by Elizabeth Santana
In the beginning the islands of the Paciﬁc were getting colonized by
Asian colonists and who began arriving in New Guinea around
40, 000 B.C.
The Austronesian migrations began from
the Chinese mainland and in 3,500 B.C
reached Taiwan, the Philippines by 3,000
B.C, Sumatra and Java by 2,000 B.C,
Northern New Guinea by 1,600 B.C,
Samoa by 1,200 B.C and in 500 A.D
Hawaii, Easter Island and Madagascar.
The migration or Austronesian Expansion was among the biggest
population movements of the last 6,000 years, when Chinese
emigrants transformed into Polynesians.
A double-outrigger sailing canoe made the
Austronesian migration possible.
The Polynesians primary voyaging craft was the
double canoe, which was made of two hollow tree
trunks connected by lashed crossbeams. The two hulls
gave this craft stability and the capacity to carry heavy
A medium size voyaging canoe was 50 to 60 feet long,
could accommodate two dozen or so migrants, their
food supplies, livestock and planting materials.
PROOF OF EXPANSION
The Austronesian realm consists of Taiwan, the
Philippines, Indonesia and many Paciﬁc islands.
First archaeological signs within the Austronesian
realm came from Taiwan, from the 4th millennium
B.C where they found polished stone tools and
distinctive decorated pottery style called Ta-p’en-keng
Within a millennium the Ta-p’en-keng culture reached
Taiwan...they found evidence that the culture deprived
from it spread further and further from Taiwan.
Ground stone tools
Animal bones Tattooed Lapita type of pottery
Crops Domestic pigs
The language family consists of 959 languages, that are divided
into four subfamilies.
The main subfamily is Malayo-Polynesian, which comprises of
945 of those 959 languages.
Before the expansion of Europeans speaking Indo-European
languages, Austronesian was the most wide spread language
family in the world.
Taiwan is homeland to where the languages have been spoken
for the most time and have consequently had the longest time to
Like the appearance of most of the population, the
languages are equally homogeneous.
Some Austronesian words are borrowed from English:
taboo & tattoo are from the Polynesian language,
boondocks from Tatalog language of the Philippines and
orangutan from Malay.
Many of the Indo-European language family languages are
very similar...for example the word sheep sounds very
similar to one one another: avis, avis, ovis, oveja, ovtsa, owis
and oi. Which is Lithuanian, Sanskrit, Latin, Spanish,
Russian, Greek and Irish.
Western Malayo-Polynesian (WMP) is a western subfamily
of the Malayo-Polynesian languages.
The principle branches of WMP are Borneo-Phillippines,
Sunda-Sulawesi, Central Malayo-Polynesian, South
Halmaher-West New Guinea and Oceanic.
Some of the largest and best known Austronesian
languages which include: Llokano, Tagalog, Cebuano,
Malay, Acehnese, Toba, Batak, Minangkabu, Sundanese,
Javanese, Balinese, Buginese, Makasarese and Malagasy are
all Western Malayo-Polynesian.