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Botanical evidence linking the New Zealand Maoris with New Caledonia and the New Hebrides


TRADITIONAL history of the Maoris tells of repeated voyages between Hawaiki, their mythical homeland, and Aotearoa (New Zealand), culminating in a considerable migration about AD 1350 dated by genealogies. One canoe is said to have brought seed of the karaka tree which was a useful subsidiary, food source. I report here that examination of the distribution and relationships of this tree suggests New Caledonia and/or the New Hebrides as the possible Hawaiki from which this late migration originated.

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STEVENSON, G. Botanical evidence linking the New Zealand Maoris with New Caledonia and the New Hebrides. Nature 276, 704–705 (1978).

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