This Tagata Tangata episode looks at the devastating effects of foreign powers on Polynesia. Introduced diseases had a ruinous effect, and generations of men were lost to slavery. Those stolen included the highborn and knowledge keepers of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), leaving an all but irreversible cultural vacuum. There are stories of a powerful conflict between ideologies, as the tools of religion, literacy and forced governance overturned Polynesian ways of life. Interviews across Polynesia showcase people trying to revive their cultural ways and heritage, while dealing with the ongoing wounds of foreign influence.
For Polynesians, the sails of the Papalagi pierced the womb of our horizon, ending our certainties and leading to our bloody entry to the world.– Narrator Ramona Papali'i
Pasifika Knowhow Productions
Made with funding from NZ On Air
Article on recruited labour and slavery in Samoa, Samoa Observer, August 2016
Article and interview on New Zealand involvement in the Pacific slave trade, Radio New Zealand, November 2016
Profile of Rapa Nui expert Edmundo Edwards, Pacific Islands Research Institute website