Hagoth and the Polynesian Tradition



In what amounts to an aside in the story of the Book of Mormon peoples, there is in the 63rd chapter of Alma a brief reference to a “curious man” named Hagoth. What we have here, is an account of a colonizing movement of men, women, and children who went out in ships presumably into the Pacific Ocean sometime between 53 and 57 B.C. And they were never heard of again. According to tacit Mormon belief, Hagoth sailed into the Pacific where he and his shipload (or shiploads) of people became at least part of the progenitors of the Polynesian people. The primary question we will deal with in this essay, then, is whether there is any evidence from Polynesia itself to support the Latter-day Saint contention that Hagoth and his people were among the ancestors of the present-day Polynesians.


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