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Maori and Polynesian: their origin, history and culture

This Track passes from Japan over Micronesia and — Polynesia to the American Coast

This Track passes from Japan over Micronesia and
Polynesia to the American Coast

(7) As on the Atlantic coast of Europe, so on the Pacific coast of Asia, the path of these colossal monuments is not broken by the ocean. It continues into Japan as in the page 4West it passes into the British Isles. But there was no endless archipelago to tempt the handlers of giant stones westward from Europe to America, and the titanic-stone path breaks off on the Irish coast. It is otherwise in Japan. To the south stretched a series of stepping-stones into Polynesia, at first minute as in the Bonin Islands, afterwards in large groups as in the Ladrones and the Carolines farther south. And in the former of these two groups there exist avenues of huge unmortared stone pyramids topped with stone hemispheres, whilst in the latter there exist the colossal walls of a long-deserted Venice built of great basaltic prisms piled one on another without cement.

(8) Thereafter the megalithic route across the Pacific is broken and incontinuous. Not till Samoa is reached, away to the south-east, do we pick it up again, for between lay the coral groups of the Marshalls and the Gilberts, the islands of which have not the permanence of volcanic structure, but are the work of the coral insect, at the mercy of storm and billow. The Fale-o-le-fee, or House of the Fairy, behind Apia, is an ellipse of giant stone columns, no mean rival of our Stonehenge. In the Tongan group, to the south of Samoa, we have again the size and the permanency of ancient land, and here we have the gigantic truncated pyramids which are called the tombs of the Tui-Tongas, and the colossal trilithon or gateway composed of three giant stones. It is useless seeking for such ancient structures in the low coral groups like the Paumotas and the Austral Archipelago.

(9) The track is again resumed away to the east in Huahine, one of the Society group, where a dolmen or colossal stone altar exists, and in Tahiti a gigantic truncated pyramid. To the north-west, in Hawaii, are the huge temples of Waikiki and Punepa, whilst to the south and south-east we have the minute Rapa, Pitcairn, and Easter Islands, lying in somewhat the same latitude, 27 to 28 south of the Equator, the two page 5former separated by more than a thousand miles of ocean, the two latter by some fifteen hundred miles; and in each of them there are unmortared stone monuments. To complete the megalithic story of the Pacific, we have two specimens of this ancient type of stone structure in the North Island of New Zealand, one a miniature Stonehenge, with huge blocks standing six or seven feet above the ground, at Kerikeri, in the Bay of Islands, and another near Ateamuri, to the north of Taupo, consisting of fifty great stones set erect in the earth.