Chapter

Without Ships or Compass

Ben Finney

in Voyage of Rediscovery

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 1994 | ISBN: 9780520080027
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520913059 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520080027.003.0001
Without Ships or Compass

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This chapter considers the immensity of Polynesia, a vast triangular region of the Pacific defined by the archipelago of Hawai'i north of the equator, by Rapa Nui, that tiny dot on the map across the equator far to the southeast which is known to the outside world as Easter Island, and on the southwestern side of the Pacific by Aotearoa, a pair of huge continental fragments and small offshore islands that now form the country of New Zealand. Also basic to the problem of comprehending how the islands of the Polynesian triangle were first discovered and settled was the fundamental contrast between the oceanic view of the world held by the Polynesians, and the continental thinking of those first European visitors to Polynesia who were so surprised to learn that the islands they found in the vast stretches of the Pacific already had been discovered and settled.

Keywords: Polynesia; Pacific; Hawai'i; Rapa Nui; Easter Island; Aotearoa; New Zealand; Polynesians

Chapter.  11850 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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