The Maori may have been the first to discover Antarctica, with links with the frozen continent and its surrounding oceans dating back to the 7th century, the researchers said.
A new article from the University of Otago combines literature and oral historiess, and concludes that Maori , the indigenous people of Aotearoa in New Zealand, were probably the first people to explore the surrounding waters of Antarctica, and maybe the mainland in the distance.
They write that the Maori and the Polynesians travel to the deep south has been around for a long time, possibly as far back as the seventh century, and is recorded in a variety of oral traditions.
According to the stories oral Maori Ngāti Rārua and Te Āti Awa tribal groups, the first human to travel to Antarctica was the Polynesian explorer Hui Te Rangiora.
The researchers write that "the Polynesian accounts of youryages between the islands include the voyage to the Antarctic waters by Hui Te Rangiora… and his crew on the ship Te Ivi o Atea, probably at the beginning of the 7th century ”. According to oral traditions, they named this ocean Te tai-uka-a-pia - the frozen ocean, with "pia " referring to the arrowroot, which when scratched looks like snow. .
Polynesian oral history accounts from 1899 describe the journey there, evoking "the monstrous seas; the female who dwells in these mountainous waves, whose hair moves in the water and on the surface of the sea, the frozen sea of pia, with the deceptive animal of the sea which dives to great depths - a misty, hazy and dark place not seen by the sun.
"Other things are like rocks, the tops of which pierce the sky, they are completely bare and without vegetation on them. SP Smith, who recorded the oral histories, said the storiescan describe Southern Ocean kelp, marine mammals and icebergs.
Later, researchers say Maori sailor Te Atu is often described as the first Maori, as well as the first New Zealander, to see the Antarctic coast in 1840. His voyage on the Vincennes mapped miles of Antarctic coastline as part of the States Exploration Expedition United.
Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev are often considered the first explorers to discover the Antarctic continent. In 1820, they fell on the Fimbul Ice Shelf.
Project leader Dr Priscilla Wehi said in a statement that "We have discovered a link with Antarctica and its waters since the first traditional voyages ”. She said that "take into account the responsibilities towards under-represented groups, andicular Maori… is important for contemporary and future Antarctic research programs. ”
The researchers also conducted a review of l ' Maori involvement in Antarctica and voyages to Antarctica, noting that "accounts of under-represented groups and their connection to Antarctica remain poorly documented and recognized ". dcr-s23rjr "> The paper, ' A short analysis of Maori voyages to Antarctica 'has been published in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.