The Canoe Is the People - Indigenous Navigation in the Pacific

"The compass can go wrong, the stars never." *
Tongan navigator


Thousands of years ago, when most European sailors were still hugging the coast, the island peoples of the Pacific held the knowledge and skills to explore the great ocean paths around and beyond their homes.

Modern instruments didn't exist - no compasses, no radio, no radar, no GPS. The Pacific peoples navigated their canoes with their own sophisticated techniques, using the seas, skies, and sea life to guide them.

* From David Lewis in Bader, H. and McCurdy, P., eds (1999)

The entire CD-ROM is now available on The canoe is the people website

To receive a hard copy of "The Canoe is the People Educational Resource Pack", please send a request to link@unesco.org.

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