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Oceania/Other : Austronesian 1000 AD - Tattoo stamps

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Love & Peace
08 Jan 2022
10:17:15pm
Mesdames et Messieurs,
Hello everyone, today we'll examine a case of study "Tahiti & Taiwan". In 2010, the French Polynesian post office released a series of tattoo stamps. The tattoos on the stamps revealed the history of Tahiti's earliest people "Austronesian". Long before the European & Islanders came to Tahiti, the entire island was populated by Austronesian. The Austronesian is originated from Taiwan (confirmed by Archaeology findings, radiocarbon dating & DNA).

Once upon a time, millions of Austronesian lived in Taiwan. In 994 AD, thousands of Austronesian including dozens of tribal chiefs left Taiwan. They make their way to Pacific Ocean. They spread out & settled on various of islands. However, the core group of Austronesian including chiefs continued to migrate in great distance. They discovered Tahiti in 1000 AD & settled there since. As time passes, they were assimilated with Islanders & Europeans. Today, Austronesian in Tahiti is declining while Austronesian in Taiwan is striving. The postal offices on both islands are working hard to preserve & promote Austronesian heritage. A series of stamps honoring Austronesian will be issued this spring.
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(L) Taiwanese Austronesian (R) Tahitian Austronesian. Both shared some similarities such as Austronesian language, food & cloth. Both also shared similarities in physical characteristics. The postal offices in Taiwan & Tahiti have joint projects such as student exchange program. Both islands have hosted international stamp expos by electing Austronesian as their representatives.

(Below Left) Taiwanese Austronesian (Below Right) Tahitian Austronesian. Again, some similarities between them. Tattoo is widely known in Taiwan & Tahiti. Their tattoo is also similar, but the tattoo changed over time in Tahiti because there hasn't been any communication between Tahiti & Taiwan for centuries. As a result, tattoo evolved gradually. Below, tattoo on the 2 stamps indicated the ancient tattoo that are well known in Tahiti & Taiwan. The tattoos are the link between two islands.
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These 2 stamps were released in 1992, the French Polynesia post office honors Tahitian Austronesian for the first time. It was a major news at that time. The tattoo stamps sparked an Austronesian movement & a strong desire to reconnect their ancestor Taiwan, the home land they left a thousand years ago........... Thank you for reading our article. Comment, suggestion & question are welcome. Please feels free to write. Wishing you happiness & peace. Au revoir ^_^





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Maruina Teihotia & Rogelio Lee
French Polynesia Stamp Club
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"Love & Peace. Bonjour Mesdames et messieurs. Que l'amour et la paix soient avec toi. Merci."
DannyS
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09 Jan 2022
01:03:28am
re: Austronesian 1000 AD - Tattoo stamps

There's an interesting question of why so many Asian ethnic groups migrated out of Taiwan. That both Malays and Polynesians originated from there is an accepted fact. There are also theories that the Tai ethnic group also started their long trek into South China, SE Asia and East India from there. Something must have encouraged the growth of these various ethnic groups on the island of Formosa back in pre-history. It's a fascinating subject. I should add that the Malay tribes of Borneo also have the patterned tattoos.

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Love & Peace
16 Jan 2022
01:29:36pm
re: Austronesian 1000 AD - Tattoo stamps

The tattoo between Taiwan & French Polynesia is similar due to their Austronesian heritage. The tattoo evolved over time and new styles are introduced to the society. In some remote area away from the society, there are some people retained their own tattoo that's been pass down for centuries. When a Polynesian meet a Taiwanese, the first thing he/she look for is "tattoo" because it identified their Austronesian root & the language. A series of tattoo stamps were released in 2000, it was dedicated to tattoo festival held in French Polynesia.
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Below, noticed the similarity between Tahitian Austronesian & Taiwanese Austronesian. Both shared similiar culture especially the music, folk dance & custom outfit. The influence of Austronesian is very strong on both islands. Cultural centers and Austronesian language schools are established and preserved for the future generations. The massive student exchange between both islands have surpassed governments' expectation.
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(L) A Tahitian Austronesian (C) A Taiwanese Austronesian (R) Austronesian stamp


Below is a young couple, Kumu Walis & Terau Leau met during the student exchange program. It is their Austronesian heritage that brought them together. Terau's family left Taiwan & migrated to Tahiti 1000 years ago. Now, Terau return to Taiwan to marry his sweet heart Kumu. Terau reside in Taiwan with his wife Kumu. Terau has no problem living in Taiwan due to similar culture & climate. Terau & Kumu teaches Polynesian dance at their dance studio and they volunteered at their local community promoting Austronesian language. Their story are televised on Taiwan's TV. The interview is pretty unusual. During the interview with Terau & Kumu, several languages were spoken & interchange constantly by the couple. The TV staff & producer couldn't understand them, translation was needed.
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(L) Kumu Walis, Taiwanese (R) Terau Leau, Tahitian







We received several messages, thank you. Most people wanted to know why people leave their homeland Taiwan. The answer is survival. It is natural for people to look for resource (food). Some traveled far places to get the resource. They settled on new land, but lost in touch with their homeland. Over the centuries, some reconnect with their ancestor & rediscover their root.
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Maruina Teihotia & Rogelio Lee
French Polynesia Stamp Club

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"Love & Peace. Bonjour Mesdames et messieurs. Que l'amour et la paix soient avec toi. Merci."
philb
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17 Jan 2022
12:29:14pm

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re: Austronesian 1000 AD - Tattoo stamps

Very interesting history...thank you !

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