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Polynesian Roots and Surf Culture


Surfing first developed in the roots of Polynesia, as part of a culture that calls the ocean its home. Earliest surfing was practiced by a people who were humankind's ultimate ocean traversing seafarers. Surfing, itself, came about at a time when the Polynesian race was just getting under way and epic migrations were taking place.

The ancestors of the Polynesian people are believed to be a Caucasian offshoot that reached the islands of the Malay archipelago from the west. While in what is now known collectively as Indonesia, they came in contact with the Mongoloid ancestors of the Malays who had pushed south into the same region. A certain amount of intermixture took place, followed by substantive conflict of an unknown nature. This conflict resulted in a subsequent push further east into the Pacific by the mixed Caucasian-Mongoloid people. This mixed people formed the Polynesian, race, which "grew from a small population of mixed origins, developing distinctive racial and cultural characteristics" between 2000 B.C. and 1500 B.C.

Elsewhere around the planet, this was the time when Hammurabi ruled Babylon and established his famous "Code of Hammurabi." Stonehenge was a center of religious worship in England. The "Book of the Dead" was written and copied, collecting religious documents of the 18th Egyptian dynasty, and the first tomb was built in the Valley of Kings. Advanced ship building was yet to take place in the Mediterranean and Scandinavia.

The Polynesian ancestors developed a knowledge of seacraft by developing outrigger and double-hulled canoes, which enabled them to expand the area of their seafaring. By making voyages between the large islands of Indonesia, these people acquired the knowledge necessary to lead them and their later generations to the farthest islands in the vast Pacific Ocean.