Talk:Austronesian peoples

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Prehistory and history[edit]

This section provides no citations or any reliable resources so I think that section needs to be removed.

As stated here:

"This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (November 2008) " PinoyFilAmPride (talk) 01:02, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

needs work[edit]

Hey y'all, Your intro section leaves out Taiwan, which is not in Oceania or SE Asia.. it's in NE Asia.. and I'm not so sure the Filipinos are Formosan. I'll check. Later --Ling.Nut 01:42, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Info from the 1911 Encyc. Brit.? OK, now I see the prob. This article is new... and it needs more than a little work. Everything needs to be cited; I have doubts about many of the facts as presented. Are we sure that the subcategories given are valid & reflect a consensus among scholars? Are we sure we have other facts straight? I'll try to help, whenever I can. Cheers! --Ling.Nut 02:00, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Taiwan isn't NE Asia at all. It is the absolute southernmost area considered to be E Asia and not SE Asia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 133.19.126.5 (talkcontribs).

I added more stuff, but I'm sorry if its too rough at the moment. I'll probably gather alot of info from the other sections of existing articles related ot the austronesian people(the Malay, South east asians, the pacific islanders, hawaiians, polynesians, etc). I'll probably go ahead and borrow some pics from those articles as well. I need sleep at the moment so anybody is welcome to do this to-do list --Chicbicyclist 03:17, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

follow the WikiProject Ethnic Groups template[edit]

When making new sections, I'd like to follow the template here, albeit disincluding some sections. For example, I would be very hesitant about putting an "appearance" section.(In fact, I removed that section). --Ling.Nut 12:19, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps changing the name of that section from "Appearance" to "Characteristic Features" in line with the caucasian page. I was actually trying to figure out a better name last night and figured somebody would come along and change it. I still feel it should be included because the austronesians are factually distcintive looking compared to the east asians, causcasians and the africans. I would assume a workable npov entry about it would work. --Chicbicyclist 02:45, 16 September 2006 (UTC)


Filipinos: Formosan as opposed to Malay[edit]

User Matthewprc recently edited the Geographic Distribution section and grouped the /filipinos with the Formosan group from the Malays. Any references or sources for this? --Chicbicyclist 09:06, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Hi! The Capelli, et.al. journal (link) specifically answers your question. The haplotypes for Filipino and Taiwanese aboriginal participants were analyzed, and have been found to be similar. In fact, the haplotype of the Filipinos are even closer to that of the Taiwanese aborigines than to that of other Austronesians (such as those in Borneo and in Indonesia). And to further it, Filipinos actually have facial features closer to the Taiwanese aborigines than to the Malays of Malaysia and Indonesia. -- User:Matthewprc 05:54, 26 September 2006 (UTC+8)
I guess the definition on Malay does not depend on the genetic characteristics of the population but on the cultural characteristics. The Philippines is Malay because like Malaysia and Indonesia, it has been heavily influenced by Indian, Chinese and Islamic cultures. Besides, a substanstial number of Filipinos have genes from non-Asian ethnic groups but that doesn't make them less Filipino. Also, the languages of the Philippines all belong to the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup, which may have different cultural characteristics to all Formosan ethnic groups excluding the Tao people. 23prootie 17:54, 27 September 2006 (UTC)


I also would like to point out that the sample sizes were quite small(I'm not sure if thats significant in the genetic sense), and did not say what part of the Philippines the sample population came from. It's possible that they tested those in northern Luzon, which arguably had less contact with those from the rest of Southeast Asia. Many legends in the Central Philippine islands, while not to be taken without appropriate amounts of grains of salt, speak of waves migration from neighboring Borneo, a few hundreds of years up to over a thousand after the original Austronesians leapfrogged from Taiwan, northern Philippines and the rest of SEA.--Chicbicyclist 20:16, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Would Matthewprc please fix that link so that I may actually view the article by Capelli et al. in which it is claimed that genetic evidence supports the hypothesis of a closer genetic relationship between Filipinos and Taiwanese aborigines than between Filipinos and other Malayo-Polynesian-speaking peoples? This is very interesting news to me, because I have found in the results of many surveys of human Y-chromosome diversity that the Taiwanese aborigines and many Filipino populations display the mutation that defines Y-chromosome Haplogroup O1a at an unusually high frequency. Populations of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Polynesia display very different distributions of Y-chromosome diversity. West-Central Indonesians and Malaysians tend to display a rather high frequency of Haplogroup O2a Y-chromosomes, which are otherwise typical of Austro-Asiatic-speaking peoples of continental Southeast Asia and South Asia. East Indonesians and Polynesians, on the other hand, are very clearly peoples of mixed ancestry resulting from the hybridization of Malayo-Polynesian-speaking invaders and autochthonous Papua-Melanesian peoples. Micronesians are a very mixed bag, apparently reflecting influences from both post-hybridization, Oceanic-speaking proto-Polynesians and from some population closely related to modern Filipinos. One fact that I think is very important to point out to people is that the "unusual" features of East Indonesians and Polynesians are not characteristic of the original proto-Austronesians, who appear to have been a rather typical East Asian race bearing a close resemblance to peoples of China; the non-Mongoloid features of East Indonesians and Polynesians are simply the result of their ancestors' having intermarried with Melanesoid-Australoid populations in antiquity and with European colonists in more recent times. Ebizur 23:34, 9 December 2006 (UTC)


What about the Ati and other indigenous, more negroid groups in the Philippines? How do we work them into the article? Here on Panay, the dominant racial group are Malay immigrants, arriving on boats and displacing the natives, as the story goes. There are yearly celebrations (with overtones of racial stereotyping) in Iloilo and Kalibo. We should also remember that "Filipino" is not a racial classification but an ethnic one, not unlike "hispanic". I think that is what 23prootie was getting at. There is no such thing as the "Filipino race". You can talk about the Filipino people the same way that you can talk about the American or Cuban people, but all three societies are multi-racial. --Bruce Hall (talk) 04:13, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Population estimate[edit]

Thanks 23pootie. 380,000,000 sounds more plausible than either 350,000,000 or 400,000,000.--Chicbicyclist 00:03, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, welcome.:) 23prootie 00:23, 5 October 2006 (UTC)


...the aforementioned statement, and the untrustworthy negotiation of crucial figures in the background, thus proving the academia right: never trust wikipedia. cheers!


...uhm hi, I'm a college student, and i wonder if you could give me the list of some names of some authors(of the book) who wrote about or related to Austronesean ?? from TC 1-6gal — Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.111.224.45 (talk) 12:26, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

culture section[edit]

I doubt that headhunting or cannibalism are common in either Southeast Asia or Oceania, though these practices have been reported. The article should emphasize the past nature of the practices mentioned and/or cite references for a recent event. Makerowner 04:50, 17 October 2006 (UTC)


Origins[edit]

I was reading about the demographics of the various countries listed and mentioned in this article and many of them still says the predominant(old and wrong?) version that states that their people came from Mainland southeast Asia, or that they originated from present day Malaysia. They contradict what is being said in this article, basically.

I would edit them to at least mention a competing theory but I don't want an edit war to ensue so I'll probably wait for an expert to touch this article and add more references. Speaking of references, how sure are we about the origins of the Austronesian people as south China-Taiwan-Philippines-the rest of Southeast Asia as opposed to Mainland Asia-Malay archipelago-Malay archipelago? We probably need better citations but what is the credibility of the current ones?--Chicbicyclist 06:42, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Austronesian Hinduism in Fiji?[edit]

I think your note on Hinduism being practised by Austronesians in Fiji is rather incorrect. Hinduism is mainly practised by the large Indian community in Fiji rather than the indigenous Austronesian population. Please correct this accordingly. FRM SYD 04:03, 25 January 2007 (UTC)


Populations Wrong[edit]

i notice the population of Austronesians were marked as the actual estimated countries populations. For example in Malaysia the population of Austronesians would only be around 16-18 million, as there are many Chinese Malaysians and Indian Malaysians. Philippines is the same but to a much lesser extent, they also have many Chinese Filipinos, and Indonesia aswel. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jandela (talkcontribs).

I agree. I'm about to add New Zealand to the list, using the total census population for the following groups: Maori, Pacific Peoples, Filipino, Indonesian, and Malay. I'll excluded groups such as Malaysian Chinese (because they're clearly out of scope), and also Vietnamese and Cambodian (because I'm not sure how many of them should count). I'll correct the Fijian number too. -- Avenue 10:30, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
New zealand should be added, but only if it says the maoris specificly Australian Jezza 03:23, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think there's room in the infobox to split out all the different groups. We could split the NZ total into Maori (565,000) and Other (290,000) if you like. This has reminded me about the original post. I'll try to fix the Malaysia problem now. -- Avenue 04:34, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

The intro says: The Austronesian people are a population group in Oceania and Southeast Asia who speak or had ancestors who spoke one of the Austronesian languages.

Well it is not only a matter of ancestry. As for Indonesia, most Indonesian-Chinese do speak an Austronesian language. In fact colloquial Indonesian-Malay is based on Sino-Malay. This applies also to Malaysia but albeitly only to the younger generations as there are many older Chinese who doesn't speak Malay. Meursault2004 06:34, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure if I entirely agree with that definition. In a New Zealand context, for instance, does someone with a European heritage who speaks Maori count as Austronesian? -- Avenue 10:05, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

but what i mean is that is you just put New Zealand down, that could mean the europeans, the indians, the chinese, it should say New Zealand- Maori, i don't think for the philippines there should be alist because the majority is austronesian if you understand what i mean haha Australian Jezza 08:07, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not suggesting we should count all New Zealanders (4.2 million), just the ones whose ethnicity is Austronesian. This includes not just Maori (565,000), but also people from other Polynesian cultures (about 265,000 people) and other Austronesian cultures (another 25,000 or so). Counting only Maori would be misleading. -- Avenue 10:05, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Then the intro should be changed or a note should be added. Meursault2004 10:31, 17 April 2007 (UTC)


I dont think Maoris, Fijians or Solomon Islanders should be include, plainly because htey are not Austronesians. They are Micronesians, Melnaesians and Polynesians. Am i right? anyone else think that?--Jandela 16:01, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Do you even know what Austronesians are? Read the text! Meursault2004 18:52, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Jandela... Micronesians, melanesians and Polynesians are Austronesians......Australian Jezza 04:48, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Removed Solomon Islands, and Fiji[edit]

They are not Austronesians.

Yes they are... please also sign after you commentAustralian Jezza 04:50, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

actually no Fijians are not Austronesians, they are mostly a mix between Polynesian (partly Tongan) and Melanesian ancestry. So i'm removing it becuase they clearly arent, please research the particular ethnicitys before reverting anything. --Jandela 14:50, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Sorry Jandela, I'm afraid you're wrong there. Polynesians are a subset of Austronesians, Melanesian is an old name for Oceanic Austronesian, now used more often used simply for "inhabitants of Melanesia" (and so includes the Papuan people of Melanesia as well). There's plenty of published evidence of this; see for example the table of contents of The Austronesians.

Ngio 20:48, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

ok fair enough, i was under the wrong idea that polynesian, micronesian,melnaesian and austronesian were their own seperate groups. My mistake i apologise, and thank you for clearing that up.--Jandela 17:37, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

No worries! -- Ngio 21:09, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

"related groups" info removed from infobox[edit]

For dedicated editors of this page: The "Related Groups" info was removed from all {{Infobox Ethnic group}} infoboxes. Comments may be left on the Ethnic groups talk page. Ling.Nut 23:16, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Melanesians[edit]

Why are all Melanesians counted as Austronesian on this page? While there are some who might be considered Melanesians who do speak Austronesian languages, many do not. --Krsont 12:45, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Revision[edit]

No source that Malay race was obsolete term of Austronesian people. Austronesian people is linguistic(now sometimes include genetics)-based classification comparing to Malay race idea that is now rejected. So it the two terms are different. Ayrenz (talk) 13:00, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, the terms are distinct. (Caniago (talk) 15:00, 9 May 2008 (UTC))

Cultural Revision[edit]

Deleted association of cannibalism with Austronesians as this was a practice in Papuan, not Austronesian,culture. Based on carbon-dating, the Papuan-speaking peoples preceeded the arrival of the Austronesians by at least 30,000 years in Melanesia. Peer-reviewed genome data published by Jonathan Friedlaender, et al. of Temple University entitled "The Genetic Structure of Pacific Islanders"[1] indicates little genetic relation between Austronesian/Polynesian and Papuan/Melanesian groups. Ritualistic consumption of the human body as a rite of empowerment and passage is covered by anthropologist Gilbert Herdt in "Ritualized Homosexuality in Melanesia (Studies in Melanesian Anthropology)"Anthroaustro (talk) 05:07, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Austronesian peoples[edit]

“Austronesians” refers to groups of different peoples – they are not a singular group, but many. There is no such thing as *the* Austronesian ethnic group, rather there are numerous Austronesian ethnic groups. Hence the article’s name. Further, while “Austronesian peoples” is factually correct it is also grammatically fine. --Merbabu (talk) 21:44, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

PS, further: this document listed in the references section uses "Austronesian peoples". --Merbabu (talk) 03:34, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

How about we remove everything that is not Austronesian?[edit]

I'm sorry, I just wanted to propose a way to restructure the article. How about we remove everything that is not Austronesian? Since the article is mainly concerned about the Austronesian peoples, why don't we remove paragraphs about outside influences like Indian and Western cultures and Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. So for example, we take out the writing subsection, because it's mostly a modification/descendent of the ancient Indian writing systems. On the other hand, the art of tattooing is a genuine product of the Austronesian peoples, so it should remain. And instead of having a paragraph on non-indigenous religions like Islam and Christianity, why not leave a simple sentence like for example, "Most Austronesians today have left traditional religions for Islam and Christianity" like the simple one sentence on Indian culture in the art subsection "Austronesian peoples living close to mainland Asia, are influenced by the native, Chinese, Indian, and Islamic art forms.", because if people wanted to know about the Indian and Chinese influence in Southeast Asia, they should look up the article 'Southeast Asia' and not 'Austronesian Peoples'. I know that the article would be much shorter than it is, but in my opinion as an article about Austronesian peoples, the article should overwhelmingly speak about indigenous arts, music and religions of the Austronesians and the similarities between them. I know that we can write so much about this, because this topic is huge ranging from Fijian traditional dances, traditional Taiwanese Aboriginal songs, to traditional Javanese games. Other things that are indigenous that we can write is for example, the way of life of the ancestor Austronesians with their bows and arrows, ship-building and navigating techniques, the roles of rice, pigs, dogs, chickens, coconuts, etc, their belief system, kinship, etc.

I would also think that recent history such as colonialism as not so important that we should go into details, considering that the whole world went through it. Colonialism is as unrelated to this article as the fact that many "Austronesian countries" joined the United Nations or that many Austronesians watch TV or that Austronesians are starting to go to supermarkets. If people wanted to read about it, they can find it in great detail in the articles 'History of Oceania', 'History of Southeast Asia', 'Colonialism', etc. Anyone else thinks this way?Senantiasa (talk) 13:27, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

I think a lot of what you say makes sense. Some text should be removed - but do you have reliable sources to add new material that is more relevant? --Merbabu (talk) 07:59, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Theoretical nature of the topic.[edit]

From what I can tell as an outside observer, the explanation presented is still a theory and has only been developed fairly recently. Earlier or conflicting theories probably still deserve mention. Here is one contrary source for example: Origins of the Filipinos and Their Languages by Wilhelm G. Solheim II Lambanog (talk) 05:55, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Where are Javanese?[edit]

I know nothing about anthropology, archaeology nor history, but I think this article should mention Javanese/Java, particularly in the Geographic section. How could a region/ethic with more than 85 million people isn't mentioned here? aren't they also Austronesian? Guybrush1979 (talk) 19:25, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes, the Javanese are definitely Austronesian Simon (talk) 08:19, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Dravidians[edit]

Are Dravidian peoples Austronesian? If not what are they? 97.122.162.181 (talk) 15:40, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

No, they're not Austronesian - they're, well, Dravidian. Simon (talk) 08:21, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Error in picture text (Atayal)[edit]

Text under picture of Taiwan aboriginal woman reads: "An Atayal tribal woman from southern Taiwan". The Atayal tribe inhabits the northern part of Taiwan, as seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwan_aborigine. It is therefore unlikely this woman is from southern Taiwan. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.249.134.194 (talk) 05:09, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Taiwan Origins in Doubt[edit]

It's not "in doubt", it's never been anything other than the reification of a language family. The languages came from Taiwan, but no-one that I know of thinks the people therefore did. All Central and Eastern MP languages show significant admixture form pre-AN languages, and it's always been accepted that the people mixed too, probably often more non-AN than AN. Western AN has always been more difficult to address, but was presumed to be mixed as well: Sumatra is grammatically similar to Mon-Khmer, for example. — kwami (talk) 09:59, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
This issue is more complex than at first glance. To claim that all Austronesians and Polynesians originated from Taiwan is plain untrue. The first question is, how did the Austronesian population reach Taiwan in the first place? I have read a book on the indigenous tribes of Formosa and some of the stories recounted by their tribal elders. Firstly, the Taiwanese aborigines comprise of several different tribes which have mutually unintelligible languages and each tribe had migrated to Taiwan during different time periods. Some tribes migrated from what is now the Philippines whilst others arrived from what is now called Indonesia. Some Taiwanese aborigines may also have from the 'Chinese' mainland (At some point in history, the Austronesians did inhabit the eastern coasts of the Chinese mainland.) Some may have bypassed Taiwan and settled directly to present day Japan using the Kurishio current. The fact is, Taiwan was used as a stepping stone to 'island hop' to other regions such as POlynesia. But other Austronesian tribes had previously resided in the Philippines and Indonesia prior to arriving in Taiwan. The fact is, Austronesian presence existed (and still exist as minority groups) in what is now called Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, China, and Japan. --BrianJ34 (talk) 05:32, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Do you have evidence for any of that? It appears to be complete nonsense, or least claims for things we have no knowledge of. — kwami (talk) 06:49, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. While, for example, Blench has compiled suggestions that Austronesian languages have spread further afield than where they are found now, that is not incompatible with the Out-of-Taiwan model at all and Blench does not claim so. In fact, he affirms the mainstream view.
Oppenheimer's and Gray's Out-of-Sundaland hypothesis is spammed all over Wikipedia, but people fail to notice that it is based on genetics, not linguistics. What is also generally not understood is that even if there was such a migration, Oppenheimer and Gray have (as far as I am aware) never produced any reason to think that their proposed migration is the migration that spread the Austronesian languages. It could well have been associated with a totally different language family that does not even exist anymore. (FWIW, it might have conceivably been associated with the spread of the larger, older family proposed by Blevins whose remainders would be Ongan and Austronesian as well as perhaps the Negrito substrata on the Philippines. But that would have been a far older migration. Indeed, any Sundaland migration is almost guaranteed to have been a far older migration than the Austronesian migration, as there is absolutely no reason to think that Sundaland even still existed at the time Proto-Austronesian was spoken, and it is extremely improbable that Proto-Austronesian is anywhere this old.) Hence, the OOT model has no serious contender so far.
This is comparable with the way Renfrew (like again, Gray) has never produced any credible reason for the identification of the spread of agriculture in Europe with the Indo-European expansion. It is entirely reasonable to propose that some language family did spread, but it is equally reasonable to assume that the Kurgan model is correct and the spread of agriculture precedes the Indo-European migrations – and hence, if a family did spread along with agriculture in Europe, it was a different family. This could well have been one of the substrata identified by Kuiper (mentioned here). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:33, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Papua New Guinea[edit]

The number of Austronesians in Papua New Guinea is simply listed as its entire population. This is inaccurate, a large portion of the population is not ethnically Austronesian, nor do they speak an Austronesian language. With no objections I'll edit accordingly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maayday (talkcontribs) 06:32, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Austronesian peoples[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Austronesian peoples's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "coco":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 13:47, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Cute bot — LlywelynII 08:25, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

io9 & Fujian[edit]

io9 has an article on how flooding in Fujian may have prompted the development of seafaring enabling the settlement of Taiwan, whence possibly the Austronesians. If the primary sources check out, it may be something to include in the background section. — LlywelynII 08:25, 2 April 2012 (UTC)