16 posts tagged with polynesia.
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A trip to the mythical Isle of Tiki, Polynesian Pop and A/C Eden

The bizarre rise and fall and resurgence of tiki bars and cocktails is an interesting history that starts with two men, Donn Beach and Victor Bergeron, who traveled to the South Pacific and brought back some "island culture" to the United States with them in the 1930s, continuing on with the craze really booming after WWII vets returned from tours overseas. With the ebbs and flows of popularity, the cultural appropriation in "Tiki culture" has often been overlooked, as to the Māori mythology and meaning behind Tiki carvings and imagery and Hawiian culture of leis and luaus. Let's talk Tiki bars: harmless fun or exploitation. [Soundtrack: Les Baxter's Ritual Of The Savage ( 1951) and Martin Denny's Exotica (1957)] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 9, 2016 - 60 comments

"This is Samoan cologne."

How to Make Fire by Rubbing Sticks is the latest video in the Polynesian How-To Series. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Aug 8, 2016 - 9 comments

and a star to steer her by

Being on a 61-foot vessel with no engine in the middle of the ocean is, indeed, as tough as it might seem. The Hokule'a is on a mission. Catch them on their east coast tour!
posted by vrakatar on Jun 23, 2016 - 12 comments

What have we lost now that we can no longer read the sky?

For most of human history . . . [i]t was unthinkable to ignore the stars. They were critical signposts, as prominent and useful as local hills, paths or wells. The gathering-up of stars into constellations imbued with mythological meaning allowed people to remember the sky; knowledge that might save their lives one night and guide them home. Lore of the sky bound communities together. On otherwise trackless seas and deserts, the familiar stars would also serve as a valued friend. That friendship is now broken.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 16, 2016 - 40 comments

The island where you can disappear

Pitcairn Island is one of the most remote communities in the world, a five-square-kilometre volcanic outcrop in the Pacific Ocean almost 6000 kilometres from the nearest continent. It has a population of less than 50 people, many of whom can trace thier family history to the HMS Bounty mutineers and their Polynesian partners. You can immigrate, but if you don't want to do that (or visit) you can enjoy Google Streetview, or read one of the two local publications for some local colour. Previously.
posted by Mezentian on May 2, 2015 - 19 comments

“To navigate, you must be brave and you must remember.” - Mau Piailug

... imagine for a moment that you didn’t have to rely on maps to navigate the unknown—that your memory, instincts, and knowledge of the environment sufficed. This is the art of Polynesian wayfinding. An article by Lily Bui, a researcher at MIT's Comparative Media Studies program, summarizing how Polynesians managed to reliably navigate between more than a thousand islands in 10 million square miles of water, an area slightly larger than the size of Canada, with limited instruments and great memories for details. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 16, 2014 - 6 comments

Star Power

"No GPS or weather reports—just a sailboat, the wild open ocean, and the constellations. Think you could find your way across the South Pacific? James Campbell rides along with a master navigator in the Caroline Islands, where they’ve been sailing this way for thousands of years." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 22, 2013 - 19 comments

Ancient people on the move in the news

Britain Is More Germanic than It Thinks, and Kon-Tiki explorer was partly right – Polynesians had South American roots. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 19, 2011 - 51 comments

1000 Oceans

Mau Piailug passed away last week at 78 years old. He was a Master Navigator from the tiny island of Satawal. In the seventies, he traveled to Hawaii to help the Polynesian Voyaging Society revive the wayfinder's art, navigating by the sun, moon, stars, animals, waves and clouds. In 1976, he steered the Hokule'a, a traditional sailing canoe, from Hawaii to Tahiti without even so much as a compass. He began teaching a new generation of navigators and helped launch a revival of Polynesian culture. To honor him, the Polynesian Voyaging Society is raising money to assist the people of Satawal, while also preparing for a world wide voyage on the Hokule'a, to use their ancient wisdom to help imagine a new relationship to the planet we share.
posted by cal71 on Jul 21, 2010 - 18 comments

A Cubic Foot

How much life could you find in one cubic foot? With a 12-inch green metal-framed cube, photographer David Liittschwager (of the Endangered Species Project) surveyed biodiversity in land, water, tropical and temperate environments around the globe for National Geographic. At each locale he set down the cube and started watching, counting, and photographing with the help of his assistant and many biologists. The goal: to represent the creatures that lived in or moved through that space. The team then sorted through their habitat cubes and tallied every inhabitant, down to a size of about a millimeter. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 2, 2010 - 25 comments

All at sea

How did the Polynesians navigate without maps? And where did they get to? [Previously]
posted by djgh on Aug 31, 2007 - 28 comments

tiki ti

Trader Vic's was closed in Beverly Hills at the end of last month. Apparently also in Osaka, Japan. But fear not, fellow Tiki freaks and cool cats, there are plenty of other places to get yourself a good Mai Tai, grab some far-out Polynesian accessories, and take a history refresher to impress your friends and neighbors.
posted by salsamander on May 8, 2007 - 34 comments

Cyclone devastates Niue

A cyclone has essentially flattened the tiny Pacific island nation of Niue. Although only one of the island's 1200 inhabitants has died, the infrastructure is so battered that the government may simply call it quits, ceding control to New Zealand. Although suffering from sharp population declines over the years, Niue had been one of the most technologically advanced microstates, being the first country to install free Wi-Fi accessible to all of its residents and visitors. And they control the top-level domain .nu - or do they? The recent natural disaster may highlight the fact that the story of the .nu domain is one of economic and legal exploitation. And if Niue folds, can you run a website from a domain attributed to a deleted country? A fascinating sidebar to this fascinating story. (Via /.)
posted by PrinceValium on Jan 12, 2004 - 6 comments

Jane's Polynesia Homepage

Jane's Polynesia Homepage with historical images and much [more].
posted by hama7 on Apr 27, 2003 - 5 comments

The Polynesians were, undoubtedly, the greatest navigators of the ancient world. Using outrigger canoes, they were able to colonize lands spread as far apart as Madagascar and Easter Island and as far south as New Zealand. But where did they originally come from? Jared Diamond demonstrates how, by using linguistic and archaeological evidence, it's possible to reconstruct their journey from China and Taiwan to the Philippines, from there on to Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea and out to the Pacific one way and Madagascar in the other. As an exercise, try comparing the numbers 1 to 10 in all Polynesian and Indonesian languages, to see how the language gradually changed as they hopped from island to island.
posted by lagado on Nov 23, 2000 - 4 comments

Takuu, an atoll community in Papua New Guinea, threatened by rising sea levels

Takuu, an atoll community in Papua New Guinea, threatened by rising sea levels
I don't know what to make of it, but I've heard similarly dire fates predicted for minor islands of Oceania, if present trends continue into the next 50 years.
posted by rschram on Oct 19, 2000 - 1 comment

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