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An Introduction to Polynesian Anthropology



Twenty-six years elapsed before the next Dutch voyage was made. It was organized by Anthony van Dieman, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, for the further exploration of the south land now known as Australia. Two ships, the Zehaan and the Heemskirck, were equipped and placed under the command of Abel Tasman, with Franz Jacobszoon Vissher as chief pilot and adviser. Tasman sailed from Batavia on August 14, 1642, rounded the southwest extremity of Australia, and encountered the land which he named Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania). He sailed east without knowing that his discovery was an island, and on December 13, 1642, he discovered a large, high land which he named Staten Land (New Zealand). He left the coast of New Zealand without landing, owing to an attack by Maoris on one of his boats which resulted in three of his men being killed and one wounded. Sailing north, Tasman discovered the most southerly island of the Tongan group, which he named Pylstaart. Two days later, he discovered the Tongan islands of Eua and Tongatabu and named them Middle-burgh and Amsterdam, respectively. He sailed on to Nomuka in the Haapai group, which he named Rotterdam. He passed on through the Fiji Islands and reached Batavia on June 15, 1643. Tasman was the first navigator to enter the Pacific from the west. His discoveries in Polynesia were New Zealand and the southern and middle groups of the Tongan Islands.