Sailing, Navigation, and Canoe Culture in the Marshall Islands

Not a Library event, but it certainly looks interesting!


Sailing, Navigation, and Canoe Culture in the Marshall Islands
Joseph Genz and Rachel Miller
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
12:00 noon
EWC Burns Hall, Room 3015/3019

The canoe tradition is a foundation of Marshallese culture. In addition to being a highly advanced maritime craft, the Marshallese canoe embodies key values and practices of traditional Marshallese culture.

To guide voyaging canoes among the many low-lying atolls, Marshallese navigators took the common land-finding technique of detecting how islands affect the patterning of swells and currents and developed it into a comprehensive system of navigation. Through a combination of photos, videos, and models, Joseph Genz will provide an overview of Marshallese swell-pattern navigation and forms of instruction. He will also describe the current state of the voyaging revival in the Marshalls.

Rachel Miller’s Hawaii Council for the Humanities-funded video project, Wa Kuk Wa Jimor — Marshallese Canoes Today, is an exploration of the state and shape of the Marshall Islands canoe tradition for Marchallese people today; how and why it has changed over time and how it articulates with broader Marshallese culture and the modern way of life. In this talk, Miller will present briefly on the Marshallese outrigger canoe, her connection to the Marshalls and her current project, a documentary video exploring the contemporary role of the canoe tradition in the Marshall Islands.

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