their
build is strange, there being two concave boats about a fathom apart,
with many battens and cords firmly securing them together. (33)

The canoe described by Quiros was about eighteen metres in length (twenty yards), comparable in size to Columbus' ships on his first voyage. (34) The largest Polynesian double-hulled canoes measured by early Europeans exceeded one hundred feet. (35) Thus, Eastern Polynesians had been building vessels comparable to or larger than those of European explorers in the late fifteenth century. These double canoes were widespread in Eastern Polynesia prior to European contact. (36) The palm was used mostly on small atolls because of the lack of timber. On the larger islands, canoes were built from trees such as the koa (Acacia koa), the ulu (Artocarpus altilis) and the kukui (Aleurites moluccana), all of which can be found in Hawaii. (37) The durable wood of the kukui tree (Aleurites moluccana) was used in building dugout canoes, whereas the outriggers were made from the lightweight wood of the wiliwili tree (Erythrina sandwicensis). The mamaki shrub (Pipturus albidus) was also necessary for canoe-making, with the inner part of its bark providing long, strong fibres used for rope and cordage. (38)

The double canoes were not only used for inter-island journeys, but also for explorations towards the far eastern Pacific. For example, in the Marquesan account of the 'Eastern voyage of the Kaahua', collected by Edward S. Craighill Handy in 1930, the following was written:

'Kaahua' was the name of a canoe of very great size which made a voyage
from Puamau in ancient times in search of lands (hefenna imi, land
seeking). It was a double canoe with a number of houses on it, and
carried a great quantity of breadfruit paste ... The expedition was
comprised of men, women, and children. From Hivaoa they went first to
Nikuhiva. Thence they sailed east, and finally reached a land called
Tefiti. (39)

As in this example, the Polynesian double canoes could hold many persons, supplies, plants and animals that were necessary to reach and settle faraway lands. Bananas, coconuts and lots of breadfruit paste were shipped in order to feed the crew during these long voyages. Breadfruit paste could keep for several months. It consisted of a sort of native ship biscuit that was prepared in advance and specifically made for distant expeditions.

To achieve voyages towards distant lands, Polynesian seafarers not only placed their trust in good fortune and the gods but also in experts in astronomy and navigation. (40) According to Eric Schwimmer, these experts were designated as kilokilo in Hawaii and tohunga in other archipelagos. He noted that: 'The tohunga was a professional, taught in a Maori School of Learning and he was consulted because of his knowledge of astrology, weather conditions, seasons, art of navigation.' (41) Some of these experts specialised in a particular field. For instance, in Hawaii, stargazers were named kilo-hoku or kilo-lani, whereas those who knew the science of the winds were called kilo-makani. (42) These experts used not only stars but also clouds, regular swells, sea currents and seabird migrations as navigational aids.

Polynesians were also able to map their geographic environment. The elaborate stick-charts of the Marshall Islanders provide striking evidence of this ability. Consisting of networks of straight or curved sticks, these charts indicate the main winds, swells and refracted waves. Pieces of shell or wood symbolised the islands of the different archipelagos. They were quite precise, as the well-known map of the Marshall Archipelago shows. (43) Another example of Polynesian map-making prowess is the 'Chart of Tupaia'. In 1769, a famous tohunga from Tahiti, named Tupaia, went on board the Endeavour, the ship commanded by Captain Cook. He gave a list of 63 islands, 57 with their respective location from Tahiti. (44) James Cook and Joseph Banks collected the information given by Tupaia in order to make what is known as the 'Chart of Tupaia'. According to historian Elsdon Best, due to their advanced canoebuilding skills and their knowledge of navigation, Polynesians could perform long distance voyages and reach any place of the Pacific Ocean:

Moreover, the Polynesian, as a voluntary voyager, could reach any land
he wanted to, as also return from it, if given time enough--and time
was of no object to him. Disaster seemed to have no terrors for him;
though many stalwart sea-rovers had gone down to death, yet did he
follow in the same path, carefree and resolute, trusting to his gods
and his own knowledge of navigation and sea-lore. (45)


When approaching the Song of Kualii, it is useful to bear in mind Tupaia's method of orally transmitting his geographic knowledge to James Cook and Joseph Banks. Eastern Polynesians used songs to transmit their knowledge of many subjects, including geographic information on new territories that they explored throughout the Pacific region. The Song of Kualii was no different, but the information embedded in the lines is difficult to interpret because much of it is encoded. Thus, in order to uncover the Hawaiian sea route, the song must be deconstructed. In particular, the meaning of Kahiki and the explorers' methods of navigation must be discussed.

The meaning of the word 'Kahiki' could easily be misinterpreted. The potential confusion comes from the fact that 'Kahiki' might simply mean 'Tahiti', because the letter 't' used in southern Polynesian archipelagos is often altered into 'k' in the Hawaiian language. However, as Fornander asserted, the country reached by the Hawaiian explorers could not be the island of Tahiti for the obvious reason that the new land and people appeared to be much too strange to the seafarers to have been a familiar place. (46) The term Kahiki could have another meaning that seems to be more appropriate in the present case. According to Mary K. Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert's Hawaiian Dictionary, Kahiki also means 'any foreign country'. (47) The Polynesian lexicon database POLLEX indicates that Kahiki comes from the proto-form Tafiti, meaning 'foreign country' or 'distant place'. (48) It establishes that the words Tehiti in Marquesan and Tawhiti in Maori derive from this proto-form, and they have almost the same meaning as Kahiki. It is also likely to be the same as Tefiti, which was used in the extract previously quoted regarding the 'Eastern voyage of the Kaahua'. (49) Robert J. Hommon confirmed that, in the times of the late voyaging era (AD 1200-1400), Kahiki was a general concept referring to unknown realms beyond the horizon. (50) On the origin of Kahiki, William W. Gill added that it was derived from the former expression Ka-hiki (or its equivalent Ta-hiti), which referenced both the rising sun and the direction east in Ancient Hawaiian language. (51) Therefore, the Kahiki of the Song of Kualii certainly corresponded to an unknown country located in the far eastern Pacific.

Distant voyages towards kukula hikina, namely the eastern border of the Pacific in Ancient Hawaiian language, mobilised the best native experts in navigation. In addition to the navigational methods already discussed, the Song of Kualii also includes frequent references to the motions of the sun with particular attention paid to the sunrise. Therefore, in order to reconstruct their route it is necessary to decode the different uses of the sunrise as a navigational aid. In some cases, the sunrise could indicate the east as the direction Hawaiians had to take in order to continue their journey, but it does not mean that the east was the only direction the mariners followed to reach Kahiki. The description of the sunrise in the song could have another purpose. As an astronomical constant, other directions were determined based on its position. According to the song: 'Pointing to the uprising rays of the sun/The sun hangs over Kona, Kohala already in the darkness'. (52) Polynesians determined, therefore, the south (Kona) and the north (Kohala) from aiming first to the sunrise, and in that way they were able to fix their position on the vast ocean. That is the reason the translation 'Kahiki the East' given by Lyons, as in the quotation below, should not be misunderstood. Indeed, Kahiki was located east from Hawaii, but the Hawaiian seafarers did not follow a straight eastward route to their destination, as will be shown.

The Song of Kualii documents this use of astronomical constants, including data on stars, constellations, winds and clouds. When fitting the pieces of this geographic puzzle together, all this encoded environmental information can be regarded as an oral map of their sea route. The song chiefly follows the main steps of the voyage. The native seafarers undertook the expedition in late spring or early summer, as suggested by two mentions of Makalii: 'the sea of Makalii, the sea of Kaelo' and 'the month in which grows the food, Makalii'. (53) In Ancient Hawaiian language, the word Makalii was applied to designate the Pleiades constellation, but it also referred to harvest time. (54) The passage below describes the departure from Kauai Island (Hawaiian Archipelago) to Kahiki:

Kauai, great and grown over with Lehua
Island standing grandly in the sea
Island stretching out towards Kahiki
Kahiki the East, where Kea sends forth the sun
Invited, Kona stands forth to the sight,
Established far below is Kumuhonua,
Shaking the broad foundations of Hawaii of Kea
Pointing to the uprising rays of the sun
The sun hangs over Kona, Kohala already in darkness
Kahiki, whose is Kahiki?
For whom? For Ku indeed is Kahiki
Kahiki far over the great ocean. (55)

As the following lines suggest, the Hawaiian explorers first sailed south or south-east: 'For Ku marches the train of clouds along the horizon/And the edge of the sea is drawn down by Ku'. The song tells that northerly winds (called Wawaenohu and Niihau) then pushed the Polynesian canoes southwards. (56) It indicates they came close to the Equator, where the Polar Star stood lower in the sky. (57) The line, 'Reaching the three stars of Orion, which pierce the clouds as they drift along', strengthens the interpretation that they sailed towards the Equator line and reached the intertropical convergence zone. (58) The Orion constellation lies on the celestial equator, which corresponds to the projection of the Earth's Equator towards the sky. The song then reveals that the explorers reached a land that stands in a temperate zone, which we can deduce from these added lines: 'Below is the land, above is the sun/In that land the sun hangs low in the sky'. (59) Lyons does not fully render the second line as quoted above. In the original idiom, it includes the idea that they came closer or approached the unknown land, as pointed out by Fornander ('when approaching') and Alexander ('when one approaches'). (60) Here, contrary to what happens between the two tropics where the sun is always high in the sky, the lower position of the sun above the horizon line suggests that the Kahiki referenced here was located in a temperate region. The song gives no further details on the star path followed by the explorers. What is certain is that it was a very distant country, which remained 'far over the broad ocean'. (61)


The idea of a remote land implicitly appears in the song when evoking the lack of supplies they endured during the voyage. The seafarers had no choice but to ration themselves: 'Little by little broken the food/As the birds eat little by little'. (62) After this difficult voyage, to reach Kahiki was celebrated as a great relief: 'Listen now, we are safely escaped'. (63) Once they arrived at the faraway land, the Hawaiians explored the country by sailing along the coast. (64) In this part of the song, they refer to themselves as 'travellers'. (65) Several questions stress the different steps of their discoveries: 'For whom is this rain?', 'The sun, whose is the sun?', or 'The sea, whose is the sea?'. (66) Such questions were not purely rhetorical. They were part of the process of appropriation of the unknown land. The reply is always 'For Ku', because the Hawaiians thought they were descended from the God Ku. Symbolically, they also took possession of the land by placing on the shore the 'malo of Ku', which was likely to be a ritual loincloth representing the god. (67) However, beyond such an appropriation of the place, were they aware of having landed on a new world? How did they perceive the natural environment and people of Kahiki?

Some parts of the text provide elements of description of the land they discovered. As they were above all seafarers, they paid particular attention to the marine environment and the climate. While sailing along the coast of the unknown country, they noticed that the sea did not always have the same appearance, as suggested by these lines:

The vastness of the sea is from Kahiki,
Calm is the sea by the land,
Taken up is the sea in the hand,
Dressed is the hair with the sea,
White is the hair with very salt sea,
Red becomes the hair in the foaming sea. (68)

In this fragment, the 'hair' refers to the different aspects of the sea. They noted the colour variations of the sea water (white, red, dark) along the coast, and the changing state of the sea surface. Though the quotation above evokes a calm sea, other lines of the song alluded to the heavy swells of a rough sea, with waves that broke on the rocky shoreline. (69) Moreover, for people coming from a tropical environment, the climate of the new land appeared to be very cold, windy and rainy. The song repeatedly emphasised this point, claiming: 'The broad ocean, the cold stiffened/Mariners shivering, quivering with cold' and, 'The land breeze that curls you all up with cold'. (70) Even the sea water by the coast was cold, which was quite surprising for people accustomed to a warmer climate.

With wood and timber regarded as essential resources, the Hawaiian seafarers looked closely at the forests of Kahiki. They described them as particularly thick. (71) They compared the trees they discovered to those of Hawaii. They consistently qualified them as unknown, as seen in the following examples: 'Not like the crooked tree naio', 'Not like the kukui, the knotty barked kukui tree', 'Not like to the tree aalii', 'Not like the tree wiliwili', and 'Not like the mamaki/The long barked shrub of the forest'. (72) They also looked for possible similarities to Hawaiian plants, but their attempts were unsuccessful, as shown by these lines concerning a type of fern (ekaha, Asplenium nidus) they found in the forests of Kahiki, near the coast: 'Not like the fern ekaha/Not the ekaha that grows in [near] the ocean'. (73)

Some trees mentioned above (kukui and wiliwili trees) suggest that the Hawaiian explorers were seeking to find wood and timber like those of Hawaii, presumably to repair their boats or build new canoes. However, they did not find any of those trees in the new land. In addition, because of the rainy climate, it was not easy for the Hawaiians to find wood dry enough to make fire, as the following line suggests: 'The maua is brought forth that stands in the forest'. (74) Commonly, the term maua means 'we two', according to the Polynesian lexicon database POLLEX. Nevertheless, such a meaning makes no sense in the line quoted above. Lyons clarified that in Ancient Hawaiian language, maua was applied to 'very wet, soggy wood that will not burn'. (75) The Hawaiian explorers' difficulty in finding firewood could not have happened on an island of the eastern Pacific, even in rainy conditions.

The Hawaiians landed on the shore and opened new tracks, as these lines suggest: 'This is the company of travellers/The travelled road/Where the earth of Mahiki [Kahiki] is made soft/Trodden down by the foot'. (76) In their forays into the new land, they found that the new environment was not unoccupied. According to the song, they were quite surprised by their first encounters with the natives of Kahiki, as seen in the following lines:

Yes I have seen, I have seen Kahiki,
A land where the language is strange
Of Kahiki are the men who ascend,
Up the great back-bone of Heaven
Far up there they trample and look at below
None of our race in Kahiki
One kind of men in Kahiki, the strangers
Like unto Gods, and I was a man
Yes they were men, we can hold converse with them. (77)

They wondered about the very nature of these creatures. Because they were able to talk with them and hear their voices, they determined the strangers could not be gods or supernatural beings, for they believed that they could not converse with deities. (78) The Hawaiian explorers concluded that they were men (kanaka) but deeply unlike Pacific Islanders, as the following assertion shows: 'None of our race in Kahiki'. They regarded the natives as very strange people. They spoke an unknown language the Hawaiians were unable to understand, as can be inferred from the word pahaohao they used to refer to it. According to Andrews' dictionary, in Ancient Hawaiian pahaohao was used for things that 'changed in appearance, transfigured, having another external form'. For Fornander, the Hawaiian explorers would never use such a concept to refer to another Polynesian idiom. (79)

Thus, the Kahiki portrayed in the Song of Kualii was deeply unlike the Polynesian world. The cold climate, the unknown forest trees and the strange people were unfamiliar to the explorers. They thought they had reached the end of the Pacific, claiming that it was from Kahiki that the water of the Ocean sprang: 'The vastness of the sea is from Kahiki'. (80) In addition, the Hawaiians explorers would have been familiar with other Polynesian Islanders, particularly since all of them spoke idioms closely related to the Hawaiian language. (81) Because the Hawaiians described hearing an unknown language, Fornander concluded that they must have landed on the American continent.


The description of the environment of the new land appears to confirm Fornander's assertion that the Hawaiian seafarers found their way to the Pacific coast of the American continent. As shown, they arrived at a temperate region, for the explorers noticed that the sun's path through the sky was lower than in their homeland. As Kahiki was in the far eastern Pacific, it could not be located anywhere other than the coast of present day California or Southern Chile, which are the only temperate continental regions in this part of the world. Between these two options, however, it is a complex matter to find out in which region they landed. The difficulty comes from the fact that the Song of Kualii provides no precise information on the distance travelled by the Hawaiian explorers, only saying that the new country was located 'far over the broad ocean'. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the two possible destinations.

At first glance, the shorter distance from Hawaii to California makes the hypothesis of the coast of present day North America a more plausible destination. (82) The distance from Hawaii to California is about 3,400 km. However, could the summer winds of the northeastern Pacific have pushed the Hawaiian canoes to California? As known, the direction of the prevailing winds in this region depends chiefly on the position of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). At present in the northeastern Pacific, the ITCZ is always located in the Northern Hemisphere. During the summer, when the ITCZ is farthest north powerful trade winds from the Southern Hemisphere cross the Equator. Having arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, these trade winds are diverted to the right due to the Coriolis force. Then, their path changes direction and they blow towards the north-east (Figure 1). The question is, when the Hawaiians explorers set out on their voyage to Kahiki during the fourteenth century, was the geography of the winds similar to that of the current situation in the northeastern Pacific?

This important point needs to be carefully analysed. It is generally held that seasonal winds of the northeastern Pacific at the time of the Eastern Polynesians' second voyaging era were almost the same as they are today. Recent contributions on the Holocene migrations of the ITCZ clarify the point. The fourteenth century is regarded as a transition period from the Medieval Climatic Optimum to the Little Ice Age. (83) The climate cooling began around AD 1300 and increased substantially during the Little Ice Age, marking a general southward migration of the ITCZ. This shift took place on a lesser scale in the northeastern Pacific, where the ITCZ maintained a continuous bias into the Northern Hemisphere. (84) This anomaly was due to the preferential cooling of the sea waters close to the equatorial area because of upwelling. As a result, upwelling retained warmer sea waters in the Northern Hemisphere, thereby displacing the ITCZ further north from the Equator. That is why the climate cooling seemed to have had no major impact on the presence of winds directed north-east towards the coast of present day California at the beginning of the Little Ice Age. Historical evidence of this phenomenon can be found in Sir Francis Drake's voyage to the Pacific coast in search of the Northern Passage. In April 1579, he sailed about 2,800 km west towards the open sea (500 nautical leagues) from Guatemala (harbour of Guatulco). (85) He then changed his route, sailing towards the coast of North America on the winds blowing to the north-east. On 3 June 1579, he arrived at 42[degrees] latitude. Meanwhile, exploring the coast of California, he and his crew had to face continuous extreme colds. (86)

The Hawaiian seafarers could have benefitted from those same winds to sail towards the coast of present day California. In the fourteenth century, the climate was relatively warmer than in the sixteenth century, despite the changing trend of cooler temperatures. (87) The ITCZ therefore had a more northerly shift than in the sixteenth century, and the northeastern Pacific prevailing winds were also directed north-east from the Equator to the coast of California in the summer. The presence of these winds is essential to propose a possible route from Hawaii to California. As discussed previously, the Song of Kualii indicated that the Hawaiian seafarers sailed first towards the south or the south-east until reaching the ITCZ. Most probably they then turned left after crossing the ITCZ, heading to the coast of present day California, thanks to the north-east summer winds (Figure 1). The question of the return journey from California presents no special difficulty, for to the north of ITCZ, the winds are directed south-west, leading directly to Hawaii. This was the same route Sir Francis Drake took on his way to the Moluccas after being in California. Archaeological evidence for pre-Columbian contacts between Polynesians and natives of California around AD 1300 strengthens the plausibility of this destination. (88) For example, the Chumash people and Gabrielino (or Tongva) people of the Santa Barbara Channel used to build sewn plank canoes (called tomolo), which were of Polynesian style. The techniques they mobilised in building sewn plank canoes were almost identical to those of the Polynesian islanders, and their boats were radically different from any neighbouring American canoes. (89)

The other possible destination to examine is Southern Chile, located in the temperate zone of the Southern Hemisphere. In this region, the climate is cold, rainy and windy, similar to the unknown land described in the Song of Kualii. Nevertheless, it seems to be less likely as the destination of the Hawaiian explorers for several reasons. First, the great distance from Hawaii to southern Chile, about 9,000 km, would have been a serious obstacle to overcome, not to mention the difficult issue of the return voyage to Hawaii. Second, the Ancient Hawaiians knew that the globe was divided into two hemispheres because the stars and constellations were different depending on how far north or south they sailed. For instance, the native historian who helped Lyons in translating the Song of Kualii, S.M. Kamakau, said that: 'When you arrive at the Piko-o-wakea, the equator, you will lose sight of Hoku-paa (the North Star) and then Newe will be the southern guiding star ...'. (90) The star path described in the Song of Kualii, however, makes no mention of any star or constellation specific to the Southern Hemisphere. Similarly, the song does not even mention the expression that was used in reference to the Equator, and there is no evidence in the text that the Hawaiian explorers may have crossed it. As a result, it is most unlikely that the Hawaiian seafarers had sailed towards the coast of Southern Chile.


This study provides a new understanding of the Song of Kualii and additional evidence for pre-European contact between Polynesians and Amerindians. As revisited above, the song illuminates that in the fourteenth century Hawaiian explorers had discovered the existence of an outside world, different from their own, located far away towards the east in what is today the American continent. On the long expedition, their food supplies ran out, and they reached the point where they were suffering from hunger and rationing their supplies. Therefore, it can be determined that they had travelled a long distance through the eastern Pacific without finding a single island where they could restock their supplies. When they finally landed in the new land, they discovered a strange world, which appeared to be widely different from their tropical homeland. They encountered a very cold, rainy and windy climate. Even the sea near the coast was cold. The thick forests of the country were composed of trees and plants they had never seen, and they met people who spoke a language unlike any other they had heard. The Hawaiian explorers would not have described this radically different world had they landed on any island of the Eastern Pacific. Thus, the new land described in the Song of Kualii must correspond to a temperate region of the American continent.

Thanks to their knowledge of navigation, astronomy and geography and their skills in building double canoes, the Hawaiians were fully capable of reaching the American continent. When embarking on overseas expeditions, native experts in stars, winds and states of the sea, called kilokilo in Hawaii, helped to navigate the Hawaiian watercrafts through the open waters of the Pacific. Using the encoded information on the star path contained in the song and the analysis of the fourteenth century summer winds in the Eastern Pacific, it can be determined that they sailed first to the south or the south-east from Hawaii before reaching the intertropical convergence zone. After crossing the ITCZ, they changed direction on the high sea. Then, prevailing winds blowing to the north-east pushed the Hawaiian explorers to the coast of a temperate region, which could not be any other than California. As discussed above, no evidence can be found in the song for the hypothesis of Southern Chile as the destination. Most probably, Polynesians who reached Chile in pre-Columbian times came from South Pacific archipelagos. By contrast, both the Hawaiians' route and the description of the environment of the unknown land make the option of the coast of California the most plausible destination.

Lastly, from a methodological point of view, the analysis of the Song of Kualii shows that Polynesian songs have the potential to enrich our understanding of the pre-European Polynesian voyages throughout the Pacific region. Despite their limitations, native voyaging accounts bring more valuable information than that contained in European sources as regards the knowledge of Polynesian explorations seen from the inside. They not only renew our vision of Eastern Polynesian voyages, but also provide new information about native navigational methods and the relationship between Pacific Islanders and their environment. However, as demonstrated in this paper, it is by combining Indigenous and Western sources and using a multidisciplinary approach that scholars are able to determine the most efficient way to reconstruct the environmental history of these early Polynesian societies.


I gratefully acknowledge the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions on the earlier version of this article.

University of New Caledonia Centre for New Pacific Studies James Cook Avenue, BP R4 98897 Noumea, New Caledonia


(1.) Polynesians reached Hawaii AD 300-400, Easter Island AD 400-500 and New Zealand AD 700-800. See Charles E.M. Pearce, Frances M. Pearce, Oceanic Migration: Paths, Sequence, Timing and Range of Prehistoric Migration in the Pacific and Indian Oceans (Adelaide: Springer, 2011); Stuart Bedford, Christophe Sand and Sean P. Connaughton (eds), Oceanic Explorations: Lapita and Western Pacific Settlement (Canberra: ANU Press, 2007).

(2.) Robert J. Hommon, The Ancient Hawaiian State (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 220.

(3.) Terry L. Jones, Alice A. Storey, Elizabeth A. Matisso-Smith and Jose Miguel Ramirez Aliaga (eds), Polynesians in America. Pre-Columbian Contacts with the New Word (Plymouth: AltaMira Press, 2011).

(4.) A.A. Storey et al., 'Radiocarbon and DNA evidence for a pre-Columbian introduction of Polynesian chickens to Chile', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 25 (2007): 10335-9.

(5.) E.A. Matisoo-Smith and J.M. Ramirez Aliaga, 'Human Skeletal Evidence of Polynesian Presence in South America? Metric Analyses of Six Crania from Mocha Island, Chile', Journal of Pacific Archaeology 1 (2010): 76-88.

(6.) C. Roullier et al., 'Historical collections reveal patterns of diffusion of sweet potato in Oceania obscured by modern plant movements and recombination', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 6 (2013): 2205-10. For an overall view on the topic, see Chris Ballard et al. (eds), The Sweet Potato in Oceania: a Reappraisal (Sydney: University of Sydney, 2005).

(7.) Jones, Polynesians in America, pp. 71-88; T.L. Jones and K.A. Klar, 'Diffusionism Reconsidered: Linguistic and Archaeological Evidence for Prehistoric Polynesian Contact with Southern California', American Antiquity 3 (2005): 457-84.

(8.) B. Murton, 'Being in the place world: toward a Maori geographical self', Journal of Cultural Geography 1 (2012): 87.

(9.) Jan Vansina, Oral Tradition as History (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), p. 198.

(10.) Vansina, Oral Tradition, p. 193; Robert Borofsky (ed.), Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2000), pp. 6-8; Ch. Damm, 'Archaeology, Ethnohistory and Oral Traditions: Approaches to the Indigenous Past', Norwegian Archaeological Review 2 (2005): 76-7.

(11.) Vansina, Oral Tradition, p. 196; Borofsky, Remembrance of Pacific Pasts, p. 9; M.G. Stevenson, 'Indigenous Knowledge in Environmental Assessment', Arctic 3 (1996): 278-91.

(12.) Vansina, Oral Tradition, p. 200.

(13.) D.A. Swanson, 'Hawaiian oral tradition describes 400 years of volcanic activity at Kilauea'. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 176 (2008): 427-31; D.N.T. King, J. Goff and A. Skipper, 'Maori environmental knowledge and natural hazards in Aotearoa-New Zealand', Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 2 (2007): 59-73.

(14.) P. Wehi, M. Cox, T. Roa and H. Whaanga, 'Marine resources in Maori oral tradition: He kai moana, he kai mate hinengaro', Journal of Marine and Island Cultures 2 (2013): 59-68.

(15.) A. Vomander, An Account of the Polynesian Race, its Origin and Migrations (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Triibner & Co, 2 vols., 1880), vol. 2, p. 287; Jones, Polynesians in America, 31-2; Juri Mykkanen, Inventing Politics. A New Political Anthropology of the Hawaiian Kingdom (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2003), p. 23.

(16.) Fornander, An Account of the Polynesian Race, vol. 2, pp. 371-99; C.J. Lyons, "The Song of Kualii, of Hawaii, Sandwich Islands", Journal of the Polynesian Society 3 (1893): 163-78.

(17.) Lorrin Andrews, A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language (Honolulu: Public Archives 1922 [reprint 2003]); Jones, Polynesians in America, pp. 31-2.

(18.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 163.

(19.) Alexander, 'Introduction', in Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 161.

(20.) Both of these translations have been published along with the Ancient Hawaiian version, thereby facilitating verifications with the original text in case of any doubt.

(21.) R. Kuschel and T. Monberg, 'History and oral traditions: a case of study', Journal of the Polynesian Society 1 (1977): 93-4; M. Campbell, 'History in Prehistory. The Oral Traditions of Rarotongan Land Court Records', Journal of the Pacific History 2 (2002): 223; Swanson, 'Hawaiian oral tradition describes 400 years of volcanic activity at Kilauea', 427.

(22.) PatrickV. Kirch, On the Road of the Winds: An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands before European Contact (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), p. 238.

(23.) W.D. Alexander, 'Introduction', in Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 161.

(24.) Jones, Polynesians in America, p. 25; Swanson, 'Hawaiian oral tradition describes 400 years of volcanic activity at Kilauea', 427-8; King, 'Maori environmental knowledge', 61.

(25.) Lyons, "The Song of Kualii', 163.

(26.) Martha Beckwith, Hawaiian Mythology (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1970), p. 396.

(27.) Alexander, 'Introduction', in Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 162; Mykkanen, Inventing Politics, p. 23; Patrick V. Kirch, How Chiefs Became Kings. Divine Kingship and the Rise of Archaic States in Ancient Hawai'i (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010), pp. 114-16.

(28.) Wehi, 'Marine resources in Maori oral tradition', 60; King, 'Maori environmental knowledge', 61.

(29.) Alexander, 'Introduction', in Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 160; Hommon, Ancient Hawaiian State, pp. 220-1; Kirch, How Chiefs Became Kings, p. 80; Mykkanen, Inventing Politics, p. 23.

(30.) Beckwith, Hawaiian Mythology, pp. 355-9.

(31.) Peter Bellwood, The Polynesians. Prehistory of an Island People (London: Thames and Hudson, 1987), pp. 39-40; Anne Di Piazza and Erik Pearthree (eds), Canoes of the Grand Ocean (Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, 2008), pp. 99-100.

(32.) For instance, in Hawaii the outrigger canoes were named kaukahi and the double-hulled canoes kaulua. Naomi N.Y. Chun, Hawaiian Canoe-Building Traditions (Honolulu: Kamehameha Schools Press, 1995), pp. 57-8.

(33.) Clements Markham (ed), The Voyages of Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, 1595 to 1606 (London: The Hakluyt Society, 2 vols., 1904), vol. 1, p. 216.

(34.) The Santa Maria was 18.1 metres long (57.7 feet), whereas the Pinta (16.8 m) and the Nina (15.17m) were smaller. William D. Phillips and Carla R. Phillips, The Worlds of Christopher Columbus (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 144-5; Di Piazza, Canoes of the Grand Ocean, p. 100.

(35.) Douglas L. Oliver, Polynesians in Early Historic Times (Honolulu: Bess Press, 2002), p. 116.

(36.) Bellwood, The Polynesians. Prehistory of an Island People, p. 42.

(37.) Alan C. Ziegler, Hawaiian Natural History Ecology and Evolution (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002), pp. 310-11; Kim M. Wilkinson and Craig R. Elevitch, Growing Koa: A Hawaiian Legacy Tree (Holualoa: Permanent Agriculture Resources, 2003), pp. 68-9.

(38.) 'The wood of the wiliwili is very light, said to be lighter than cork, and was much used by the Ancient Hawaiians for making the float log of the outrigger for their canoes', William A. Bryan, Natural History of Hawaii (Honolulu: The Hawaiian Gazette Co, 1915), p. 204; on the mamaki shrub, see Catherine C. Summers, Hawaiian Cordage (Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1990), pp. 21-2.

(39.) Edward S. Craighill Handy, The Marquesan Legends (Honolulu: Bernice P. Bishop Museum, [1930] 1971), p. 131.

(40.) G.S. Mann, 'The Polynesians, Master Mariner and Astronomer', Irish Astronomical Journal 4 (1950): 114-21; G. Dening, 'The Geographical Knowledge of the Polynesians and the Nature of Inter-Island Contact', Journal of the Polynesian Society 34 (1962): 102-31; G. Irwin, 'Against, Across and Down the Winds: a Case for a Systematic Exploration of the Remote Pacific islands', Journal of the Polynesian Society 2 (1989): 167-206; Pearce, Oceanic Migration, pp. 340-3.

(41.) Eric Schwimmer, The World of the Maori (Wellington: A.H. & A.W. Reed, 1966), p. 61; Fornander, An Account of the Polynesian Race, vol. 2, p. 45.

(42.) Andrews, Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language, p. 292. Hoku means star, and hoku-paa the Polar star, lani stands for the heaven and makani for wind.

(43.) H. Lyons, "The sailing charts of the Marshall Islanders', The Geographical Journal 72 (1928): 325-8; W.H. Davenport, 'Marshall Island Navigational Charts', Imago Mundi 15 (1960): 19-26; J. Genz et al., 'Wave navigation in the Marshall Islands. Comparing indigenous and Western scientific knowledge of the Ocean', Oceanography 2 (2009): 234-45; Stephenson P. Smith, Hawaiki: the Original Homeland of the Maori, with a Sketch of Polynesian History (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1910), pp. 186-7.

(44.) A. Di Piazza and E. Pearthree, 'ANew Reading of Tupaia's Chart', Journal of the Polynesian Society 3 (2007): 338.

(45.) Elsdon Best, Polynesian Voyagers. The Maori as a Deep-sea Navigator, Explorer, and Colonizer (Wellington: A.R. Shearer, 1975), pp. 28-9.

(46.) Fornander, An Account of the Polynesian Race, vol. 2, p. 286.

(47.) Mary K. Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert, Hawaiian Dictionary (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1986), p. 112.

(48.) The database POLLEX ( is a large-scale comparative dictionary of Polynesian languages.

(49.) Concerning the land called Tefiti, E.S. Craighill Handy said his informant insisted that this land was not the island of Tahiti, but stood toward the east beyond Tahiti. Handy, The Marquesan Legends, p. 131.

(50.) Hommon, Ancient Hawaiian State, pp. 7 and 220; Mykkanen, Inventing Politics, p. 22.

(51.) William W. Gill, Myths and Songs from the South Pacific (London: Henri S. King & Co, 1876), p. 17.

(52.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 166 (lines 125-6).

(53.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 165 (lines 81, 83).

(54.) Andrews, Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language, p. 657; Edward Tregear, Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary (Wellington: Lyon and Blair, 1891), p. 226; Malcom Ross, Andrew Pawley and Meredith Osmond, The Lexicon of Proto Oceanic. The Culture and Environment of Ancestral Oceanic society. The Physical Environment (Canberra: ANU Press, 2007), p. 172.

(55.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 166 (lines 116-29).

(56.) 'The north wind of Wanaenohu/The north wind of Niihau', Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 166-7 (lines 160-1).

(57.) 'There for him the star, the kingly star looking down', Lyons, "The Song of Kualii', 166 (line 153).

(58.) The words 'three stars of Orion' refer to Orion's belt (na kao), Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 167 (line 173).

(59.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 166 (lines 131-2).

(60.) Fornander, An Account of the Polynesian Race, vol. 2, 388 (line 140); Lyons, "The Song of Kualii', 162 (note 2 by Alexander).

(61.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 166 (line 129).

(62.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 166 (lines 146-7).

(63.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 166 (line 148).

(64.) 'A long day with the wind/Cramped is the traveller by the rain', Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 168 (lines 240-1).

(65.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 167 (line 179), 169 (line 296), for instance.

(66.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 167 (lines 174, 184, 198).

(67.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 169 (line 313) and 177 (note 313). According to M.K. Pukui and S.H. Elbert, the word malo stands for 'man's loincloth' or 'chant in praise a chief's loincloth', Pukui, Hawaiian Dictionary, p. 233.

(68.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 167 (lines 200-6).

(69.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 169 (lines 306-9).

(70.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 169 (lines 310-1), 172 (line 452).

(71.) 'the forest is tangled', Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 169 (line 286).

(72.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 172 (lines 430, 461, 466), 173 (lines 494, 506-7).

(73.) Lyons, "The Song of Kualii', 172 (lines 440-1).

(74.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 170 (line 334).

(75.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 177 (note 334).

(76.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 169 (lines 296-9).

(77.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 166 (lines 134-42).

(78.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 75 (note 140).

(79.) Andrews, Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language, p. 507; Fornander, An Account of the Polynesian Race, vol. 2, p. 286.

(80.) Lyons, 'The Song of Kualii', 167 (line 200).

(81.) John Lynch, Malcolm Ross and Terry Crowley, The Oceanic Languages (New York: Routledge, 2011), pp. 6-8.

(82.) Jones, 'Diffusionism Reconsidered', 470; Jones, Polynesians in America, p. 275; Pearce, Oceanic Migration, p. 108.

(83.) P.D. Nunn and J. Britton, 'Human-Environment Relationships in the Pacific Islands around AD 1300', Environment and History 7 (2001): 8-9; P.D. Nunn, 'The AD 1300 Event in the Pacific Basin', The Geographical Review 1 (2007): 1-23.

(84.) G.H. Haug et al., 'Southward Migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone Trough the Holocene', Science 293 (2001): 1307; A. Koutavas and J. Lynch-Stieglitz, 'Variability of the Marine ITCZ over the Easter Pacific during the Past 30,000 Years. Regional Perspective and Global Context', in Henry F. Diaz and Raymond S. Bradley (eds), The Hadley Circulation: Past, Present and Future (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2005), p. 348.

(85.) 'From Guatulco we departed the day following, viz. Aprill 16 setting our course directly into the sea: whereon we sayled 500 leagues in longitude, to get a winde: and betweene that and June 3, 1400 leagues in all, till we came into 42 deg. of North latitude ... ', Francis Drake, The World Encompassed (London: Nicholas Bourne, 1628), p. 62.

(86.) 'During all which time, notwithstanding it was in the height of Summer, and so neere the Sunne; yet were wee continually visited with like nipping colds, as we had felt before', Drake, The World Encompassed, p. 64.

(87.) PD. Nunn, Climate, Environment, and Society in the Pacific during the Last Millennium (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2007), pp. 10 (global climate) and 105 (Pacific climate).

(88.) Jones, Polynesians in America, pp. 91-2.

(89.) Jones, 'Diffusionism Reconsidered', 460 and 465.

(90.) Smith, Hawaiki, p. 186. The term newe stands for the Southern Cross.
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