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Maori and Polynesian: their origin, history and culture

Traces of a Fair-haired Race in the Other Groups

Traces of a Fair-haired Race in the Other Groups

(23) And, according to Dr. Wyatt Gill, a golden-haired child in Mangaia is called "the fair-haired progeny of Tangaroa," the great god of the sea, who himself was sandy-haired, and, having been driven out from the island, lived page 37in distant lands with his fair-haired children. The Mangaians dislike light hair, and think it suitable only to foreigners. All through the islands dark hair and complexion are looked on as the sign of strength. Clearly a fair-haired race was driven out of many, if not all, of the islands, and took to the sea again; whilst the conquering immigrants were all of brown skin and dark hair. The massacre of Captain Cook reveals the same tradition in the Sandwich Islands. Because of his white skin and his great ship, he seemed to fulfil their old prediction that the god Rono would return again from Tahiti, and he was accorded divine honours, and was sacrificed that he might ever remain a god.