Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Friday, July 17, 2020

Amerindians navigated to Polynesia before the Polynesians arrived there

An article in Nature (Native American gene flow into Polynesia predating Easter Island settlement, Ioannidis, A.G., Blanco-Portillo, J., Sandoval, K. et al. Nature (2020). finds evidence that there is Amerindian admixture in Polynesian people due to an early "one-time-only" event that took place around 1150-1230 AD in eastern Polynesia.

The Amerindians didn't sail to Easter Island (Rapa Nui) which is the point where America and Polynesia are closest. Instead they moved across the equatorial region -like Thor Heyerdahl had suggested in the 1940s- and reached the Marquesas islands, which at that time were uninhabited.

Then came the island-hopping Polynesians from the west and they met there, admixed and then spread across the Pacific.

The authors find similarities between the DNA sampled in Polynesia with the DNA of Colombian and Ecuadorian Native Americans.

A plausible alternative is that the Amerindians never set sail across the ocean. Instead the Polynesians kept on sailing eastwards and reached America, here they fraternized with the locals and returned with Amerindian DNA back home.

The Polynesia to America route has been proposed before (Diffusionism Reconsidered: Linguistic and Archaeological Evidence for Prehistoric Polynesian Contact with Southern California Terry L. Jones and Kathryn A. Klar American Antiquity, Vol. 70, No. 3 (Jul., 2005), pp. 457-484 DOI: 10.2307/40035309). And I have posted about Polynesian DNA in South America (here) regarding the Botocudo people and a possible route for peopling America via the Antarctic (read more ), but for pre-Polynesian people -I was thinking about Aboriginals from Australia or even pre-sapiens hominins (here), not Polynesians who are the latecomers to the region.

Alternate Hypothesis

Perhaps the Amerindian signal has another origin. Let's take a look at the map in Nature's paper:

See large size map

The "Polynesians" supposedly have a strong imprint of Amerindian -green- DNA. And the Chilean Mapuche people (brown) are found in large amounts in Easter Island, which is coherent with the Spanish from Chile visiting the islands with native servants-laborer, and from there back migrated into western Polynesia in historic times. They also occupy the Chilean-Argentine area of South America. The ancestral Kaweskar people who were "canoe people" have a high prevalence of the "green" signal. They were the first to reach southern South America.

The strong Mesoamerican signal may (green) may indicate that these people (Mixe, Zapotec, Maya, Northern South American Amerindians and the ancestral Kaweskar) came from Polynesia -from Asia via Polynesia. They also settled there in their migration from Asia to America. Later came the (pale blue) wave of Polynesians and replaced them.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-20204 by Austin Whittall © 


  1. Very interesting article. South America, Central America and even Meso America and Southwestern America seem to have been connected to Polynesia and Oceania (including Australia, Melanesia. Micronesia and Island Southeast Asia) as a whole.

    The question/s on whether the Polynesian (and other Oceanians) or native American people reached eastern Polynesia first is debatable. It is surprising to find the earliest date is set 1150 AD which is considered by some earlier than the Polynesian presence in the Marquesas Islands.
    Having said that there are a couple research articles about the origin of the Panama tall coconuts (a species of coconut found in Panama) and the results were very surprising. The Panama tall coconut is related to a coconut species in the Philippines. The earliest introduction date is estimated at 2,250 years ago (BP/Before Present).
    That introduction date of that particular coconut species into the Americas is at least 1,000 years earlier compared to the 1150 AD migration date into the eastern Polynesian Marquesas Islands.

    Hope this is helpful information.




    Independent Origins of Cultivated Coconut (CocosnuciferaL.) in the Old World Tropics

    The presence of coconut in southern Panama in pre-Columbian times:clearing up the confusion

    Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) DNA studies support the hypothesis of an ancientAustronesian migration from Southeast Asia to America

    1. Very interesting the coconut link between Panama and western Pacific: "Within the Pacific basin, human influence on coconut population structure is most readily detectable in the pre-historic introduction of Southeast Asian coconuts to the New World coast. This introduction is estimated to have occurred ∼2,250 years ago, and our analyses are consistent with previous findings suggesting a Philippine origin (Fig. 2; ref [7]); the low genetic diversity in Panama Talls provides further evidence of establishment through a founder event"

  2. The Philippine link was also noted by Juan E. Rodríguez as a strong component of western Mexico population in Guerrero State.
    But he believes that the admixture took place when the Spanish brought slaves from the Philippines to to Mexico during the colonial period.
    Maybe they came earlier (?)

    1. The Spanish brought Mexicans to the Philippines, who staied there. As far as I know, after getting permission from the locals to gather gold, the Spanish did not bother them.

      About people sailing the Pacific, try these, if you have the time:

      I will have a look at thos coconut links.


    2. The pre 19th century Philippine people in Mexico are believed to be either sailors, soldiers or slaves who were on board the Manila galleon ships which was active between 1565 to 1815.

      On the map above that you included in the article you can see the Northern and Southern Equatorial Current. What the map doesn't show is the Equatorial Counter Current that flows from west to east in between the Northern- and Southern Equatorial Current.
      The Equatorial countercurrent basically flows from Northern Wallecea and Southern Philippines towards Panama (Central America).

      When you compare the ocean currents map with the Manila Galleon Route map you can see that that Oceanians (Melanesian, Micronesian and Polynesian) could have reached mainland America by sailing the Equatorial Countercurrent. With their advanced sailing skills it was probably easier to reach the American continent by sailing the Equatorial Countercurrent instead of sailing the Kuroshio Current > North Pacific Current > Californian Current or East Australia Current > South Pacific current > Peru Current.
      The early introduction of the so-called Philippine coconut species in Panama must have reached Central America with the hypothetical proto-Polynesians which are basically Island Southeast Asians or at least the people who lived in Island Southeast Asia at the time. If you was not aware already; Polynesian Y-DNA shows up with at least 20% (if not higher) Melanesian Y-DNA. It will be interesting to see if the (Australo-?)Melanesian Y-DNA came directly from Melanesia or via the (Australo-?)Melanesian population in South America.
      Maybe it will explain why there are only a few South American native tribes with Melanesian DNA. Perhaps most Melanesians (fullblood and or mixed, or whoever was left after thousands years after their initial migration and settlement) joined the so-called proto-Polynesians (eventually intermixing; becoming the 20% Melanesian Y-DNA in Polynesians) and sailed out into the Pacific and settled the remaining (uninhabited?) islands in Eastern Polynesia.

      The Manila Galleon Route :

      Equatorial Countercurrent :


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