Polynesian invasion?

No, but it might seem like that if you were able to look out over Academy Bay today.   A half dozen traditional Polynesian boats sailed into the bay over the weekend, as part of a "round the Pacific" journey designed to highlight the pan-Pacific travels of earlier Polynesians.  In their words: "we are doing this to strengthen our ties with the sea, renew our commitment to healthy ecosystems for future generations, and to honour our ancestors who have sailed before us."

Reed ship

This brings back memories of 1953, when Thor Hyerdhal, the famous Norewegian explorer (known for his Kon-Tiki Polynesian reed ship that he sailed in the Pacific in 1947) visited Galapagos looking for evidence of Polynesian settlements.   The locals on Floreana island decided to play a trick on him.   They had carved a face in a volcanic rock before hand, and proceeded to show it to him as evidence that the Polynesians had been to the island.  It seems he was bright enough to realize that it was a fake, and doesn't refer to it in the report of his expedition.

The sculpture has become part of local lore - if you're itinerary takes you to Floreana, ask your guide to take you to the Easter Island head scultpure!

polynesian head sculpture

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