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In the mid-20th century, Thor Heyerdahl proposed a new theory of Polynesian origins (one which did not win general acceptance), arguing that the Polynesians had migrated from South America on balsa -log boats. [7] [8]

The presence in the Cook Islands of sweet potato that is a plant native to the Americas (called kūmara in Māori ), which have been radiocarbon-dated to 1000 CE, has been cited as evidence that Americans could have traveled to Oceania. The current thinking is that sweet potato was brought to central Polynesia circa 700 CE and spread across Polynesia from there, possibly by Polynesians who had traveled to South America and back. [9] An alternative explanation posits biological dispersal ; plants and/or seeds could float across the Pacific without any human contact. [10]

Recently, linguist Kathryn A. Klar of University of California, Berkeley and archaeologist Terry L. Jones of California Polytechnic State University have proposed contacts between Polynesians and the Chumash and Gabrielino of Southern California , between 500 and 700. Their primary evidence consists of the advanced sewn-plank canoe design, which is used throughout the Polynesian Islands, but is unknown in North America — except for those two tribes. Moreover, the Chumash word for "sewn-plank canoe," tomolo'o , may have been derived from kumulaa'au , a Hawaiian word meaning "useful tree".

There is some material evidence of Polynesian visits to some of the subantarctic islands to the south of New Zealand , which are outside Polynesia proper. A shard of pottery has been found in the Antipodes Islands , and is now in the Te Papa museum in Wellington , and there are also remains of a Polynesian settlement dating back to the 13th century on Enderby Island in the Auckland Islands . [18] [19] [20] [21]

The realm of legend suggests that Ui-te-Rangiora around the year 650, led a fleet of Waka Tīwai south until they reached, "a place of bitter cold where rock-like structures rose from a solid sea" , [22] The brief description appears to match the Ross Ice Shelf or possibly the Antarctic mainland , [23] but may just be a description of icebergs and Pack Ice found in the Southern Ocean [24] [25]

By the late 19th century to the early 20th century, a more generous view of Polynesian navigation had come into favor, creating a much romanticized view of their seamanship, canoes, and navigational expertise. Late 19th and early 20th centuries writers such as Abraham Fornander and Percy Smith told of heroic Polynesians migrating in great coordinated fleets from Asia far and wide into present-day Polynesia. [8]

Another view was presented by Andrew Sharp who challenged the ‘heroic vision’ hypothesis, asserting instead that Polynesian maritime expertise was severely limited in the field of exploration and that as a result the settlement of Polynesia had been the result of luck, random island sightings, and drifting, rather than as organized voyages of colonization. Thereafter the oral knowledge passed down for generations allowed for eventual mastery of traveling between known locations. [29] Sharp's reassessment caused a huge amount of controversy and led to a stalemate between the romantic and the skeptical views. [8]

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Varnish is more than simply a layer to protect your painting from pollution in the atmosphere and abrasion. It will also bring out the colors to the brilliance they had when you applied them.