Thursday, August 21, 2014

Marshall Islands stick chart

In the West, pen and paper were used to show distances and geographic features. In other words, we used maps. But the Marshall Islanders used something very different.

In the stick chart above, the shells represent islands. The curved sticks represent swells and counter-swells caused by the islands. These markers helped the seafarers navigate from island to island. These charts were not brought onto the boats. Rather, they were kept on land and the navigators memorized the charts before setting off.

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