There is the true Kei Islander, a Polynesian by his height and black or brown wavy hair, with a complexion between the Papuan black and the Malay yellow.
Ellis, Polynesian Researches, 1834, iv.
With the gradual subsidence of these areas their culture would necessarily degenerate, although echoes of sublime theogonies and philosophies are still heard in the oral traditions and folklore of many Polynesian groups.
Where this home lay it is not easy to say, but the facts recorded by many writers as to the resemblance between the Polynesian and the Malayan races, and the strong Malayan element found in the languages of the former (see Tregear's Maori and Comparative Polynesian Dictionary, London, 1891), have led some students to think that the two races may have had a common origin.
Nias has an interesting native population, apparently of pre-Malayan origin; and the Mentawi islands (q.v.) are inhabited by a race generally held to be a Polynesian settlement which has escaped fusion with Malayan stock.
We can, however, account for the presence of Polynesian blood in Fiji in another way, viz.
Grey, Polynesian Mythology and Maori Legends (Wellington, 1885); A.
Persistent efforts have also been made to introduce Polynesian islanders, as being of a cognate race with the Hawaiians, but the results have been wholly unsatisfactory.
In the northern peninsula are found people of Papuan type, probably representing the aborigines, and a tribe around Galela, who are Polynesian in physique, possibly remnants, much mixed by subsequent crossings with the Papuan indigenes, of the Caucasian hordes emigrating in prehistoric times across the Pacific. M.
In the low and sub-mountainous lands the flora is a mixture of Malayan, Australian and Polynesian forms. There are, according to Muller, twice as many palms known from New Guinea as from Australia.