Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Published:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2011.0060

    We consider patterns in the evolution of canoe technology in the eastern Pacific relative to three general processes: movement of canoe traits along the Polynesian settlement sequence, adaptations to local island environment, and post-settlement interaction between island groups. Using model selection methods on the distributions of canoe technology, we show that social and ecological covariates together consistently outperform each considered individually, though knowledge of island area and post-settlement trading spheres does not add explanatory power. In particular, decorative canoe traits are not effectively explained by either our ecological or transmission models. We also estimate negative effects from both settlement sequence and island geomorphology, consistent with the die-off of particular canoe designs on resource-rich high island groups such as Hawaii and New Zealand. This decline in measured traits may be owing to the lifting of ecological constraints on population size or building materials.

    References

    • 1
      Gaddis J. L.. 2002 The landscape of history: how historians map the past. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
    • 2
      Wimsatt W. C.& Griesemer J. R.. 2007 Reproducing entrenchments to scaffold culture: the central role of development in cultural evolution. Integrating evolution and development: from theory to practice (eds , Sansom R.& Brandon R. N.), pp. 227–234. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Google Scholar
    • 3
      Edgerton R. B.. 1971 The individual in cultural adaptation: a study of four East African peoples. Berkeley, MA: University of California Press. Google Scholar
    • 4
      Guglielmino C. R., Viganotti C., Hewlett B.& Cavalli-Sforza L. L.. 1995 Cultural variation in Africa: role of mechanisms of transmission and adaptation. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 92, 7585–7589.doi:10.1073/pnas.92.16.7585 (doi:10.1073/pnas.92.16.7585). Crossref, PubMed, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 5
      Nisbett R. E.& Cohen D.. 1996 Culture of honor: the psychology of violence in the south. New directions in social psychology. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Google Scholar
    • 6
      Richerson P.& Boyd R.. 2005 Not by genes alone: how culture transformed human evolution. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Google Scholar
    • 7
      Eerkens J. W., Bettinger R. L.& McElreath R.. 2006 Cultural transmission, phylogenetics, and the archaeological record. Mapping our ancestors (eds , Lipo C. P., O'Brien M. J., Collard M.& Shennan S. J.), pp. 169–183. London, UK: Aldine Transactions. Google Scholar
    • 8
      Temkin I.& Eldredge N.. 2007 Phylogenetics and material cultural evolution. Curr. Anthropol. 48, 146–153.doi:10.1086/510463 (doi:10.1086/510463). Crossref, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 9
      Steward J. H.. 1955 Theory of cultural change: the methodology of multilinear evolution. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Google Scholar
    • 10
      Diamond J.. 2002 Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication. Nature 41, 700–707.doi:10.1038/nature01019 (doi:10.1038/nature01019). Crossref, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 11
      Johnson A. W.& Earle T. K.. 2000 The evolution of human societies: from foraging group to agrarian state, 2nd edn. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Google Scholar
    • 12
      Kirch P. V.. 2007 Hawaii as a model system for human ecodynamics. Am. Anthropol. 109, 8–26.doi:10.1525/aa.2007.109.1.8 (doi:10.1525/aa.2007.109.1.8). Crossref, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 13
      Rogers A. R.& Cashdan E.. 1997 The phylogenetic approach to comparing human populations. Evol. Hum. Behav. 18, 353–358. Crossref, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 14
      Cashdan E.& Rogers A. R.. 1997 Book review of ‘human nature: a critical reader’. Evol. Hum. Behav. 18, 279–283. Crossref, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 15
      Winterhalder B.& Smith E. A.. 2000 Analyzing adaptive strategies: human behavioral ecology at twenty-five. Evol. Anthropol. Issues News Rev. 9, 51–72.doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6505(2000) (doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6505(2000)). Crossref, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 16
      Harris M.. 1968 The rise of anthropological theory: a history of theories of culture. London, UK: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. Google Scholar
    • 17
      Sahlins M. D.. 1976 The use and abuse of biology: an anthropological critique of sociobiology. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press (Marshall Sahlins 22 cm). CrossrefGoogle Scholar
    • 18
      Betzig L. L.. 1997 Human nature: a critical reader. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
    • 19
      Mead M.. 1957 Introduction to Polynesia as laboratory for the development of models in the study of cultural evolution. J. Polynesian Soc. 66, 145. Google Scholar
    • 20
      Whyte A. L. H., Marshall S. J.& Chambers G. K.. 2005 Human evolution in Polynesia. Hum. Biol. 77, 157–177.doi:10.1353/hub.2005.0045 (doi:10.1353/hub.2005.0045). Crossref, PubMed, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 21
      Irwin G.. 1992 The prehistoric exploration and colonisation of the Pacific. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.doi:10.1017/CBO9780511518225 (doi:10.1017/CBO9780511518225). CrossrefGoogle Scholar
    • 22
      Anderson A.. 2000 Slow boats from China: issues in the prehistory of Indo-Pacific seafaring. East of Wallace's line: studies of past and present maritime cultures in the Indo-Pacific region (eds , O'Connor S.& Veth P.), pp. 13–50. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: A. A. Balkema. Google Scholar
    • 23
      Thomas T.. 2008 The long pause and the last pulse: mapping east Polynesian colonisation. Islands of inquiry: colonisation, seafaring and the archaeology of maritime landscapes (eds , Clark G., Leach F.& O'Connor S.), pp. 97–112. Canberra, Australia: Australian National University E Press. Google Scholar
    • 24
      Gray R. D., Drummond A. J.& Greenhill S. J.. 2009 Language phylogenies reveal expansion pulses and pauses in pacific settlement. Science 323, 479–483.doi:10.1126/science.1166858 (doi:10.1126/science.1166858). Crossref, PubMed, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 25
      Weisler M. I.. 1998 Hard evidence for prehistoric interaction in Polynesia. Curr. Anthropol. 39, 521–532.doi:10.1086/204768 (doi:10.1086/204768). Crossref, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 26
      Doran E. B.. 1981 Wangka: Austronesian canoe origins, 1st edn. College Station, TX: A&M University Press. Google Scholar
    • 27
      Anderson A.. 2001 Towards the sharp end: the form and performance of prehistoric Polynesian voyaging canoes. Pacific 2000: Proc. of the 5th Int. Conf. on Easter Island and the Pacific (eds , Stevenson C. M., Lee G.& Morin F. J.), pp. 29–36. Los Osos, CA: Easter Island Foundation. Google Scholar
    • 28
      Horridge G. A.. 1987 Outrigger canoes of Bali and Madura, Indonesia. Honolulu, HI: Bishop Museum Press. Google Scholar
    • 29
      Haddon A. C.& Hornell J.. 1936 Canoes of Oceania. Honolulu, HI: Bernice P. Bishop Museum. Google Scholar
    • 30
      Rogers D. S.& Ehrlich P. R.. 2008 Natural selection and cultural rates of change. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 3416–3420.doi:10.1073/pnas.0711802105 (doi:10.1073/pnas.0711802105). Crossref, PubMed, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 31
      Skoyles J. R.. 2008 Natural selection does not explain cultural rates of change. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105.doi:10.1073/pnas.0802586105 (doi:10.1073/pnas.0802586105). Crossref, PubMed, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 32
      Berger J. O.& Berry D. A.. 1988 Statistical analysis and the illusion of objectivity. Am. Sci. 76, 159–165. Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 33
      Cohen J.. 1994 The world is round (p < 0.05). Am. Psychol. 49, 997–1003.doi:10.1037/0003-066X.49.12.997 (doi:10.1037/0003-066X.49.12.997). Crossref, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 34
      Anderson D. R., Burnham K. P.& Thompson W. L.. 2000 Null hypothesis testing: problems, prevalence, and an alternative. J. Wildl. Manag. 64, 912–923.doi:10.2307/3803199 (doi:10.2307/3803199). Crossref, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 35
      Hilborn R.& Mangel M.. 1997 The ecological detective: confronting models with data. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
    • 36
      Johnson J. B.& Omland K. S.. 2004 Model selection in ecology and evolution. Trends Ecol. Evol. 19, 101–108.doi:10.1016/j.tree.2003.10.013 (doi:10.1016/j.tree.2003.10.013). Crossref, PubMed, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 37
      Bolker B. M.. 2008 Ecological models and data in R. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Google Scholar
    • 38
      Burnham K.& Anderson D.. 2002 Model selection and multi-model inference: a practical information-theoretic approach. Berlin, Germany: Springer. Google Scholar
    • 39
      Kirch P. V.. 2000 On the road of the winds: an archaeological history of the Pacific Islands before European contact. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Google Scholar
    • 40
      Rogers D. S., Feldman M. W.& Ehrlich P. R.. 2009 Inferring population histories using cultural data. Proc. R. Soc. B. 276, 3835–3843.doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.1088 (doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.1088). Link, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 41
      Lewis D.. 1978 The voyaging stars: secrets of the Pacific island navigators. New York, NY: W. W. Norton. Google Scholar
    • 42
      Kirch P. V.. 1984 The evolution of the Polynesian chiefdoms (New studies in archaeology). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
    • 43
      Biggs B.. 2006 Kimihia te mea ngaro: seek that which is lost. Auckland, NZ: The Polynesian Society. Google Scholar
    • 44
      Banack S.. 1991 Plants and polynesian voyaging. Islands, plants, and Polynesians: an introduction to Polynesian ethnobotany (eds , Banack P. A. C.& Anne S.), pp. 25–39. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. Google Scholar
    • 45
      Mueller-Dombois D.& Fosberg F. R.. 1998 Vegetation of the tropical Pacific islands. New York, NY: Springer. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
    • 46
      Spiegelhalter D. J., Best N. G., Carlin B. P.& Van der Linde A.. 2002 Bayesian measures of model complexity and fit. J. R. Stat. Soc. Ser. B 64, 583–639.doi:10.1111/1467-9868.00353 (doi:10.1111/1467-9868.00353). CrossrefGoogle Scholar
    • 47
      Gill J.. 2008 Bayesian methods: a social and behavioral sciences approach. Boca Raton, FL: Chapman & Hall/CRC. Google Scholar
    • 48
      Henrich J.. 2004 Demography and cultural evolution: how adaptive cultural processes can produce maladaptive losses—the Tasmanian case. Am. Antiquity 69, 197–214.doi:10.2307/4128416 (doi:10.2307/4128416). Crossref, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar
    • 49
      Gray R. D., Bryant D.& Greenhill S. J.. 2010 On the shape and fabric of human history. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 365, 3923–3933.doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0162 (doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0162). Link, Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar