Lapita Peoples- Oceania (Australia, Islands of Polynesia, Micronesia, Pacific Islands) : 1500 B.C.E. - 500 B.C.E.

external image vanuabp1.jpg This area on the coast of New Caledonia was one of the first establishments of our people.

external image Lapita%20ceramicsW.jpg One of our many famous ceramic pots.

external image img_fiji_castawa.jpg One of the first places we settled was the now famous island of Fiji.


external image map.jpgCheck out our movement.

Friends

Austronesians
Oceania
Australian Aboriginals


Technology

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Canoes-
We built double hulled canoes that allowed us to travel from the mainland of Asia to what is now Australia and other Pacific Islands. These had two sails and were built primarily out of wood; they could also carry heavy loads, which helped us trade with the various islands.

Bronze Metallurgy- Our bronze metallurgy was used primarily in our fields to cultivate our crops. Other than that, we had no real use for bronze since we were not going into many wars. We primarily remained on stone tools though, since that was prevalent in our areas.
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Stone Tools- These were our main tools source. We used these for cultivating our crops more than the bronze because there was no source of bronze for us.

Culture

We were the migratory people who sailed in the Pacific Ocean from Asia. We are a mostly agricultural society as we first started by raising pigs and chickens. The crops that we started to grow were acquired from our Austronesian ancestors, and these crops were yams, taro, breadfruit, and bananas. Since we also established ourselves near the water, we also were fishermen and took seaweed from the waters as well for food. The meat on the land were mostly from the large land animals and the flightless birds that were native to these islands. Our agricultural societies became very self sufficient, but that didn't stop us from trading. We created veyr intricate trading networks that spanned across almost all of Oceania. On this long distance trade network, we maintained great connection and communication for over 100 years. We traded many of our agricultural products, which brought some other many other objects that we needed. But our main commodity of our islands that we had to offer were our obsidian pots. These pots were made from the small reserves of obsidian found on our islands, and we made the most elegant pots in the world; we also made many jewels out of shells, which was esteemed as much as our pottery. As we became more established, we started to form societies and villages. Here we developed hierarchal chiefdoms. With this the chief was the head of the society with everyone else underneath him. The power was passed on to the chief's eldest son or anyone else who was considered an aristocrat. Everyone else fell underneath including the merchants. We also became explorers once the islands became very crowded, which became easier once we had invented our canoes.

Religion

We did not really believe in any real religion, but we did have a polytheistic religion. We created myths, songs, and dances about our gods. But we had no true building of tribute for them, or no sense to place them in our art, but they did exist to us.

Blog

Blog Entry #1:
1500 BCE, Pacific Islands: Yes, we are the earliest peoples in the Pacific area to have started to move around. We were the ones with the boats, and we are the masters of the oceans. After leaving Asia and Australia, we first thought that we might have a hard time starting a new life in the Pacific, not knowing whats out there and all. But before we knew it we stumbled upon these small islands that were perfect for our needs. In no time we had already started forming little villages and societies. Of course we could have to bustling civilizations that we heard about over in Asia, but we had something good. Farming doesn't seem to be that bad, and the weather helps out greatly in this area. The soil is perfect for many different types of crops, which is good for us because we like many different types of crops as well. Obviously we had some help from the natives, and they are great. But there is one thing that always puzzled us about them. How on Earth did they already get here?? But we didn't dwell on that too long and soon we became very self sufficient.

Blog Entry #2:
1000 BCE, Pacific Islands: We aren't doing too bad for ourselves. We have finally set up our extensive trade and communication system among the many different island villages that we have come to know. Now we are just as civilized as any of those other Asian societies, if not more. Through these we have learned to trade things that we don't have, and even if we do have it, we trade just for the good spirit of trading amongst ourselves. We have also acquired a sort of calling card that we use to distinguish us from other societies, and that is our pots. We found very small sources of obsidian on some locations of our islands, and took it as the opportunity to make some impressive pots out of them. They are beautiful, not to blow our own horns. Hopefully thousands of years from now, people will remember us for our pottery; we are proud of that.

Blog Entry #3:
500 BCE, Pacific Islands: Oh no! Our chiefs in our small islands have begun to get a little corrupted. The power of our whole island has gotten to the chief's head, which means its not good for us to be around here much longer. Not only that, but also our little islands have already started to get over populated. I heard that some group of young men and women have already left in search of new islands... I hope they make it. Some already have as we get word of them that they have established themselves in area like Hawaii and Easter Island. Maybe its about time that more of us head out and establish ourselves on other islands, like some of those other people did.

The Wall

Austronesians: Hey Lapita peoples! We're you're ancestors, so when you decided to sail out into the Pacific you brought our agricultural technology with you! We think that's pretty awesome.

Polynesians (Early; Ancient Hawaii): What up to a fellow chief-run society descended from the Austronesians! Gotta love those hierarchies, huh? We're glad to see you guys are doing well with your agricultural and navigational skills; the same thing happened to us. We also used our sweet canoes and crops and animals to establish a nice society. Good times. We'll have to meet up in the Pacific ocean sometime, using our knowledge of birds, waves, and stars. Let's make it a party and invite the guys from Tahiti, Marquesas, and New Zealand so we can talk about our Austronesian ancestors behind their backs! If you bring the drinks, we'll bring the snacks. See you there!

Bibliography

Bentley, Jerry, H., and Herbert, F. Ziegler. Traditions and Endouncters: A Global Perspective on the Past. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2006.