Oceania 1453 CE

Easter Island statues getting larger!

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What is happening in Oceania in 1453CE

New Zealand

The Maoris of New Zealand have quickly colonized both islands. The tropical crops they brought with them are unsuited to the temperate climate of most of the country, and the settlers adopted a largely hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The abundant wildlife, including the huge, flightless bird called the Moa, offered plentiful food. However, this has now been depleted, and the Maoris have learnt to eat native plants such as ferns, and to focus on growing their hardier crops such as sweet potato. This is only possible in the north; throughout most of South Island a thin population lives a hunter-gatherer way of life.

Melanesia and Polynesia

In other parts of Oceania, the Tongan “empire” has vanished; the rulers of Samoa, Fiji and other islands no longer recognize the Tongan ruler’s pre-eminence. The people of Samoa have developed a highly complex system of chiefly offices, arranged in an elaborate hierarchy of local and regional councils. In far distant Easter Island, the construction of ever-larger monumental statues continues, reflecting a fierce competition between chiefs.

Next map, Oceania in 1648

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