Kiwi, Maori or Polynesian dopers - 7 point star?

I put out another GQ on this subject, but more generalized.

This time I specifically wanted the attention of people living in Polynesia who might have some inside information on what the seven-pointed star symbol means in Polynesia.

I’ve seen modern Kiwi tattoos, ancient Maori Tattoos and petroglyphs, carvings, weavings, etc., but no one is either willing or able to tell me what it means.

I’m not interested in modern interpretations, I’ve found all them. I want to know why the pre-contact Polynesians used the seven-pointed star symbol.

Anyone know?

Only thing I can think of is that it may be something to do with the Pleides in astronomical terms, the rise of the Pleides or Matariki in Maori signalling the start of another year, another cycle. They identify seven stars in the Pleides. Perhaps, that is the seven points. Where is it that you’ve seen this symbol in traditional art from this part of the world, Snakespirit?

can you post a picture? I cant recall seeing ancient star patterns in maori sculpture and tattoos, but I probably was not noticing

The Pleides suggests a connection, 7 stars, 7 points, but I’ve not heard it confirmed.

I just started a website with pictures. So far I only have a few, the basket cover from Majuro being the best example of Polynesian use. A figurine found in the Nazca plain has seven pointed stars on the cheeks and many elements reminiscent of Maori Moko tattoos (lines on chin, along face, etc.). A logo from a Hawaiian Organization (I asked, no answer yet).

I’ll find more and let you know when I post them.

The Nazca figure original site:
A figurine, about halfway down the page, although from the Nazca plain in South America (which may have had cultural ties with Polynesia) displays seven-pointed stars with central ‘eye’ on its cheeks.

May have had cultural ties? Are you talking about that crackpot Thor Hyerdahl’s theory? If so that’s been pretty much shot out of the water by anthropologists and linguists.

A seven pointed star means little if you’re going to say “may have had cultural ties”

Hell, the native tribes in California often used a hand print in their rock art, but does that mean they “may have cultural ties” with the Aboriginies of Australia?

Are you always so rude? It undermines your credibility, you know.

The possibility of cultural ties between Polynesia and South America remains an open issue, and most of we anthropologists are open to the possibility that after traveling across thousand of miles of ocean to Easter Island, a couple hundred more miles to South America is not unreasonable.

Evidence for sustained, migratory or generational contact is lacking, and heyerdahl’s theory was that Polynesians originated in South America. That has been demonstrated to be erroneous.

Contact, and cultural exchange, however, is highly likely.

Just FYI, to help conquer your ignorance.

Are you always this sensitive?

I’m so sorry for hurting your feelings. I apologize for being direct and not adding in smilies and happy faces.

Ok Mr. Anthropologist, what evidence is there for contact between the easter islanders and the Nazca?

Yes, i know this, hence my comment “shot out of the water”.

Ok, then what evidence is there, other than your 7 pointed star with eye that the Nazca have? My guess is you were so wrapped up in my perceived rudeness you’ve forgotten to give it. So the challenge is up to you, and i repeat what evidence is there that there was contact between the Nazca and the Polynesians?

This is a general questions thread on the meaning of the 7-pointed star in Polynesia.

If you want that kind of information, please start your own thread instead of hijacking this one.

I received some back-channel information in response to this thread that the symbol is representative of Tangaloa (Kanaloa, Tanaroa, Tanaloa). The informant didn’t know why the 7 points, just heard it from grandparents…

Kanaloa was one of the ancestral spirits revered by Polynesians, and had associations with the ocean.

Any bells?

Come on, we don’t have more dopers than that in the South Pacific?

You mean this is a “lost doper cause?” an “Unanswerable Question?”

Can’t be. I don’t believe it!

Forgive me if I missed it, but what evidence is there of “pre-contact” seven-pointed stars in Polynesia?

After doing some research, I have two ideas on the meaning
Idea the first

The star was originally five-pointed with a burning eye set in the center. It was the sign of an ancestral/guardian(Muunara, Minari, Menehar) spirit who protected the Polynesians from the shark god and ‘the menfish children of the deep water dragon’ (Shuluu, Kaathulu, Kuluu) Over time, the fire and eye became more stylized. Eventually (I’m having problems with my browser now. I’ll post some links later) the eye overlapped the star rather than being within it. The pupil formed the central hub of the star as well. The symbol continued to become more abstract, eventually becoming a seven-pointed star with a disc in its center.
Idea the second

That the first idea is just a veiled in joke based on the Cthulu mythos.

Shit, Doc, I thought you were my friend…

Well, I guess a whoosh is as good as a bump…

Actually, you’ve piqued my interest in the subject as well. I’ve long been interested in mythology. But during my one visit to Hawaii I was unable to find a decent book on Polynesian mythology. There were plenty of keychains of the gods, but no books explaining them. The Encyclopedia Mythica does have entries on Polynesian mythology, but they give few details.

If the seven-pointed star is so prevalent in Polynesian art, I’m very curious as to what it means.

And if you understood the principle of the board you’d post a cite to back up your claims when asked.

I really don’t think you know anything about what you’re saying. It’s apparently too hard for you to list cites (and i can get access to books, it’s called “Interlibrary Loan”), that, or you’re spouting off some new-age hippie crap about how all ancient cultures are OBVIOUSLY connected due to similar symbology (honestly, how hard is it to come up with 7 pointed stars?)

Can you actually post anything to back up your claim, or are you trying to blow smoke up my…


Sorry, Doc I did post a reply to this right away, but it seems to have disappeared.

A good book on Polynesian Mythology is … Hawaiian Mythology by Martha Beckwith. Should be available at a library.

Actually, the seven-pointed star is not very prevalent… anywhere. The fact that it does appear in pre-contact Polynesia, and few other places, is of interest to me. In fact, it was the first place I found reference to it, way back in 1972. I first saw it when I drew it - out of my own imagination. It looked… like it meant something, so I started looking for it.

The first reference I found was a questionable source, The Children of the Rainbow by Serge Kahili King, a self-styled Hawaiian researcher. After I finished my studies in Anthropology and came to hawaii and had access to the Bishop Museum I found the symbol is common in Polynesian tattooing, especially in New Zealand (Aotearoa), and the Marquesas. It also shows up in basketwork, tapa prints, and petroglyphs, pretty randomly.

A recent contact I made suggests it is related to Kanaloa (the Polynesian diety associated with the ocean), but doesn’t know why the 7 points. He said his grandmother (Hawaiian) told him it was the “eye of Kanaloa.”

The catholic church also uncommonly uses a seven-pointed star in stained glass, to represent the seven virtues or something, Cherokee use it to represent the seven tribes, Australia uses it to represent the seven “states” (on their flag), but I’m particularly interested in the original meaning to the polynesians.

I had another thread on the same issue, Seven Pointed Star - but it was unproductive, so I decided to call on Polynesians particularly.

Hope this brings you up to speed.

If you would bother to read the posts, you would see that I am not making any claims, I am asking a question. This is, General Questions, not Great Debates.

Doobieous, please tone it down. This is GQ.

If you believe the OP’s beliefs are in error, feel free to correct him with facts. If you take exception to the beliefs of the OP, feel free to start another thread in an appropriate forum. If you cannot help with answering the question in the OP, kindly refrain from responding in this thread.

Thank you for your cooperation.

General Questions Moderator

Petroglyphs, for one, but the most solid evidence is in the drawings made of Maori tattoos by the first explorers to Aotearoa. Their drawings are similar in style and quality to those done by Webber of Hawaiians, and several of them show seven-pointed stars inside circles with a central disk. Other instances may be more modern, but it’s naieve to assume that the English or French taught them how to make 7-pointed stars.

Last bump before I give up and accept that this is a piece of ignorance we can’t fight.

Lost upon the endless seas of time…

Thanks all.