Pacific island societies had been developing and changing for as long as they had existed in the Pacific.
The most sudden and extensive changes came with the arrival of Westerners, particularly after the voyages of Captain Cook in the eighteenth century.
In the earlier years of contact with the West, there were instances of both friendly and violent contact as two different maritime peoples met for the first time.
One direct result of extensive contact with Westerners was that the Islanders' own sailing craft and sailing routes were sometimes abandoned as were traditional navigational skills.
Only in some parts of the Pacific, especially in parts of Micronesia, did these skills survive.
Reference: Howe, KR (ed), Vaka Moana, Voyages of the Ancestors, Bateman, Auckland, 2006.
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