I recently received an email from a reader asking for information regarding the calendar used by Ancient Polynesians. The close relationships and vast sharing of knowledge among ancient Polynesia lead to a single calendar used by many polynesian islands.
WHERE THINGS WENT WRONG?
The efforts by foreigners and uninformed natives have lead to many calendar errors. These errors, accepted by the scientific and academic communities incorrectly represents Ancient Polyneisan Knowledge.
Let us take, as a case in point, the primary cause of errors in recording the Ancient Polynesian Calendar as used by the Ancient Tongan Civilization. We find the usual suspects of the language barrier, the lack of ancient cultural/political understanding, no concept of ancient polyneisan astronomy etc.
Another error was that researchers blindly accepted musical calendar references in songs to be factual, remember a song writer’s primary motivation is entertainment rather than being factually correct. The equivalent of Madonna referencing laws of Physics in a song for entertainment purposes, and scientists accepting the play on words as factual.
I first recognized the errors by Tongan musicians when I was a young farmer. There were references to the ancient Tongan months that did not align with traditional farming facts. These inconsistent ancient calendar references also carried over to cultural events and ancient Tongan astronomical knowledge.
THE COMMONLY ACCEPTED ANCIENT POLYNESIAN CALENDAR
- Liha’mu’a: January
- Liha’mui: February
- Vaimu’a: March
- Vaimui: April
- Faka afu-moui: May
- Faka afu-mate: June
- Hilingakelekele: July
- Hilingamea’aa: August
- ‘Ao’ao: September
- Fu’ufu’unekinanga: October
- Uluenga: November
- Tanumanga: December
- ‘O’oa ki Fangongo
WHERE ARE THE ERRORS?
The initial efforts of foreigners to understand the Tongan Calendar without considering ancient scientific, political, and agricultural knowledge of Ancient Tonga has created significant errors. The erroneous understanding of Lihamu’a as January and Liha’mui as February of the Tongan calendar does not consider the political, cultural, and seasonal relationship of these Tongan months.
Lihamu’a refers to the first season or harvest of yam and Lihamui refers to the second harvest of yams. Common farming practices validates Lihamu’a to be in the January time-frame but Lihamui (the second harvest) is not practiced in February but more in June.
The designation of Lihamu’a and Lihamui as consecutive months also fails the scientific knowledge of Ancient Tongan Astronomy and of Ancient Tongan Political Culture. The group of stars that represent Lihamu’a is Mataliki or Motuliki (Pleiades) are seen in the early evenings during December 21 and January 21, this coincides with the time of Polopolo (the first fruit season) for the Tui Tonga. Lihamui is the second season of your harvest, which is from June 21 to July 21, this is the time of Inasi (paying tribute or tax to the Tui Tonga.) The same group of stars Pleiades, which represents Lihamui, rises early in the morning before the sun rises.
Vaimu’a is the beginning of spring 23 of September to the 21 of October. The group of stars that represent Vaimu’a is Loto lua. Vaimui is the beginning of fall, which is the 21 of March to the 21 of April. The group of stars that represent Vaimui is Taulua or Ha’amonga o Maui.
TAU and KAU.
It is impossible to understand the concept of the Ancient Polynesian Calendar without recognizing the concept of Tau and Kau. Tau and Kau means something that is fixed forever or is a constant such as day and night, the Equator, the Milky Way. The concept of a constant or universal law serves as the foundation for building a system that is predictable. Just as modern day science uses physical laws as a foundation to base modern day scientific knowledge. It is the constant of seasons, movement of celestial bodies, and other ancient scientific constants that all the months of the Ancient Polynesian Calendar are based.
CORRECT ANCIENT POLYNESIAN CALENDAR
The correct Ancient Polynesian Calendar with the months in their proper places as used by the Ancient Tongan Civilization. * All information stated below are copyrighted by The Polynesian Eyes Foundation. Any reproduction of any form without the direct written consent of The Polynesian Eyes Foundation is prohibited.
- Lihamu’a: December 21 to January 21
- Tanumanga: January 21 to Feburary 21
- Vaimui: Feburary 21 to March 21
- Fu’ufu’unekinanga: March 21 to April 21
- Faka afu mate: April 21 to May 21
- Liha-mui: May 21 to June 21
- ‘Ao’ao: June 21 to July 21
- Fakaafu-moui : July 21 to August 21
- Vai mu’a: August 21 to September 23
- ‘Uluenga: September 23 to October 21
- Hilinga-mea’a: October 21 to November 21
- Hilinga-kelekele: November 21 to December 21