Topic 3 Required Reading

Kevin Reilly, The Human Journey, Chapter 6

Website: Wayfinders – http://www.pbs.org/wayfinders/polynesian.html & http://www.pbs.org/wayfinders/polynesian2.html

Website: Pacific Migrations http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/pacific-migrations (click on “Next” button at bottom of each page to read all nine pages)

Primary Sources:

Website: Traditional Marshallese Stick Chart Navigation – http://marshall.csu.edu.au/Marshalls/html/essays/es-tmc-2.html

Website: Polynesian Stick Charts – http://thenonist.com/index.php/thenonist/permalink/stick_charts

Discussion Prompts:

After reading Chapter 6 and the material at the websites, and viewing the videos, please make a 350-word initial post that answers the following questions about the primary sources:

Before the modern era, most Pacific Islanders navigated the Pacific by forming mental maps of their natural environment, particularly the stars and other celestial bodies, ocean swells, prevailing winds, and by observing the flight of migratory and land-based birds and island-influenced cloud cover. Many developed sophisticated memory aids like stick charts, a form of ocean and island map, what geographers today call hydrographic maps. Maps are cultural constructs and come in all forms. Maps are usually defined as two-dimensional (often printed or drawn) representations of three-dimensional space. The stick charts are made from coconut palms or pandanus reed and cowrie shells. The charts were not taken as actual maps on voyages. They were left on shore. What can the shape, construction, and layout of these stick charts tell you about the culture that produced them as well as its view of its environment? In what ways are stick charts maps? In what ways are they not?

Be sure to go beyond the technical analysis given below the stick chart images by incorporating information from the other websites and the textbook reading.

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