Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-gtxcr Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-17T15:52:58.232Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Ch. 15 - THE COLUMBIAN EXCHANGE AND NEW WORLDS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 August 2009

Kenneth F. Kiple
Affiliation:
Bowling Green State University, Ohio
Get access

Summary

Why, then, the world's mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.

Shakespeare (1564–1615)

OCEANIA

In the south of Southeast Asia, Alocasia or dryland taro, perhaps originating in India or Burma, has been under cultivation for at least 7,000 years. Wetland (Colocasia) taro, yams, and (probably) dry and wet land rice came along later. Yet, as mentioned earlier, a mystery is why the Austronesian farmer-pioneers, who sailed off to settle the Philippines and the East Indies at about this time (6000 bce), were accompanied by taro, yams, pigs, and dogs, but not rice. The most logical answer is that rice had not yet become a staple in Southeast Asia. But it is not a particularly satisfactory answer because, despite many ensuing waves of Pacific pioneers, when the Europeans first entered the world's largest body of water, rice was absent from the whole of the Pacific, save for the Mariana Islands. Did rice somehow get lost from the horticultural complex? Or were taro and yams just easier to cultivate?

The pioneers originated in Southeast Asia and neighboring New Guinea, and their initial waves fanned out into the Philippines and the East Indies. These were an Austronesian-speaking people whose descendents, with their distinctive Lapita pottery, became the ancestors of the Polynesians. Around 3,500 years ago they launched epic voyages of exploration and colonization, moving swiftly in their double-hulled canoes to establish settlements in Fiji, and then in Samoa and Tonga – the latter two islands becoming jump-off points for the eventual settlement of the rest of Polynesia, ending with Hawaii around 1,500 years ago and New Zealand some 1,000 to 2,000 years ago.

Type
Chapter
Information
A Movable Feast
Ten Millennia of Food Globalization
, pp. 150 - 162
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×