One of the three major ethnographic (with Melanesia and Micronesia) divisions of Oceania. It encompasses a huge triangle of islands in the east-central and southern Pacific Ocean. The Hawaiian islands are at the apex of the Polynesian triangle with New Zealand and Easter Island at the base corners. Other islands are the Cook Islands, the Marquesas Islands, the Ellice Islands (now Tuvalu), Tokelau, Tonga, Tahiti (Otaheite), and Samoa. Fuji is also included in this area, because a large proportion of its population is of Polynesian descent.
Map: The Polynesian Triangle.
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Editor: M.F. Lindemans
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This section was last updated on October 14, 2013.