Made in Taiwan : genes, culture, and the peopling of the South Pacific

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  • DNA testing has become a standard tool in genealogical research, but it takes more than saliva swabs and lab reports to truly understand one's ancestry. In this program, two young New Zealanders of Polynesian descent undergo DNA sampling, wrestle with the surprising results, and then embark on a journey of discovery, searching for their roots across the Pacific and into Asia. Their voyage-by land, sea, and air-traces in reverse the steps their ancestors would have taken thousands of years ago, passing through the Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, and ending eventually in Taiwan. For studying the overlap between genomic research and the cultural aspects of human migration, this is a moving and highly relevant odyssey.


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on May 03, 2009.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.


  • DNA and Ancestors (1:15) -- DNA and Geography (1:28) -- New Zealand: Mahia Peninsula (1:14) -- DNA and Genealogy (1:41) -- Ancient Ancestor (1:13) -- Ancestral Journey (1:27) -- Genetic Journey: Cook Islands (1:49) -- Family: Distant Relations (1:36) -- Maori and Cook Islands Language (1:28) -- Genetic and Language Similarities (1:30) -- Genetic Journey: Samoa (1:25) -- Genetic History (1:31) -- Search for Ancestral Roots (1:19) -- Maternal Ancestors (1:52) -- Paternal Ancestors (2:03) -- Genetic Journey: Vanuatu (1:00) -- Ancient Artifacts (1:38) -- Vanuatu People (1:00) -- Daily Life on Vanuatu (1:59) -- Burial Site: Ancient Lapita People (1:37) -- Journey of the Lapita People (1:48) -- Genetic Journey: Taiwan (1:40) -- Indigenous People of Taiwan (1:43) -- Foods from Taiwan (1:10) -- Hill Tribe Celebration (1:20) -- Samoans and Taiwan Ancestors (1:20) -- Visit to a Local Village (2:10) -- Ancestral DNA (1:14) -- Successful Ancestral Journey (1:40)
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