The problem of how Polynesia was populated has caused more controversy than most any other puzzle in the history of anthropology.There is no doubt that Asia played an important role in human migrations that populated much of the Pacific, but there are other possibilities from other directions that have been discredited by many experts and perhaps occurred long before any migration from Asia.Many anthropologists rule out the possibility that South Americas had contact with Polynesia, arguing that the ships available to native South Americans in recent millennia and sailors who manned them were not able to make long trips in the open ocean. However, there is contrary evidence indicating quite the opposite throughout South America, such as reed boats drawings stocked with water and supplies for long trips. This valuable information is depicted in the pyramids in South America as well as in numerous ceramic art that clearly shows the drawing of maritime sailing rafts made of reeds and balsa logs rafts in Peru, Bolivia and Chile.The elements favor a western movement by ocean currents and winds that prevail across the South Pacific directly from the coast of Chile/Peru, where ancient pre-Inca civilizations regularly dominated the coasts and possessed rafts and materials used for its construction. Sailing against these natural migration routes would have been difficult in any style boat of the time.Moreover, giant stone heads or Moai of Easter Island have become one of the most important symbols of the unsolved mysteries of antiquity. Likewise, the little known city Tiwuanaku, located in the highlands of Bolivia, which also has giant stone shapes and pyramids, is also a baffling mystery today. Could they have been related? There are numerous similarities between Tiwuanaku and Polynesian islands suggesting a common ancestry.Some of these parallels between the two regions include the use of reed rafts, rock sculpture, stepped pyramids, sun worship, useful plant species, cults and rituals that include man-bird shapes, and the practice of deforming and lengthening their ears among many other similarities.
One of the most striking South American legends refers to God the Creator Sun; Kon-Tiki Viracocha or simply Viracocha. According to this legend, a he appeared as a white-skinned and bearded, something not seen in the New World. He created man and civilization, i.e. the city of Tiwuanaku in today's Bolivia. This city was built with stepped pyramids, human shapes made of rock and stone works of large blocks of fine stonework, using reed rafts to transport large blocks of stone to the site. When his work was finished, he travelled to the coast with some of his followers and disappeared to the west by sea, following the setting sun. Almost simultaneously, according to legend of Easter Island, the first settlers came from the east. Could the Viracocha people have been the first settler of Easter Island which carried the seeds of civilization?
The Spanish chronicler Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa uncovered a version of the story that the Inca Tupac Yupanqui had sailed from the coast of Ecuador, in the year 1465, with a fleet of rafts, reaching some islands called Ninachumbi and Auachumbi. Paul Rivet and Thor Heyerdahl interpreted Aua-Chumbi as Mangareva in the mid Pacific and Nina-Chumbi as Easter Island (Guliayev 1992: 276). This may have been a real event and not just a legend.
An important fact for scientific validation of the Viracocha Expedition is the existence of the ceremonial center Ahu Vinupu on Easter Island, a stone wall built of large slabs, carefully made to fit together, which is different from any other existing on the island and very similar to the Inca walls of Sacsayhuaman in Cusco, Peru. According to the Peruvian historian, J. A. del Busto and others like J. H. D aude, based on the Spanish chronicles accounts of the sixteenth century, such as P. Sarmiento, that Ahu Vinapu was built by the Inca Tupac Yupanqui during his expedition in the Pacific during the year 1465.
The historian José Antonio del Busto is given credit to have discovered the fact that on the Pacific Island of Mangareva exists a legend about a King Tupa who came from the East on rafts with sails, bringing jewelry, ceramics and textiles. A similar story exists in the Marquesas Islands to the North. Moreover, he adds that the Ahu Vinapu on Easter Island, which is constructed similarly to the Inca stonework of Cusco, Peru and that the King Tupa in Rapa Nui have taken the name of Mahuna-Te Ra'a, translated as “Son of the Sun” based on a Rapa Nui legend. It is estimated that the Inca voyage took nine months. Here is the story, chronicled by Sarmiento de Gamboa:
“And Topa Inga Yupanqui was conquering Manta coast and Puna & Túmbez island, some merchant landed there who came from the sea to the west sailing in raft. They were informed that the land they came from was called Auachumbi and the other Ninachumbe, where many people lived and there is gold..…it was determined that they would go there. For this reason a large number of rafts were made, they departed with more than twenty thousand chosen soldiers. Topa Inga sailed west and then discovered Auachumbi and Ninachumbi Islands. He came back with black people and a large amount of gold and other metals and the skin and jaw of a horse. Topa Inga Yupanqui took more than nine months, some say he took a year, as he took so much time he was presumed to be dead, as there was no news about Topa Inga…”
Surely the biggest indicator of migration of primitive men is the botanical evidence. There are several species of plants that have been found in both Polynesia and South America which is widely recorded by the first European explorers that visited those regions, particularly in the case of useful plants, i.e. an explorer of new land probably would have carried on a long journey. The plant list includes reed (Scirpus Riparius), which was used to build reed boats. This plant, coincidentally, grows on the shores of Titicaca lake near Tiwuanaku and the crater lakes of Easter Island.Other useful plants found in both regions are tomatoes, the sweet potato, tobacco, the bottle gourd, papaya, wild pineapple and coconut palm. It has been proven that many of these plant species have existed longer in the Americas than in Polynesia, suggesting a western migration from South America. It has also been understood that most of these plants could only have been transported by man, because the seeds could not have survived drifting at sea or via the migratory flight of a bird.