Neglected Historical Fact of the Day: Why Polynesian History is so overlooked.
I have been trying to get into researching the various pacific Islands cultures and there is so little information I could find that was in english. However I was able to find just enough info to figure out why there is so little information. So without further ado.
Lets get this out of the way, there is A LOT of racism towards the Pacific Island people, and it goes back a very long time, with many uncomfortable stereotypes, and since the natives don’t have a spokesmen or much in representation outside their own countries, its not like people are calling them out. THis is compounded by the reputation that they are just a bunch of primitives on islands so who cares?
2) The nature of the islands
Even if somebody is not racist and we could somehow prove they might be operating under an anti island bias, IE that civilizations that haven’t built giant things or invented modern stuff aren’t worth our time. There really is a perspective that tribal cultures are just aren’t worth studying because they didn’t do anything. Actually no, thats totally racist, just a different kind of racism
3) They don’t even know about them. The pacific islands (I am saying Polynesia a lot but many of these locations actually aren’t Polynesian) aren’t super powered, in fact if you add them all up the entire population is less than a million, so it isn’t really a major focus. This compounded with the fact that they haven’t built very much means that people don’t normally pay attention to them.
4) The fact that none of these regions had a written language. not having a written language really makes learning about you hard
5) The fact that they were colonized very early on, meaning that many of the records, and in some cases the people were wiped out
6) Many of islands have ceased to exist, either by sinking into the sea or in a few case, literally nuked…good job
7) Finally the very small populations and the lack of wealth among those populations means that they haven’t really producing very many local scholars who can study this professionally.
And this is a big deal. Not just because unique cultures are being ignored and racism, but also because many of these island countries are literally going to cease to exist in the next few decades due to the rising sea levels of Global warming. Like literally a few of these are going to vanish off the face of the world, and we will lose all of the possible archeological data. Somebody needs to get unto this.
Also there are some sources on the island sources that aren’t in English, but instead Local languages, chinese, French or Spanish