The Austronesian Migration

There was a large scale expansion of people called the Austronesians coming out of Taiwan between 5000-2500 BC. The growth of the population and the need to search for more food initiated the expansion outwards.

The ancient Astronesians were a beautiful people rich with culture and advanced seafaring skills. Theoretically they first landed on the island of Luzon in the Philippines around 5000 BC. The islands were already occupied by the Aetas who are descendants of the Australo-Melanesian people that inhabited these islands 23,000 years before the Austronesian settlers.

Looking at the map above-right of the Austronesian migration throughout the Pacific and Indian oceans, you can see how the culture expanded throughout the region. A seafaring culture that started out in Taiwan and expanded out into the Pacific Ocean. A Pacific Islander culture. 

For the next 1000 years the Austronesians migrated south to the rest of the Philippines and eventually to Sumatra, Borneo and Indonesia around the year 4000 BC.

The Austronesians sailed east to the islands of Melanesia and Micronesia by 1200 BC and westward to the Southeast Asia mainland eventually reaching as far as Madagascar. By 1000 BC the Austronesians discovered Polynesia and went on to settle most of the Pacific Islands. Sweet Potatos was a sign that Austro-Polynesians reached as far as South America for trade with the Native people of the land. Thousands of years of trade by seas and oceans, the Austro-Polynesian were now master seafarers.

Linguistically you can trace the Austronesian migration by the formation of word structure similarities. Most word structures are of a consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel arrangement. The map below right shows the Austronesian Language Group.

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