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“The Polynesian Problem”: Western Studies of Pacific Islander Origins
“What is a Polynesian?” This is a question with a long and troubling history embedded in settler colonialism.
“What is a Polynesian?” This is a question with a long and troubling history embedded in settler colonialism. From Europeans’ earliest encounters with the Pacific, White Europeans expressed a fascination and partial identification with the racial origins of Polynesians. Polynesians seemed to represent “natural man” in the purest state. In nineteenth- and early twentieth-century social-scientific studies, Polynesian origins became the subject of intense scrutiny and debate. PhysicalView more
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