Well, the Franklin Elocal, under the purvey of Mykeljon Winckel, has produced another article promoting the Celtic New Zealand thesis. It’s essentially a summary of Thor Heyerdahl’s `American Indians in the Pacific.’ You can read what I am presuming is Winckel’s article (since he admitted to writing the previous three in the comments thread of Scott’s open letter) here.
What to make of it? Apart from the lack of latter sources to back any of Heyerdahl’s claims up (there’s a reason why his theories have been largely forgotten outside of his home, Norway) Winckel also fails to provide the thing he said (in the comments thread at the Scoop Review of books) he would, which is actual testimony by Maori as to the truth of his claim that:
Maori oral history has always made it clear that people were well established in New Zealand before the coming of Kupe’s fleet.
There are New Zealanders who will tell you emphatically that their ancestors were not Polynesian, but voyaged from South America long ago.
Now, given that the second claim is a bold elaboration on the first, Winkel needs to actually go some way to showing that such people who make such claims do exist. Given that he provides no evidence of this at all it looks like it is a mere assertion, if not an outright lie.
Now, I’m sure some people might well claim something like this (I’m thinking here of Barry Brailford’s sources for the Waitaha Nation thesis he promotes) but it would be nice to know who Winckel is citing for his claims so we can, you know, check out his sources. A drunk down at the Franklin Local1 is not usually a reliable source but, for all we know, that’s it.
It’s fairly well accepted that for the great migration to have occurred Polynesian peoples must have come here and then gone back to (presumably the Cook Islands) and some of those pre-migration explorers probably settled. Part of the problem for the archaeology of Aotearoa is that many of those first settlements would have been coastal and those sites are lost to us now due to erosion. The date of first settlement will probably never be known, but that really isn’t all that important (to us non-archaeologists) because the more important part of our history is when the major colonisation/settlement effort began, and we have good oral and archaeological evidence as to when that was and where it first occurred.
What we don’t have is good oral and archaeological evidence for a pre-Maori Celtic settlement. If Winckel wants to assert that such evidence exists he needs to point us towards it.
I’ve still got Doutré’s `Uncensored’ article to comment on. His writing style is much more clumsy and laboured that Winckel’s so give me time.
- Hahahaha, see what I did there? Okay, it’s not really that funny.↩