Chapter

Putting Voyaging Back into Polynesian Prehistory

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/9780520080027.003.0008
Putting Voyaging Back into Polynesian Prehistory

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The role of the experimental voyages of Hōkūle'a in this rethinking about voyaging in Polynesia and prehistory has been to provide information and insights on the performance of voyaging canoes and traditional ways of navigating needed to understand how people were able to expand so far and wide over the Pacific and to maintain a degree of inter-island communication after initial settlement. Results from our first long voyages have already been widely cited by archaeologists and have been instrumental in their adoption of more realistic views about the role of voyaging in Polynesian prehistory. To continue this process of introducing nautical insights into the reconstruction of Polynesia's past, this chapter applies findings from the Voyage of Rediscovery and the most recent thinking about sailing and navigation to problems and issues in Polynesian colonization and postsettlement voyaging.

Keywords: experimental voyages; Hōkūle'a; Polynesia; canoes; Pacific; Voyage; Rediscovery; sailing; navigation; colonization

Chapter.  19998 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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