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Sea people : the puzzle of Polynesia  Cover Image Book Book

Sea people : the puzzle of Polynesia / Christina Thompson.


"For more than a millennium, Polynesians occupied the remotest islands in the Pacific Ocean, an enormous triangle stretching from Hawaii to New Zealand to Easter Island. Sailing in large, double-hulled canoes, without the benefit of maps, writing, or metal tools, these ancient mariners were the first and, until the era of European discovery, the only people ever to have reached this part of the globe. Today, they are widely acknowledged as the world's greatest navigators. But how did the earliest Polynesians reach these far-flung islands? How did they conquer the largest ocean on the planet? Diving deep into the history of the Pacific, Christina Thompson explores this epic migration, following the trail of the many sailors, linguists, archaeologists, and geographers who have puzzled over this story, in a quest to discover who these ancient voyagers were, where they came from, and how they managed to colonize every habitable island in the vast region of remote Oceania. [This book] combines the wonder of pursuit and the drama of a gripping historical puzzle in a vivid tour of one of the most captivating regions in the world."--Dust jacket.

Item details

  • ISBN: 9780062060877
  • ISBN: 0062060872
  • Physical Description: xvi, 365 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]

Contents / Notes

General Note:
"The quest to understand who first settled the islands of the remote Pacific, where they came from, how they got there, and how we know..."--Jacket.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages [325]-348) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Prologue : Kealakekua Bay -- Part I. The eyewitnesses (1521-1722). A very great sea : the discovery of Oceania ; First contact : Mendaña in the Marquesas ; Barely an island at all : atolls of the Tuamotus ; Outer limits : New Zealand and Easter Island -- Part II. Connecting the dots (1764-1778). Tahiti : the heart of Polynesia ; A man of knowledge : Cook meets Tupaia ; Tupaia's chart : two ways of seeing ; An aha moment : a Tahitian in New Zealand -- Part III. Why not just ask them? (1778-1920). Drowned continents and other theories : the nineteenth-century Pacific ; A world without writing : Polynesian oral traditions ; The Aryan Māori : an unlikely idea ; A Viking in Hawai'i : Abraham Fornander ; Voyaging stories : history and myth -- Part IV. The rise of science (1920-1959). Somatology : the measure of man ; A Māori anthropologist : Te Rangi Hiroa ; The Moa hunters : stone and bones ; Radiocarbon dating : the question of when ; The Lapita people : a key piece of the puzzle -- Part V. Setting sail (1947-1980). Kon-Tiki : Thor Heyerdahl's raft ; Drifting not sailing : Andrew Sharp ; The non-armchair approach : David Lewis experiments ; Hōkūleʻa : sailing to Tahiti ; Reinventing navigation : Nainoa Thompson -- Part VI. What we know now (1990-2018). The latest science : DNA and dates ; Coda : two ways of knowing.
Subject: Polynesians > History.
Navigation > Polynesia > History.
Polynesia > Discovery and exploration.
Oceania > Discovery and exploration.
Polynesians > Migrations.
HISTORY / Oceania.
HISTORY / Oceania.
Discoveries in geography.
Genre: History.

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