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An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology



The two Spanish expeditions had made the eastern part of the Pacific crossing south of the equator, but they did not encounter any Polynesian islands. Magellan's discovery of the Philippines led Spain to claim rights over the group, and Loyasa's voyage induced Hernando Cortez to send three ships to the Moluccas. These ships, under the command of Saavedra, left the Pacific coast of Mexico on October 31, 1527. It was the first voyage initiated from America and, unlike the two other expeditions, it sailed from a port north of the equator. Two of the ships were lost in a storm, but Saavedra reached the Ladrones in his flagship, the Florida, and sailed on to the Philip-page 17pines. Later, he reinforced his countrymen in Tidore. A Hawaiian legend of a wrecked ship has been linked by some writers with one of Saavedra's lost ships, but evidence in support of the theory is of such flimsy nature that it may be dismissed.