COMPARISON AND ANALYSIS OF ESCHATOLOGICAL THEMES IN POLYNESIAN MYTHOLOGY AS A SURVIVOR OF PROTOPOLYNESIAN UNITY
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This article deals with the comparison and analysis of eschatological themes in Polynesian myths. It points to three central themes of imagining the afterlife: the underworld, the homeland and the heavenly world. In addition to this, the article also discusses imaginings of the soul's departure to the other world. From the presented material, it becomes clear that even though there are certain differences among eschatological myths, there are also a number of common elements which provide proof of unity before the ancestors of the Polynesians spread to all parts of Polynesia. An especially interesting aspect is the understanding of the afterlife as a homeland to which spirits return after death. Upon the basis of linguistic research and mythology analysis, the conclusion can be made that the mythology of the inhabitants of western Polynesia - Tonga and Samoa - consider their homeland to be some islands in eastern Fiji. By contrast, the inhabitants of eastern Polynesia consider their homeland to be Hawaiki, which is clearly a reference to their long period of habitation in the island archipelago of western Polynesia, particularly Savai'i Island and the Samoan archipelago.
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