Wave Piloting in the Marshall Islands

Tue., Jun. 20, 2017, 4:15 pm
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Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Sheerr Room, Fay House, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge
Free
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June 20

For generations, traditional navigators in the Marshall Islands have relied upon the techniques of wave piloting—the subtle perception of wave and swell patterns along with the sighting of atolls and islands—to safely guide their outrigger canoes across the oceans. In 2015, researchers replicated these voyages as they journeyed between the atolls of Majuro and Aur in an outrigger canoe without instrumentation. In this discussion, these researchers will discuss their experience of wave piloting and explore possible links between modern science and this almost forgotten form of traditional Marshallese knowledge.