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olynesia[edit]Main articles:History of HawaiiandHistory of New ZealandFurther information:Discovery and settlement of HawaiiandPolynesian navigationMoaiat Ahu Tongariki onRapa Nui (Easter Island)The Polynesian people are considered to be by linguistic, archaeological and human geneticancestry a subset of the sea-migratingAustronesian peopleand tracingPolynesianlanguagesplaces theirprehistoricorigins in theMalay Archipelago, and ultimately, inTaiwan.Between about 3000 and 1000 BCE speakers ofAustronesian languagesbegan spreading fromTaiwan intoIsland South-East Asia,[38][39][40]as tribes whosenativeswere thought to have arrivedthrough South China about 8,000 years ago to the edges of western Micronesia and on intoMelanesia.In the archaeological record there are well-defined traces of this expansion which allow the path ittook to be followed and dated with some certainty. It is thought that by roughly 1400 BC,[41]"LapitaPeoples", so-named after their pottery tradition, appeared in theBismarck Archipelagoofnorth-west Melanesia.[42][43]Easter Islanders claimed that a chiefHotu Matu'a[44]discovered the island in one or two large canoeswith his wife and extended family.[45]They are believed to have beenPolynesian. Around1200,Tahitianexplorers discovered and began settling the area. This date range is basedonglottochronologicalcalculations and on threeradiocarbon datesfrom charcoal that appears tohave been produced during forest clearance activities.

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Term
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Pacific Ocean, Polynesia, Marshall Islands

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