Polynesian navigation

Polynesian navigatorPolynesian navigatorsPolynesianPolynesian seafarerscontinued to travel thousands of miles between tiny islandsdiscoveredmigratednavigationnavigation method used by indigenous peoples of Polynesianavigators
Traditional Polynesian navigation was used for thousands of years to make long voyages across thousands of miles of the open Pacific Ocean.wikipedia
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Navigation

nauticalnavigatenavigational
As of 2014, these traditional navigation methods are still taught in the Polynesian outlier of Taumako Island in the Solomons.
Polynesian navigation is probably the earliest form of open-ocean navigation, it was based on memory and observation recorded on scientific instruments like the Marshall Islands Stick Charts of Ocean Swells.

Wayfinding

Indoor Mappingwayfinding or environmental design
Navigators travelled to small inhabited islands using wayfinding techniques and knowledge passed by oral tradition from master to apprentice, often in the form of song. Both wayfinding techniques and outrigger canoe construction methods have been kept as guild secrets, but in the modern revival of these skills, they are being recorded and published. In 1980, a Hawaiian named Nainoa Thompson invented a new method of non-instrument navigation (called the "modern Hawaiian wayfinding system"), enabling him to complete the voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti and back.
Wayfinding can also refer to the traditional navigation method used by indigenous peoples of Polynesia.

Tuvalu

Ellice IslandsElliceEllice group
The pattern of settlement also extended to the north of Samoa to the Tuvaluan atolls, with Tuvalu providing a stepping stone to migration into the Polynesian Outlier communities in Melanesia and Micronesia.
During pre-European-contact times there was frequent canoe voyaging between the islands as Polynesian navigation skills are recognised to have allowed deliberate journeys on double-hull sailing canoes or outrigger canoes.

Outrigger boat

outrigger canoeOutrigger canoeingoutriggers
Both wayfinding techniques and outrigger canoe construction methods have been kept as guild secrets, but in the modern revival of these skills, they are being recorded and published.
The Polynesian Voyaging Society has two double-hull sailing catamarans, Hokulea and Hawaiiloa, and sails them between various islands in the Pacific using traditional Polynesian navigation methods without instruments.

Tupaia (navigator)

TupaiaTurpaia
On his first voyage of Pacific exploration, Captain James Cook had the services of a Polynesian navigator, Tupaia, who drew a chart of the islands within a 2000 mi radius (to the north and west) of his home island of Ra'iatea.
1725 – December, 26 1770) was a Tahitian Polynesian navigator and arioi (a kind of priest), originally from the island of Ra'iatea in the Pacific Islands group known to Europeans as the Society Islands.

Compass rose

wind rosewindroseRose of the Winds
Some star compass systems specify as many as 150 stars stars with known bearings, though most systems have only a few dozen (illustration at right).
A similar sidereal compass was used by Polynesian and Micronesian navigators in the Pacific Ocean, although different stars were used in a number of cases, clustering around the East-West axis.

Harold Gatty

Harold Gatty suggested that long-distance Polynesian voyaging followed the seasonal paths of bird migrations.

Ben Finney

Ben R. Finney
In 1973, Ben Finney established the Polynesian Voyaging Society to test the contentious question of how Polynesians found their islands.
Ben Rudolph Finney (October 1, 1933 – May 23, 2017) was an American anthropologist known for his expertise in the history and the cultural and social anthropology of surfing, Polynesian navigation, and canoe sailing, as well as in the cultural and social anthropology of human space colonization.

Polynesian Voyaging Society

In 1973, Ben Finney established the Polynesian Voyaging Society to test the contentious question of how Polynesians found their islands.
PVS was established to research and perpetuate traditional Polynesian voyaging methods.

Hector Busby

Hekenukumai Puhipi BusbyHekenukumai BusbyHekenukumai Hector Busby
In New Zealand, a leading Māori navigator and ship builder is Hector Busby who was also inspired and influenced by Nainoa Thompson and Hokulea's voyage there in 1985.
He was recognized as a leading figure in the revival of traditional Polynesian navigation and ocean voyaging using wayfinding techniques.

Celestial navigation

astronavigationnavigationcelestial
For navigators near the equator, celestial navigation is simplified since the whole celestial sphere is exposed.

Nainoa Thompson

Charles Nainoa "Nainoa" ThompsonCharles Nainoa Thompson
In 1980, a Hawaiian named Nainoa Thompson invented a new method of non-instrument navigation (called the "modern Hawaiian wayfinding system"), enabling him to complete the voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti and back.
He is best known as the first Hawaiian to practice the ancient Polynesian art of navigation since the 14th century, having navigated two double-hulled canoes (the Hōkūle‘a and the Hawai‘iloa) from Hawaii to other island nations in Polynesia without the aid of western instruments.

Hōkūleʻa

HokuleaHokule'aHōkūle‘a
Launched on 8 March 1975 by the Polynesian Voyaging Society, she is best known for her 1976 Hawaii to Tahiti voyage completed with exclusively Polynesian navigation techniques The primary goal of the voyage was to explore the anthropological theory of the Asiatic origin of native Oceanic people (Oceania maps:, ), of Polynesians and Hawaiians in particular, as the result of purposeful trips through the Pacific, as opposed to passive drifting on currents, or sailing from the Americas.

Mau Piailug

Recent re-creations of Polynesian voyaging have used methods based largely on Micronesian methods and the teachings of a Micronesian navigator, Mau Piailug.
It contributed to the emergence of the second Hawaiian cultural renaissance and to a revival of Polynesian navigation and canoe building in Hawaii, New Zealand, Rarotonga and Tahiti.

David Henry Lewis

David Lewis
Anthropologist David Lewis sailed his catamaran from Tahiti to New Zealand using stellar navigation without instruments.
In 1967, Lewis acquired another boat, Isbjorn, to embark on further field studies of traditional Polynesian navigation.

Chumash people

ChumashChumash IndiansChumash-Venturaño
Recently, linguist Kathryn A. Klar of University of California, Berkeley and archaeologist Terry L. Jones of California Polytechnic State University have proposed contacts between Polynesians and the Chumash and Gabrielino of Southern California, between 500 and 700.

Wa (watercraft)

wawa'' (watercraft)
The building and testing of proa canoes (wa) inspired by traditional designs, the harnessing of knowledge from skilled Micronesians, as well as voyages using stellar navigation, allowed practical conclusions about the seaworthiness and handling capabilities of traditional Polynesian canoes and allowed a better understanding of the navigational methods that were likely to have been used by the Polynesians and of how they, as people, were adapted to seafaring.

Pelagic zone

pelagicepipelagicepipelagic zone
Traditional Polynesian navigation was used for thousands of years to make long voyages across thousands of miles of the open Pacific Ocean.

Pacific Ocean

PacificSouth PacificWestern Pacific
Traditional Polynesian navigation was used for thousands of years to make long voyages across thousands of miles of the open Pacific Ocean.

Navigator

navigatorsnavigation officernavigating officer
Navigators travelled to small inhabited islands using wayfinding techniques and knowledge passed by oral tradition from master to apprentice, often in the form of song.

Oral tradition

oral traditionsoral cultureoral
Navigators travelled to small inhabited islands using wayfinding techniques and knowledge passed by oral tradition from master to apprentice, often in the form of song.

Guild

guildscraft guildtrade guild
Generally, each island maintained a guild of navigators who had very high status; in times of famine or difficulty, they could trade for aid or evacuate people to neighbouring islands.

Duff Islands

DuffTaumako IslandDuff or Wilson Group
As of 2014, these traditional navigation methods are still taught in the Polynesian outlier of Taumako Island in the Solomons.

List of islands of Solomon Islands

List of islands of the Solomon IslandsIslandIslands of Solomon Islands
As of 2014, these traditional navigation methods are still taught in the Polynesian outlier of Taumako Island in the Solomons.

Sextant

sextantsadjusting a sextantArtificial horizon sextant
Polynesian navigation used some navigational instruments, which predate and are distinct from the machined metal tools used by European navigators (such as the sextant, first produced in 1730; the sea astrolabe, from around late 15th century; and the marine chronometer, invented in 1761).