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Abstract

The well-documented cultivation of the sweet potato in East Polynesia, plus the much more arguable pre-European presence in Polynesia of other cultigens as well as some artifacts and human genes from South America, has been explained by various authorities as either the result of one-way raft voyages by South American sailors to Polynesia, or of two-way canoe voyages by Polynesian sailors to South America and return. Although the simplicity of imagining a raft voyage from South America to Polynesia is appealing, we should not dismiss the possibility that some particularly daring Polynesian sailors might have made a round-trip voyage.

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