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Cyril Sermon (@admin)
2 months ago

The Sweet potato and the Chicken and how they came to be in places they didn’t originate or a tale of two peoples and two foods .

The sweet potato and the chicken have made its way around the world and they are truly world traveling foods. The chicken is a native to Asia and the sweet potato to South America.

It's been long speculated that Polynesian seafarers brought the chicken to South America about 1000 years ago and subsequently returned with the sweet potato back to Polynesia.There's even more evidence as fishhook stylings and boat building techniques also prove there was a shared knowledge some 500 years before Columbus.

The sweet potato to Polynesia

The humble sweet potato is an immigrant to Oceania. Native to South America, the tuber has proliferated through Polynesia and the surrounding Pacific islands — but no one is sure how it got there. Using genetic evidence from herbarium specimens and modern crops, researchers have now narrowed down the route of the sweet potato, which could provide clues as to the movements of the people who carried it.

Some archaeologists have taken the similarity between various words for sweet potato — 'kuumala' and its derivatives in Polynesia, and 'kumara', 'cumar' or 'cumal' among Quechua speakers in northwestern South America — as evidence that the tuber proliferated in Polynesia after an early introduction by locals who visited South America, long before Europeans made it there.

A genetic map of the potato's pathway published shows the sweet potato arrived in Oceania multiple times. First, between 1000 and 1100 CE, Polynesian voyagers visited South America and brought the sweet potato back with them, later spreading it around other Pacific islands; Europeans then transported other sweet-potato lineages to the Philippines and the western Pacific in two separate waves from the sixteenth century onwards. From there, genetically distinct sweet-potato lines would have dispersed throughout Oceania.

The Chicken to Chile

An international team, including bioarchaeologist Alice Storey of the University of Auckland, made the startling discovery after analyzing a recently excavated chicken bone from the Chilean site of El Arenal, a settlement of the Mapuche, a people who lived on the southern fringe of the Inca empire from about A.D. 1000 to 1500.

The team found that the chicken's DNA sequence was related to that of chickens whose remains were unearthed from archaeological sites on the Polynesian islands of Tonga and American Samoa. Radiocarbon dating shows the El Arenal chicken lived sometime between a.d. 1321 and 1407, well after Polynesians first settled Easter Island and the other easternmost islands of the Pacific.

We know the Polynesian’s settled Easter island and Easter island is closer to South America than the homeland of the Polynesians .,

In 1532, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro recorded the presence of chickens in Peru, where the Inca used them in religious ceremonies. That suggests chickens had already been there for a while as the genetic evidence testifies.