Canadian Connection

Haida Canoes                                                                                Tahitian canoes

Many legends describe Hawaii as the homeland of the Polynesian people, how could a group of islands so far north of the rest of Polynesia be the the homeland of so many other island cultures?

The answer is; they arrived with favourable winds and currents from Canada.

The possibility that Hawai'i was one of the main entry points into Polynesia, from Canada has not been given the consideration it deserves. Archaeological, cultural and genetic evidence suggests there is a strong connection.

It has also been incorrectly assumed that Hawaii was not discovered until about 800 AD. Archaeological evidence is pushing back the time of entry into Hawai'i.

Terry L. Hunt and Robert M. Holsen in "An Early Radiocarbon Chronology for the Hawaiian Islands" States: " . . The corpus of radiocarbon dates available to date may be suggestive of colonisation of the Hawaiian Islands significantly earlier than has been generally accepted. Many archaeologists have shifted their estimate for Hawaiian settlement to approximately AD 300 - 400, and some recognised the potential for even earlier dates. One particular date (Gak-258 on charcoal) falls within the first millennium BC. Another date (Grn-2225 on charcoal) ranges from AD 127 -249 (range with highest probability), and might represent the age of initial occupation of the site (Kirch 1985)."

Similarities between Polynesia and Coastal Canadian cultures

Archaeological and cultural evidence suggests that there is a strong connection between Coastal Canada and Polynesia. Both cultures worked in stone in the same manner, designs of implements were almost identical. The use of pottery was completely absent in both cultures.

The design and way of manufacture of the following artifacts bear a striking resemblance:

Tahitian and Haida stone pounders are almost identical.

Stone bowls found in Kaua'i and stone bowls found in the Bella Coola valley from a pre-existing culture are very similar.

Maori and NW Coastal Indian war clubs both have the gaping angry mouth motif on the handle.
Tattooing tool kit design indicates Polynesian kit derived from Haida tattooing implements.
Fish hook design is almost identical.

Fish hook pendants are also identical,

Harpoon heads are similar

Petroglyphs are similar.

Spiritual carvings such as the Tiki is amazingly similar in both cultures.

Large totem poles with figures stacked on top of one another with their tongues sticking out are common in both Maori and Haida cultures.

Haida and Marquesan carvings have similar shaped eyes and mouths.

Carvings around building entrances where the legs form an archway.
The practice of inlaying of Paua shell into the eyes of figures is a style used in both cultures.
Maori war canoes are similar in design to Kwakuitl canoes.

The use of calabashes instead of pottery for carrying water  is common to both cultures.

The style plaiting of calabash holders is also similar.

The use of hot rocks to steam and widen canoes, is practiced by both Maori and Kwakuitl.

Earth ovens are used by both cultures

The unique practice of rubbing noses as a way of greeting is used  in both Maori and some tribes in the Canadian NW. This suggests definite cultural and spiritual connection.

The use of the glottal stop in speech is similar e.g.; Hawai'i and Haida Gwai'i.
The practice of head deformation of infants is practised on the NW Coast, as it is in some parts of Polynesia.
Polynesians and NW Coastal Indians have similar blood: No B, high A, high M, high R2, moderate Fya.

Stone Pounders

Similarities between Polynesian and NW Indian stone pounders,

all pistures here are from American Indians in the Pacific by Thor Heyerdahl.


Northwest Coastal Indian war clubs

Maori war clubs (Patu)                                          Hawaiian clubs

Spiritual carvings

NW Coast Tiki                  early Maori Tiki               Haida Totem poles.

Recent studies have revealed that the majority of Eastern Polynesian genes originated from Canada about 2200 years ago. Physical appearances of these people do concur with this. S.W. Serjeantson “The Colonization of the Pacific, A Genetic Trail;"HLA-Bw48 is commonly found in Polynesian populations, but is absent in Melanesia. The only other known population with an appreciable frequency of Bw48 is the Tlingit, Haida and Kwakuitl along the coast of Canada and Alaska. In Polynesia Bw48 co-occurs with A11." This separation occurred 2,200 years ago and indicates a variation since Polynesians departed Canada.

Polynesian, Fatuhiva .       NW Coastal Indian Girl    Douglas Tribe Br Columbia      Maori youth

Maori Chief                     Kwakuitl, Quatsino Sound     Maori youth               Nitinat tribe, Br.Columbia

Legendary Evidence

I am repeating this legend here because of its importance to the history of the Hawaiians.
"The ancient history of Hookumu Ka Lani & Hookumu Ka Honua" by Solomon L.K.Peleioholani.
(Solomon L.K.Peleioholani was considered an important Hawaiian antiquarian, and the final word in Hawaiian genealogy, especially of the chiefs and royal familes. He was a High Chief, and in many ways both the pinnacle and terminus of the old royal blood lines from Maui, Oahu, Hawaii, and Kauai. His grandparents were among those who sided with Kamehameha the Conqueror to achieve unity of the islands. His father was an uncle to the Kings Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V and he was himself one of the highest ranking chiefs in the Hawaiian Islands.")

"The ancestors of the Hawaiian race came not from the islands the South Pacific – for the immigrants from that direction were late arrivals there. – but from the northern direction (welau lani), that is, from the land of Kalonakikeke, now known as Alaska.
According to this tradition, a great flood that occurred during the reign of Kahiko- Luamea on the continent of Ka-Houpo-o-Kane, (the bosom of Kane) and carried away a floating log of wood named Konikonihia. On this log was a precious human cargo and it came to rest on the land of Kalonakikeke (Alaska).
On this log was the first man and woman who came to Kalonakikeke from the continent of Ka-Houpo-o-Kane, they were Kalonakiko-ke ("Mr Alaska") and his wife Hoomoe-a-pule ("woman of my dreams"). They were said to be high chiefs of the countries of Kanaka-Hikina (person of the east) and Kanaka-Komohana (person of the west) and were descended from the great great ancestor Huka-ohialaka.
Many generations later, Chief Nuu, travelled with his wife, Lilinoe, their three sons and their three wives in a canoe called Ka-Waa-Halau-Alii-O-Ka-Moku (the royal canoe of the continent), and it rested apon Mauna Kea (white mountain), on the island of Hawaii.They were the first Hawaiians.
According to Hawaiian genealogies, Chief Nuu lived approximately 2,200 years ago. This concurs exactly with the genetic evidence. His complete family tree lives on to this day in the families of Hawaii, such as the Kekoolani Family.
(Information kindly provided by “The Kekoolani Family Trust of Waipio Valley, Hamakua, Hawaii”). This vital historical information shows that Hawaii was the crucible of Polynesian society and was in fact the "Heart of Polynesia".

This little gem was found by honourable Yuri Kuchinsky.

Irving Goldman, author of "Ancient Polynesian Society", has this to say on the comparison between Kwakuitl and the Polynesians. "For reasons that remain to be discovered, the Indian tribes of this area [NW Coast] share formal principles of rank, lineage, and kinship with Pacific islanders. The Kwakiutl, seem very close to what I have designated as the "traditional" Polynesian society. They share with Polynesians a status system of graded hereditary ranking of individuals and of lineages; a social class system of chiefs ("nobles"), commoners, and slaves; concepts of primogeniture and seniority of descent lines; a concept of abstract supernatural powers as special attributes of chiefs; and a lineage system that leans toward patriliny, but acknowledges the maternal lines as well. Finally, Kwakiutl and eastern Polynesians, especially, associate ambiguity of lineage membership with "Hawaiian" type kinship, a fully classificatory system that does not distinguish between maternal and paternal sides, or between siblings and cousins." This is quite a list of very specific anthropological similarities. All this can be explained very parsimoniously by the derivation of the Hawaiians from the Kwakiutl.

There can be no doubt that the people of Hawai'i came from somewhere very near to Haida-gwai'i.


Thor Heyerdahl, "American Indians in the Pacific" has this to say; "On the Canadian Northwest Coast, there are place names which sound very Hawai'ian such as the Island of Haida Gwai'i, the Straits of Tonga'as and Hakai'i Channel. The tribes of the area bear a striking physical resemblance to the Polynesians. They are called the Haida and the Kwakuitl, but not only that, their social structure is the same; even their woodcarving and stone tools are similar. In the middle of this area is the Hakai'i Channel, a highly sought after fishing ground. The mainland, directly behind this rich fishing ground, is now the territory of the Bella Coola Indians, a Salish tribe, whose homeland was further south. Their territory divides Kwakuitl territory in two. In this valley, are the remains of a pre-existing culture, with stone implements strikingly similar to the Proto-Polynesians. The fact that a strong wedge of an alien tribe was in possession of the principal valley inside Kwakuitl territory, suggests that the area was fought over and the tribe there lost. The only escape from the steep sided valley is by sea. Kwakiutl canoes bear a striking resemblance to Maori war canoes. With two canoes strapped together to form the prototype of the Polynesian catamaran, prevailing ocean currents and a summertime NE Tradewind behind them, they could have quite easily travelled the distance to Hawai'i.(To this day Douglas fir is washed up on the shores of Hawai'i on a regular basis).

Legends suggest that Chief Nuu, his wife, three sons and their wives were intending to sail back to their ancestral homeland and as Hawaii was at the same lattitude as Ka-Houpo-o-Kane (Taiwan), they assumed they had arrived back at their now partially sunken ancestral homeland.

The closeness of the islands would have created a perfect environment for honing their sailing and navigational skills and perfecting the ocean going catamaran. Legend has it that Tahiti (distant land) was discovered from Hawaii and the Tuamotus (back and off to the side) were discovered on their return journey. The Hokulea' re-enacted this voyage, inspired by David Lewis, author of "We the Navigators". This was contrary to the anthropologists assertions that Hawai'i must have been discovered from Tahiti.

"The possibility that the Charlotte Sounds may have been a port of entry for tribes migrating from Asia, an alternative route to the Bering land bridge and mid continental corridor, with mounting evidence of refugia, Scholars, such as Dr George MacDonald - director of Canada's Museum of Civilisation, believe that the Charlottes, during the next decade may well prove central to the quest for major discoveries on man's entry into North America" - - - - and the Pacific. (Nat Geog, July 1987).

Haida legend has it that the first men were discovered by the Raven (Haida totem) in a clamshell on a sandspit at the Northeast tip of Graham Island. The Raven coaxed the first man from a clamshell at the beach of Naikoon - the Raven, a curious and gluttonous prankster pries open a giant clamshell to reveal the tangled bodies of men writhing to get out.

At the NE tip of the Charlottes, is a finger of sand, reaching out into the converging currents of Dixon Entrance and Hecate Strait. This would be a logical place for hungry travellers to be washed up after a long voyage from Asia. Their behaviour of either sheltering or trying to remove the last morsel of meat from the clam is consistent with men who have just ended a long and painful journey in a bamboo sailing craft.

A Tlingit legend very aptly describes how the first proto Polynesians came to Canada:
"There is an old story that says how some strange people came from the western ocean. Among them were two sisters. They landed on Dall Island in Southeastern Alaska. There the sisters met and married men whose people were coming down the rivers from interior North America. One sister-went with her family to Haida-gwaii or the Queen Charlotte Islands. Her children grew and multiplied into the Haida Nation. The other sister went with her family to Prince of Wales Island. She became the ancestress or Mother of the Tlingit Nation." (The Proud Chilkat by Brendan and Lauri Larson. 1977.)

Manfred Kayser, Silke Brauer, Gunter Weiss, Peter A. Underhill, Lutz Roewer, Wulf Schiefenhövel and Mark Stoneking: "HLA genes in Polynesia appear to show Asian rather than Melanesian origin. For example, a particular allele, HLA DRB1-0901, was observed at high frequency in Polynesians, a moderate frequency in mainland Asia, but was rare in Melanesian populations.
Although Polynesian genes are very similar to Taiwanese genes, the Taiwanese aboriginal people carried a different set of markers to either the Polynesians or the Micronesians, indicating a divergence and expansion in the populations about 6000 years ago.
This is in perfect agreement with archaeological and linguistic data, which suggest that the Polynesians left the Taiwan area about 6,000 years ago, prior to mongoloid expansion. Reduced genetic diversity in Polynesians has also been reported for many other genetic markers, indicating two genetic bottlenecks, one 6000 years ago, with another one 2,200 years ago, which is associated with a rapid population growth – this is the time they arrived in Polynesia."

Kwakuitl chief                       Tahitian Chief                       Marquesan chief        Tlingit chief

TheKwakuitl chief suggests ancient Korean genes, wheras the Marquesan and Tlingit chiefs suggest

ancient Shizuoka genes (see genetic evidence).

Therefore it seems quite obvious that Proto-Polynesians spent 4000 years living along the coasts of Alaska and Canada, which is the only region on the Pacific rim where tribes share the same cultural and technological characteristics as the Polynesians.
From these findings, there can be no doubt that the Kuroshio current played a big part in Polynesias pre- history, and that somewhere near to the island of Haida gwai'i, Canada, was the homeland of the Hawai'ians.

The mounting evidence connecting the Polynesians with the Northwest Coastal Indians of Canada is now too much to ignore. It is one of their most likely homelands before their entry into the Pacific about 200BC. But that is not all the story. There is evidence to suggest that a tattooed Austronesian culture, using catamarans frequented the coastline of Europe. The Etruscans were a maritime Asian culture living in Italy before the Romans, they have been deliberately ignored in the history books. The Picts of Scotland wore Tattoos (an Asian invention) that are very similar in design to the Maoris and there are petroglyphs of Catamarans in Norway. The trade route from the Indian ocean via Madagascar to Mauritiana was known to have been used by Austronesians, so the possibility that a Polynesian related culture was trading as far north as Norway is a distinct possibility.


Petroglyph of outrigger canoe, Norway. from America B.C. by Barry Fell


Similarities between Bella Coola Valley, Marquesan petroglyphs and Petroglyphs of catamarans from Norway.What is the connection between the Tattooed Picts of Scotland and this ancient Catamaran culture of Norway, and what is their connection to the Maori?