|Note: Polynesian is a term that the Albino people have applied to Pacificans/Austronesians who have significant "White Mongol/European" admixture. They reserve the term Melanesian for the original "Pure Black" Pacificans/Austronesians who have resisted admixture.|
Easter Island, situated in the southeast Pacific over 1,000 miles from the other islands of Eastern Polynesia and some 1,400 miles west of South America, is one of the most remote inhabited places in the world. Between 600 and 800 A.D., a group of colonists from an unidentified location in Eastern Polynesia settled on Easter Island after sailing in a southeasterly direction for many weeks. The name Easter Island originated with the European explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who first saw the island on Easter Sunday, 1722. Today, the Easter Islanders call themselves and their homeland Rapa Nui. Rapa Nui society was organized following the classic Polynesian pattern: an aristocracy composed of ranked hereditary chiefs (ariki) with political authority over the commoners, who constituted the majority of the population.
Early European visitors to Easter Island recorded the local oral traditions about the original settlers. In these traditions, Easter Islanders claimed that a chief Hotu Matu'a arrived on the island in one or two large canoes with his wife and extended family. They are believed to have been Polynesian. There is considerable uncertainty about the accuracy of this legend as well as the date of settlement. Published literature suggests the island was settled around 300-400 CE, or at about the time of the arrival of the earliest settlers in Hawaii. Some scientists say that Easter Island was not inhabited until 700-800 CE. This date range is based on glottochronological calculations and on three radiocarbon dates from charcoal that appears to have been produced during forest clearance activities. Moreover a recent study which included radiocarbon dates from what is thought to be very early material suggests that the island was settled as recently as 1200 CE. This seems to be supported by a 2006 study of the island's deforestation, which could have started around the same time. A large now extinct palm, Paschalococos disperta, related to the Chilean wine palm (Jubaea chilensis), was one of the dominant trees as attested by fossil evidence; this species, whose sole occurrence was Easter Island, became extinct due to deforestation by the early settlers.
The Austronesian Polynesians, who first settled the island, are likely to have arrived from the Marquesas Islands from the west. These settlers brought bananas, taro, sugarcane, and paper mulberry, as well as chickens and Polynesian rats. The island at one time supported a relatively advanced and complex civilization. It is suggested that the reason settlers sought an isolated island was because of high levels of Ciguatera fish poisoning in their then current surrounding area.
Wiki - Culture of the Marquesas Islands
The Marquesas Islands were colonized by seafaring Polynesians as early as 300 AD, thought to originate from Samoa. The dense population was concentrated in the narrow valleys, and consisted of warring tribes, who sometimes cannibalized their enemies. Much of Polynesia, including the original settlers of Hawaii, Tahiti, Rapa Iti and Easter Island, was settled by Marquesans, believed to have departed from the Marquesas as a result more frequently of overpopulation and drought-related food shortages, than because of the nearly constant warfare that eventually became a prominent feature of the islands' culture. Almost the entire remainder of Polynesia, with the exception of a few areas of western Polynesia as well as the majority of the Polynesian outliers, was colonized by Marquesan descendants centered in Tahiti.
|Note: Polynesian is a term that the Albino people have applied to Pacificans/Austronesians who have significant "White Mongol/European" admixture. They reserve the term Melanesian for the original "Pure Black" Pacificans/Austronesians who have resisted admixture.|
According to legends recorded by the missionaries in the 1860s, the island originally had a very clear class system, with an ariki, king, wielding absolute god-like power ever since Hotu Matua had arrived on the island. The most visible element in the culture was production of massive moai that were part of the ancestral worship. With a strictly unified appearance, moai were erected along most of the coastline, indicating a homogeneous culture and centralized governance. In addition to the royal family, the island's habitation consisted of priests, soldiers and commoners. The last king, along with his family, died as a slave in the 1860s in the Peruvian mines. Long before that, the king had become a mere symbolic figure, remaining respected and untouchable, but having only nominal authority.
For unknown reasons, a coup by military leaders called matatoa had brought a new cult based around a previously unexceptional god Make-make. In the cult of the birdman, a competition was established in which every year a representative of each clan, chosen by the leaders, would swim across shark-infested waters to Motu Nui, a nearby islet, to search for the season's first egg laid by a manutara (sooty tern). The first swimmer to return with an egg and successfully climb back up the cliff to Orongo would be named "Birdman of the year" and secure control over distribution of the island's resources for his clan for the year. The tradition was still in existence at the time of first contact by Europeans but was suppressed by Christian missionaries in the 1860s.
European accounts in 1722 (Dutch) and 1770 (Spanish) reported seeing only standing statues, but by James Cook's visit in 1774 many were reported toppled. The huri mo'ai - the "statue-toppling" - continued into the 1830s as a part of internal conflicts among islanders. By 1838, the only standing moai were on the slopes of Rano Raraku and Hoa Hakananai'a at Orongo. In about 60 years, islanders had for some reason (possibly civil struggle between tribes) deliberately damaged this part of their ancestors' heritage. In modern times, moai have been restored at Orongo, Ahu Tongariki, Ahu Akivi and Hanga Roa.
The first-recorded European contact with the island took place on 5 April (Easter Sunday) 1722 when Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeveen visited for a week and estimated there were 2,000 to 3,000 inhabitants on the island. This was an estimate, not a census, and archaeologists estimate the population may have been as high as 10,000 to 12,000 a few decades earlier. His party reported "remarkable, tall, stone figures, a good 30 feet in height", the island had rich soil and a good climate and "all the country was under cultivation". Fossil-pollen analysis shows that the main trees on the island had gone 72 years earlier in 1650. The civilization of Easter Island was long believed to have degenerated drastically during the century before the arrival of the Dutch, as a result of overpopulation, deforestation and exploitation of an extremely isolated island with limited natural resources. The Dutch reported that a fight broke out in which they killed ten or twelve islanders.
The next foreign visitors arrived on 15 November 1770: two Spanish ships, San Lorenzo and Santa Rosalia, sent by the Viceroy of Peru, Manuel de Amat, and commanded by Felipe González de Ahedo. They spent five days on the island, performing a very thorough survey of its coast, and named it Isla de San Carlos, taking possession on behalf of King Charles III of Spain, and ceremoniously erected three wooden crosses on top of three small hills on Poike. They reported the island as largely uncultivated, with a seashore lined with stone statues.
Four years later, in mid-March 1774, British explorer James Cook visited Easter Island, he reported the statues as being neglected with some having fallen down; no sign of the three crosses and his botanist described it as "a poor land". He had a Tahitian interpreter who could partially understand the language as it was Polynesian. Other than in counting, though, the language was unintelligible.
In 1786 the French explorer Jean François de Galaup La Pérouse visited and made a detailed map of Easter Island. He described the island as one-tenth cultivated and estimated the population as a couple of thousand.
In 1804 the Russian ship Neva visited under the command of Yuri Lisyansky.
In 1816 the Russian ship Rurik visited under the command of Otto von Kotzebue.
In 1825 the British ship HMS Blossom visited and reported no standing statues.
Several foreign vessels approached Easter Island during the early 19th century, but by now the islanders had become openly hostile towards any attempt to land, and very little new information emerged before the 1860s.
A series of devastating events killed almost the entire population of Easter Island in the 1860s. In December 1862, Peruvian slave raiders struck Easter Island. Violent abductions continued for several months, eventually capturing or killing around 1500 men and women, about half of the island's population. International protests erupted, escalated by Bishop Florentin-Étienne Jaussen of Tahiti. The slaves were finally freed in autumn, 1863, but by then most of them had already died of tuberculosis, smallpox and dysentery. Finally, a dozen islanders managed to return from the horrors of Peru, but brought with them smallpox and started an epidemic, which reduced the island's population to the point where some of the dead were not even buried. Contributing to the chaos were violent clan wars with the remaining people fighting over the newly available lands of the deceased, bringing further famine and death among the dwindling population.
The first Christian missionary, Eugène Eyraud, arrived in January 1864 and spent most of that year on the island; but mass conversion of the Rapa Nui only came after his return in 1866 with Father Hippolyte Roussel and shortly after two others arrived with Captain Jean-Baptiste Dutrou-Bornier. Eyraud was suffering from phthisis (tuberculosis) when he returned and in 1867, tuberculosis raged over the island, taking a quarter of the island's remaining population of 1,200 including the last member of the island's royal family, the 13-year-old Manu Rangi. Eyraud died of tuberculosis in August 1868, by which time the entire Rapa Nui population had become Roman Catholic.
Jean-Baptiste Dutrou-Bornier – who had served as an artillery officer in the Crimean War, but was later arrested in Peru, accused of arms dealing and sentenced to death, to be released after intervention from the French consul – first came to Easter Island in 1866 when he transported two missionaries there, returned in 1867 to recruit laborers for coconut plantations, and then came again for good in April 1868, burning the yacht he had arrived in. He was to have a long-lasting impact on the island.
Dutrou-Bornier set up residence at Mataveri, aiming to cleanse the island of most of the Rapa Nui and turn the island into a sheep ranch. He married Koreto, a Rapa Nui, and appointed her Queen, tried to persuade France to make the island a protectorate, and recruited a faction of Rapa Nui whom he allowed to abandon their Christianity and revert to their previous faith. With rifles, a cannon, and hut burning supporters, he ran the island for several years.
Dutrou-Bornier bought up all of the island apart from the missionaries' area around Hanga Roa and moved a couple hundred Rapa Nui to Tahiti to work for his backers. In 1871 the missionaries, having fallen out with Dutrou-Bornier, evacuated 275 Rapa Nui to Mangareva and Tahiti, leaving only 230 on the island. Those who remained were mostly older men. Six years later, there were just 111 people living on Easter Island, and only 36 of them had any offspring.
In 1876 Dutrou-Bornier was murdered in an argument over a dress, though his kidnapping of pubescent girls may also have motivated his killers. From that point on and into the present day, the island's population slowly recovered. But with over 97% of the population dead or left in less than a decade, much of the island's cultural knowledge had been lost.
Neither his first wife back in France, who was heir under French law, nor his second wife on the island, who briefly installed their daughter Caroline as Queen, were to keep much from his estate. But to this day much of the island is a ranch controlled from off-island and for more than a century real power on the island was usually exercised by resident non-Rapa Nui living at Mataveri. An unusual number of shipwrecks had left the island better supplied with wood than for many generations, whilst legal wrangles over Dutrou-Bornier's land deals were to complicate the island's history for decades to come.
In 1888, Chile annexed the South Pacific Island but until 1953 it allowed a Scottish company to manage the island as a giant sheep ranch. While the sheep roamed freely, the Rapanui were confined to the town. They revolted in 1964, obtaining Chilean citizenship and the right to elect their own mayor. Now, Chilean colonisers are threatening to wipe the indigenous culture out of existence. A wave of recent immigration to the South Pacific Island means that two out of every three inhabitants are from mainland Chile.
The government of Chile says it is committed to a four-year, $60million-development plan for the island.New luxury hotels are wooing rich Chileans into town, a glimpse of what critics say will foster an income gap.Chilean migrants come to the island in part because of tax exemption. Tourists and mainland Chileans flock to Easter Island to enjoy the beaches on one of the world’s most remote islands. But among the Rapanui people, calls for independence are growing louder and protests in the past year have turned bitter and violent.
Inspired by a wave of Polynesian islands obtaining certain degrees of political autonomy, the Rapanui are demanding rights to govern their land. Leviante Araki, president of the self-styled Rapa Nui Parliament, a pro-independence organisation, has challenged Chilean rule and is taking the fight to the mainland courts to seek independence.
Last year, the Rapa Nui Parliament “crowned” Valentino Riroroko Tuki, the 81-year-old grandson of the last monarch, as the new king, an indication to Chile that it wants to void the annexation treaty. The 1888 treaty, the Rapa Nui Parliament says, removed the Rapanui from their ancestral land and confined their movements. The Rapanui want better healthcare, proper basic infrastructure like water and electricity and preservation of their culture. And they are taking their cause to the international level. Rapanui squatters like Lorenzo Tepano, a fisherman who with his wife, lives in a wooden shack in the Rapa Nui National Park, refuses to move. He wants to stay in what he claims is his own land.
In 2010, the dissension came to a head when Chilean security forces violently evicted the prominent Hitorangi clan and Tuko Tuki clan who had occupied buildings and sites, claiming the land belongs to them. Armed Chilean troops and police reportedly opened fire on unarmed Rapanui civilians and left protesters with blood-stained wounds. The captured images drew admonition from the United Nations over the use of force to resolve the island's problems. But the Chilean president defended the evictions saying that the forces did the necessary to maintain public order.
However, not all Rapanui are supporting the movement. Alberto Hotus, the head of the Council of Elders, maintains that the islanders depend on Chile for food, telecommunications and health care. “If we cut ties to Chile, we will return to eating pasture,” he says. Carlos Llancaqueo, Chile’s commissioner to Easter Island, is cautious in his approach, saying that the authorities are preparing proposals to give the Rapanui more control over the land’s finances. He also says that officials are moving ahead to improve the power grid, portable water systems and education in both the Rapanui language and Spanish.
The art of Easter Island is distinctively Polynesian, much of it centering on the creation of religious images. The most recognizable art forms from Easter Island are its colossal stone figures, or moai, images of ancestral chiefs whose supernatural power protected the community. Between roughly 1100 and 1650, Rapa Nui carvers created some 900 of these sculptures, nearly all of which are still in situ.
The moai represent ancestral chiefs who were believed to be descended directly from the gods and whose supernatural powers could be harnessed for the benefit of humanity. The massive stone figures were generally erected on temple platforms (ahu) along the coast, where they faced inland to keep watch over the local community. Most were carved from soft volcanic tuff at Rano Raraku, an extinct volcanic crater that served as the primary statue quarry. The giant stone sculptures commonly weigh between 10 and 12 metric tons. Their average height is roughly 13 feet, but they range anywhere from 8 feet to an unfinished example over 70 feet high. Moai are characterized by long sloping noses, strong brows, deeply inset eyes, and prominent chins. Some examples also wear a hatlike cylinder made of red stone on their heads, which may represent a headdress or elaborate hairstyle.
Each moai was commissioned by a specific individual or group and created by a team of expert stoneworkers under the direction of a master carver. As many as fifteen people began by quarrying a large rectangular block using basalt picks (toki). Once the figure was roughed out, the master carver and his assistants added the fine details, usually beginning with the head and face. Afterwards, a team of workers used ropes and levers to move the sculpture down the quarry slope. It was then set upright and the remainder of the carving was completed. The finished sculpture was then moved to its final destination using a wooden sled or rollers. Experimental re-creation of this feat by modern archaeologists suggests that it required approximately 40 individuals to move an average-sized moai, and roughly 300 to 400 people to produce the rope and food required.Often the ahu were burial places were important personalities' graves were built, (Bodies were found around many Maoi).
By the time Europeans first reached Easter Island in 1722, the moai tradition was already in decline. Early explorers reported many moai still standing, but by the mid-nineteenth century, all had fallen due to neglect or warfare. Many have since been restored by archaeologists.
Other art forms on the island include petroglyphs, many depicting birdmen and other fantastic creatures, as well as a variety of wooden sculptures. One type of wooden image, the naturalistic male figures known as moai tangata, may depict family ancestors. Although their imagery is conventionalized, they may be individual portraits. What appears to be hair on the top of their heads is actually a low-relief carving depicting fishlike creatures with human heads and long flowing beards, possibly representing shark-human spirits (nuihi). In a number of respects, the moai tangata bear a close formal resemblance to the larger stone moai. With their enlarged heads, frontal orientation, prominent stomachs, and arms that extend down the sides of their bodies, both types of image embody a classically Polynesian conception of the human form.Easter Island art also includes barkcloth images, wooden ornaments, and featherwork. Apart from the stone figures and petroglyphs, virtually all surviving works from the island date to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
by Robert Krulwich
First version: Easter Island is a small 63-square-mile patch of land — more than a thousand miles from the next inhabited spot in the Pacific Ocean. In A.D. 1200 (or thereabouts), a small group of Polynesians — it might have been a single family — made their way there, settled in and began to farm. When they arrived, the place was covered with trees — as many as 16 million of them, some towering 100 feet high. These settlers were farmers, practicing slash-and-burn agriculture, so they burned down woods, opened spaces, and began to multiply. Pretty soon the island had too many people, too few trees, and then, in only a few generations, no trees at all.
As Jared Diamond tells it in his best-selling book, Collapse, Easter Island is the "clearest example of a society that destroyed itself by overexploiting its own resources." Once tree clearing started, it didn't stop until the whole forest was gone. Diamond called this self-destructive behavior "ecocide" and warned that Easter Island's fate could one day be our own.
When Captain James Cook visited there in 1774, his crew counted roughly 700 islanders (from an earlier population of thousands), living marginal lives, their canoes reduced to patched fragments of driftwood. And that has become the lesson of Easter Island — that we don't dare abuse the plants and animals around us, because if we do, we will, all of us, go down together. And yet, puzzlingly, these same people had managed to carve enormous statues — almost a thousand of them, with giant, hollow-eyed, gaunt faces, some weighing 75 tons. The statues faced not outward, not to the sea, but inward, toward the now empty, denuded landscape. When Captain Cook saw them, many of these "moai" had been toppled and lay face down, in abject defeat.
OK, that's the story we all know, the Collapse story. The new one is very different.
A Story Of Success?
It comes from two anthropologists, Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo, from the University of Hawaii. They say, "Rather than a case of abject failure," what happened to the people on Easter Island "is an unlikely story of success." Success? How could anyone call what happened on Easter Island a "success?" Well, I've taken a look at their book, The Statues That Walked, and oddly enough they've got a case, although I'll say in advance what they call "success" strikes me as just as scary — maybe scarier.
Here's their argument: Professors Hunt and Lipo say fossil hunters and paleobotanists have found no hard evidence that the first Polynesian settlers set fire to the forest to clear land — what's called "large scale prehistoric farming." The trees did die, no question. But instead of fire, Hunt and Lipo blame rats. Polynesian rats (Rattus exulans) stowed away on those canoes, Hunt and Lipo say, and once they landed, with no enemies and lots of palm roots to eat, they went on a binge, eating and destroying tree after tree, and multiplying at a furious rate. As a reviewer in The Wall Street Journal reported,
In laboratory settings, Polynesian rat populations can double in 47 days. Throw a breeding pair into an island with no predators and abundant food and arithmetic suggests the result ... If the animals multiplied as they did in Hawaii, the authors calculate, [Easter Island] would quickly have housed between two and three million. Among the favorite food sources of R. exulans are tree seeds and tree sprouts. Humans surely cleared some of the forest, but the real damage would have come from the rats that prevented new growth.
As the trees went, so did 20 other forest plants, six land birds and several sea birds. So there was definitely less choice in food, a much narrower diet, and yet people continued to live on Easter Island, and food, it seems, was not their big problem.
Rat Meat, Anybody?
For one thing, they could eat rats. As J.B. MacKinnon reports in his new book, The Once and Future World, archeologists examined ancient garbage heaps on Easter Island looking for discarded bones and found "that 60 percent of the bones came from introduced rats."
So they'd found a meat substitute.
What's more, though the island hadn't much water and its soil wasn't rich, the islanders took stones, broke them into bits, and scattered them onto open fields creating an uneven surface. When wind blew in off the sea, the bumpy rocks produced more turbulent airflow, "releasing mineral nutrients in the rock," J.B. MacKinnon says, which gave the soil just enough of a nutrient boost to support basic vegetables. One tenth of the island had these scattered rock "gardens," and they produced enough food, "to sustain a population density similar to places like Oklahoma, Colorado, Sweden and New Zealand today."
According to MacKinnon, scientists say that Easter Island skeletons from that time show "less malnutrition than people in Europe." When a Dutch explorer, Jacob Roggevin, happened by in 1722, he wrote that islanders didn't ask for food. They wanted European hats instead. And, of course, starving folks typically don't have the time or energy to carve and shove 70-ton statues around their island.
A 'Success' Story?
Why is this a success story?
Because, say the Hawaiian anthropologists, clans and families on Easter Island didn't fall apart. It's true, the island became desolate, emptier. The ecosystem was severely compromised. And yet, say the anthropologists, Easter Islanders didn't disappear. They adjusted. They had no lumber to build canoes to go deep-sea fishing. They had fewer birds to hunt. They didn't have coconuts. But they kept going on rat meat and small helpings of vegetables. They made do.
One niggling question: If everybody was eating enough, why did the population decline? Probably, the professors say, from sexually transmitted diseases after Europeans came visiting.
OK, maybe there was no "ecocide." But is this good news? Should we celebrate?
I wonder. What we have here are two scenarios ostensibly about Easter Island's past, but really about what might be our planet's future. The first scenario — an ecological collapse — nobody wants that. But let's think about this new alternative — where humans degrade their environment but somehow "muddle through." Is that better? In some ways, I think this "success" story is just as scary.
The Danger Of 'Success'
What if the planet's ecosystem, as J.B. MacKinnon puts it, "is reduced to a ruin, yet its people endure, worshipping their gods and coveting status objects while surviving on some futuristic equivalent of the Easter Islanders' rat meat and rock gardens?"
Humans are a very adaptable species. We've seen people grow used to slums, adjust to concentration camps, learn to live with what fate hands them. If our future is to continuously degrade our planet, lose plant after plant, animal after animal, forgetting what we once enjoyed, adjusting to lesser circumstances, never shouting, "That's It!" — always making do, I wouldn't call that "success."
The Lesson? Remember Tang, The Breakfast Drink
People can't remember what their great-grandparents saw, ate and loved about the world. They only know what they know. To prevent an ecological crisis, we must become alarmed. That's when we'll act. The new Easter Island story suggests that humans may never hit the alarm.
It's like the story people used to tell about Tang, a sad, flat synthetic orange juice popularized by NASA. If you know what real orange juice tastes like, Tang is no achievement. But if you are on a 50-year voyage, if you lose the memory of real orange juice, then gradually, you begin to think Tang is delicious.
On Easter Island, people learned to live with less and forgot what it was like to have more. Maybe that will happen to us. There's a lesson here. It's not a happy one. As MacKinnon puts it: "If you're waiting for an ecological crisis to persuade human beings to change their troubled relationship with nature — you could be waiting a long, long time."
Nature Publishing Group.
DNA study links indigenous Brazilians to Polynesians
01 April 2013
Indigenous people that lived in southeastern Brazil in the late 1800s shared some genetic sequences with Polynesians, an analysis of their remains shows. The finding offers some support for the possibility that Pacific islanders traded with South America thousands of years ago, but researchers say that the distinctive DNA sequences, or haplogroups, may have entered the genomes of the native Brazilians through the slave trade during the nineteenth century.
Most scientists agree that humans arrived in the Americas between 15,000 and 20,000 years ago, probably via the Bering land bridge linking northeastern Asia with what is now Alaska. But the precise timing and the number of ‘migration waves’ is unclear, owing largely to variations in early Americans’ physical features, says Sérgio Pena, a molecular geneticist at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
One broad group of these Palaeoamericans — the Botocudo people, who lived in inland regions of southeastern Brazil — stands out, having skull shapes that were intermediate between those of other Palaeoamericans and a presumed ancestral population in eastern Asia.Now, a genetic analysis sheds light on the possible heritage of the Botocudo. Pena and his colleagues studied short stretches of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in samples drilled from teeth in 14 Botocudo skulls kept in a museum collection in Rio de Janeiro. By analysing material from inside the teeth, the team minimized the possibility of contamination with DNA from the numerous people who have probably handled the skulls since they arrived at the museum in the late 1800s.
The mtDNA from 12 of the skulls matched a well-known Palaeoamerican haplogroup. But mtDNA from two of the skulls included a haplogroup commonly found in Polynesia, Easter Island and other Pacific island archipelagos, the researchers report today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1. A separate lab confirmed the result with samples from one of the skulls, indicating that the ‘Polynesian haplogroup’ did not result from contamination, the researchers contend.
“But to call that haplogroup Polynesian is a bit of a misnomer,” says Lisa Matisoo-Smith, a molecular anthropologist at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. The haplogroup is also found — albeit at a lower frequency — in populations living as far west as Madagascar.
Nevertheless, says Pena, it is a mystery how DNA from Palaeoamericans living in southeastern Brazil could include gene sequences typically found in Pacific islanders. “We have this finding,” he says. “Now we have to explain it.”
The researchers say that it is possible — but unlikely — that the DNA could have come from Polynesians who voyaged from remote islands to the western coast of South America. Those traders or their progeny would then have made their way to southeastern Brazil and settled or interbred with natives. But that, too, is improbable, says Pena, because the Andes are a formidable barrier that west coast residents typically did not climb or cross. Although researchers have suggested that ancestors of some species of chickens made their way to Chile through trade with pre-Columbian seafarers from Polynesia2, a subsequent study3 poked holes in that conclusion.
The researchers also entertain scenarios in which the haplogroup arrived in South America via the slave trade. Around 2,000 Polynesians were brought to Peru in the 1860s, and some could have ended up in Brazil, although the researchers say that they are not aware of any evidence that this occurred. And between 1817 and 1843, approximately 120,000 slaves were shipped from Madagascar to Brazil — and some of them were probably transported to areas where the Botocudo also lived. Although the researchers consider the latter scenario to be the most probable, Pena says: “We currently don’t have enough evidence to definitively reject any of these scenarios.”
“This is a pretty exciting initial result,” says Alice Storey, an archaeologist at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia. Further studies of genetic material from the skulls, including detailed analyses of nuclear DNA (which contains much longer genetic sequences than mtDNA), could offer more insight into the mysterious ancestry of the Botocudo, she says
WHAT MAKES THIS BIT OF ALBINO BULLSHIT AND STUPIDITY PARTICULARLY DISGUSTING, IS THAT THERE ARE ANY NUMBER OF SCIENTIFIC STUDIES WHICH CLEARLY SHOW THAT THE PALEOAMERICANS WERE ALL BLACKS, WITH THE MONGOL TYPE PEOPLE COMING LATER.
AND, ARTIFACTS LIKE THE PAINTING BELOW, CLEARLY SHOW THAT THE BOTOCUDO TRIBES HAD BLACK/MIXED-RACE MEMBERS HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE.
The Aimoré are one of several South American peoples of eastern Brazil called Botocudo in Portuguese (from botoque, a plug), in allusion to the wooden disks or tembetás worn in their lips and ears. Some called themselves Nac-nanuk or Nac-poruk, meaning "sons of the soil". The last Aimoré group to retain their language are the Krenak. The other peoples called Botocudo were the Xokleng and Xeta. The Brazilian chief who was presented to King Henry VIII in 1532 wore small bones hung from his cheeks and from the lower lip a semi-precious stone the size of a pea.
At the end of the 19th century many Botocudo tribes still existed, numbering between 13,000 and 14,000 individuals. During the earlier frontier wars of 1790-1820, every effort was made to destroy them. Smallpox was deliberately spread among them; poisoned food was scattered in the forests; by such infamous means, the coast districts about Rio Doce and Belmonte were cleared, and one Portuguese commander boasted that he had either slain with his own hands or ordered to be butchered many hundreds of them.
Paul Ehrenreich estimated their population at 5,000 in 1884. As of April 1939, only 68 Botocudo were alive in Eastern Brazil. They were divided in to two groups. The first group numbered 10 people (belonging to Naknyanuk, Arana and Poyica tribes) and lived near Itambacuri. The second group were divided in to two bands residing at Guido Marliere, on the Rio Doce. One band consisted of 8 survivors from the Naktun, Nakpie, Convugn and Miyã-Yirúgn tribes. Another band consisted of around 50 Nakrehe.
Today, only a few tribes remain, almost all of them in rural villages and the Indigenous Territory. The last remnants of the Eastern Botocudo are the Krenak. In 2010, there were 350 Krenak living in the state of Minas Gerais.