Learn about the coconut’s incredible journey

  • Courtesy photo A coconut palm grove.

Until recently, the origins and migrations of the peoples of the Pacific were long lost or incompletely understood.

Complementing contributions by archaeology, linguistics and other fields, the biology of the tropics is providing some definitive answers: modern genetic studies of coconuts are shedding new light on humanity’s epic ocean voyages. Among a handful of plants whose modern distribution closely mirrors ancient human migrations, the humble coconut has been key to some of our species’ most noteworthy accomplishments — and to some of the greatest discoveries in modern science.

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Biologist John Stallman traces the path of the coconut across the illusive map of human history on two occasions at the Lyman Museum in Hilo. The first is from 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, with a 3-4:30 p.m. matinee Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Admission is free to Lyman Museum members; $3 for nonmembers.

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The museum is located at 276 Haili St.

For more information, call 935-5021 or visit www.lymanmuseum.org.

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