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Polynesia is the largest and internationally the most famous of the three Nesia segments. Click page two to learn about Nesia.
Polynesia is more than French Polynesia. It covers a broad Pacific Ocean expanse shared by a number of nations. The seven best-known areas are:
For a perspective view:
Is it Polynesian? Some people say yes, others, no. I'm with the latter group. True, Polynesian islands were settled, populated, and cultured by ancient Maoris from New Zealand. And, 15% of today's New Zealand population is Maori. However, that country lacks the tropical and geological feel of what is generally regarded as Polynesia by travelers.
In 1947, the Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl sailed from South America to Polynesia in his Kon-Tiki reed boat to prove that Polynesia was settled by pre-Columbian South Americans. His theory sank in 1990 when DNA testing proved that the Polynesians' forbearers migrated from Asia.
That word and the elaborate tattooing art form originated in Polynesia.
Other Polynesian areas
More Polynesia pages