From the sea comes life, from the sea came the ancestors

So.. this explain where did my ancestors come from and the fact that I share some piece of language, culture and bloodline with Maori, Hawaian, even Malagasy… check this out bro and sist..

That was my post on my facebook wall couple days ago. It is very shameful that I never knew about my austronesian root and connection before. Perhaps, I was too lazy to study the history of Indonesia while I was in high school. The only thing that I remember, is that Indonesian people was originated from Yunan, somewhere in the mindland of China. Is Yunan the same concept and location as Taiwan aborigin that is believed as the ancestor of Austronesian people. I don’t know about it.

While I tried to google about “austronesian”, I came accross with this half-an-hour video, which is one of the best ways to understand the Austronesian. Even though there are some scenes that are not fully correct, I find the video interesting and educating. For example, in 0:50 minute, the picture shows a Balinese boy of Indonesian while the text said he is a Chams from Vietnam.

The Austronesian refer to a group of people that have similar pattern of linguistic who lives from Madagascar in the west to Easter Island in the east and from Taiwan in the north to New Zealand in the south, crossing some big nations such as Indonesia. It is believed that Austronesian is the largest linguistic group in the world. As we can see from the image shown below, Austronesian language is used by all of the people between the Malagasy of Madagascar in the western end, the Atayal of Taiwan in the Northen end, Maori of New Zealand in the southern end, and Rapa Nui of Easter Island in the Eastern end. Those all Austronesian languages are derived from a single ancestral language that eventually became languages of their own. Therefore, Austronesian languages are all related language and considered as the indigenous languages.


All Austronesian people preserve not only their Austronesian languages pattern but also share simillar cultural and philosophical concepts. As language is the way to express a world view, some concepts that lie as the foundation of Austronesian culture remain the same and pass to the next generations. The simple example can be observed from the way Austronesian people count numbers from 1 to 10. As Indonesian say “lima” for five, people from the Philippine, such as tagaloc or Cebuano also say “lima”.

Other interesting fact is the concept of “Benua” that refer to land or continent in Malay/Indonesian worldview. The old kingdom of Sriwijaya in Sumatera also use the word “vanua” to describe a nation or empire. These words, benua and vanua have similar meaning to Hawaiian word of “honua”, Samoan word of “fenua” or Maori word of “whenua”. Perhaps, Vanuatu, a pacific country, literally means an island nation. Interested with Austronesia and wanna know further? Just watch the movie on youtube link below.

From the sea comes life, from the sea came the ancestors – Hawaiian proverb

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