Some days ago I saw a very interesting Tv program on our main Tv station about people living in the Pacific.
It is a French documentary film from 2009:
Original titel: Polynesian Odyssey
Regi: Olivier Comte og Helene Constanty
In the Pacific Islands Polynesians live, a people there are a great mystery to. Where they came from when they first landed on the beautiful islands? This mystery has intrigued many explorers, including Thor Heyerdahl.
Norwegian Links (Use at translation service on the articles):
Source: http://www.nrk.no/vitenskap-og-teknologi/1.1853098In the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo there is now a show called Star trails over the Pacific. And some of the things that first strikes a visitor is the huge distances we find in this "ocean continent". The Pacific Ocean covers a third of the earth and if you exclude Australia from the area, 99% is sea and 1% islands.
When James Cook arrived in 1769, he was met by the catamarans as great as his own expedition vessel (See image to the left. There are two models in the same area). The Polynesians had a maritime technology in many ways on par with the European. And they could navigate. They learned the sky by heart. Forwards and backwards, and in all seasons. That is how they found the road over the endless Pacific. The aniceinet Polynesians called it Star trails. And it was clear, they could feel the waves and if there was land beyond the horizon. The area was populated from the northwest, from Taiwan, 6,000 years ago. It has language researchers found.
You get some YouTube videos there in English.
The polinesians were great navigators that could sail against the wind over enormous distances. They man even have been better sailors than Europeans / Americans. While people livinb by the Atlantic Ocean often saw the Ocean as an obstacle, they veiwed the Ocean as a friend and opportunity.
The catamaran were invented by the Polinesians by tying two canoes together. It is ideally suited to carry people across large distances and it is fairly safe.
Thore Heyerdahl concluded that the distant Pacific Islands were populated by chance or accident. This movie has another theory, namely that these people regularly crossed this enormous ocean navigating aided by nature, stars, the direction of waves, birds etc.