Add to this the multiple lines of evidence linking Rapa Nui with Mangareva detailed by Green (1998; 2000), and Weisler's (1998) demonstration that Mangareva was once joined in a voyaging sphere with Pitcairn and Henderson, tiny islands located several hundreds of miles closer to Rapa Nui, and it becomes apparent that Mangareva with its outliers stand out as the most likely region whence sailed those who discovered and settled Rapa Nui.
However, although Nainoa Thompson, the master Hawaiian navigator in charge of the voyage, accepted Mangareva as the logical departure point for the drive east to Rapa Nui, he rejected the strategy of using winter westerlies to sail there.
The sight of such `navigator birds' would therefore have enabled early explorers who ventured east far beyond Mangareva and its outliers to sense the presence of Rapa Nui well before they could have actually seen it.
Instead of risking the mid-winter westerlies and accompanying weather conditions, Nainoa decided to leave Mangareva during the early spring when he expected that the intense westerlies of mid-winter would have died down, and then to tack into the trade winds that he hoped would begin blowing by then.
Since Rapa Nui lies 1400 nm from Mangareva this would mean sailing over more than 5000 nm of ocean if the voyage were made tacking directly into trade winds blowing from the direction of Rapa Nui.
After sailing from Hawai'i to Henua `Enana, and then around the Tuamotus Hokule'a arrived at Mangareva on 29 August 1999.
By timing the departure from Mangareva for late September, Nainoa had avoided the strong mid-winter westerlies, and except for the last few days clear patches of sky enabled him and his co-navigators to make needed star sights.
dates published for the Tuamotus, Mangareva
, Pitcairn and Henderson Island, although a preliminary report of recent work on Henderson notes new calibrated radiocarbon ages extending back to the late 8th century AD (Weisler et al.
In some societies, such as Rapanui, Marquesas, or Mangareva
, this situation was also marked, according to ethographic and ethnohistoric sources, by aggression that included warfare or raiding between competing groups, taking of enemy victims for sacrificial offerings and cannibalism (Kirch 2000).
Early southern Cook Island fish-hooks heads also are similar to those from the Society (Sinoto & McCoy 1975; Sinoto 1988) and Hawaiian (Sinoto 1962) Islands, New Zealand (Duff 1956; Leach 1979) and, to a lesser extent, Tuamotu Islands (Sinoto 1976), Mangareva
(Green 1960), the Austral Islands (Verin 1969) and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) (Ayres 1979).