Polynesian Immersion

By Christopher Bjørnsen

Polynesian.jpg

In the 1970's, a Viking helmet was found in Northland, New Zealand. The New Zealand government, however, quickly covered up the discovery, and prevented anybody from researching the matter ever since (Canada did the same on Baffin Island, so it must be a Commonwealth thing). 

This begs the question: Did we Víkingar settle New Zealand, possibly even before the Maori? People in New Zealand, including some Maori leaders, are quick to point out that the theory is ludicrous, primarily because it would have been a long way from Scandinavia to New Zealand, in drakkars, with limited navigation equipment. Ironic considering Polynesians, the Maori ancestors, got to New Zealand across the Pacific in somewhat precarious raft, and unlike the Vikings, with no navigational knowledge whatsoever!

A Scottish dude in the name of Taine Ruaridh Mhor did refer in some texts to Vikings traveling to New Zealand on several occasions. Many artifacts in New Zealand also have surprising similarities with Viking stuff found across Scandinavia. And of course, there are those blonde and blue eyed Maoris...

Certainly something worth investigating. Problem is, the New Zealand government is oddly extremely uncooperative, and so are the Maoris.

This is where the Polynesians from Tahiti come handy. They are far more cooperative and friendly than the Maoris, allowing us to get a good insight into their culture, which in turn may be beneficial to better interact with the Maoris down the road.

So, what have we learned so far? Well, how to cook in the ground with hot stones, pretty much like we make rúgbrauð (bread) in Iceland. Except that in the case of the Polynesians, it is fish and meat. Apparently, it used to be people too. Tied up in fetal position, and cooked alive. Lovely. We learned a lot about fishing as well, and catching fish in Bora Bora, pretty much naked in piss-warm waters, is definitely an upgrade from fishing in the North Sea with a polar suit. 

We learnt about the Polynesian gods as well, Oro, Ta'aroa, Maui, Ruahatu, and Hina, while getting drunk on some substance of dubious origin. Again, not much different from our own Viking tribes, except that they are half or completely naked, and we (usually) are not.

What about the Vikings setling New Zealand you may ask? Well, we're not further ahead on that matter, but we're working on it!

Araua’e ! Until then, some intoxicating Polynesian tunes... 

Christopher Bjørnsen

Tromsø, Norway