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Q: Polynesians are descendants of the _____.
A: During Captain Cook's first visit to Tahiti in 1769, a curious group came walking up to his camp one day. Most of them were men, but one was the woman that Wallis' crew had thought was a queen. [ [ She was walking beside a man carrying a little boy on his shoulders. Actually the woman, Oborea, was the boy's mother. He was being carried not because he was tired but because he was a great chief and
therefore too sacred to touch the ground. At this time, European kings had far less power than in earlier days. What they had was decreasing all the time under the impact of democratic ideas. But in these islands it seemed like a world Europe was forgetting. At first sight it looked as if the Polynesian chief had complete control over the lives of their subjects. They seemed very often to use this power brutally and unreasonably. Actually, even the strangest of their actions was based on ancient beliefs and customs. Since the Polynesians thought of themselves as families descended from the same ancestors, the people who were closest related to those first parents were the most important. They therefore became the chiefs. The rest were graded into ranks according to their closeness or distance from the chiefs. The lowest of all were conquered people. As a rule, chiefs were descended from many other ] ]
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Asked 2/27/2013 3:23:54 PM
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