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If you live in a country consisting of over 1,100 islands spread across 750,000 square miles, how do you navigate the sea in between? Easy: with sticks and...

How Marshall Islanders Navigated the Sea Using Only Sticks and Shells

If you live in a country consisting of over 1,100 islands spread across 750,000 square miles, how do you navigate the sea in between? Easy: with sticks and...

Image result for marshall island stick charts

Image result for marshall island stick charts

Navigation chart (mattang), probably 19th or early 20th century C.E., Marshall Islands, Micronesia, 75.5 cm © Trustees of the British Museum

Navigation chart (mattang), probably 19th or early 20th century C.E., Marshall Islands, Micronesia, 75.5 cm © Trustees of the British Museum

An early stick chart from Micronesia shows the waves  and currents around the islands which are represented by shells.

An early stick chart from Micronesia shows the waves and currents around the islands which are represented by shells.

Polynesian map: the sticks indicate currents, the shells are islands or groups of islands. This is pre-written language.

Polynesian map: the sticks indicate currents, the shells are islands or groups of islands. This is pre-written language.

This is a superb Micronesian navigational chart from the Marshal Islands. It is a bit older, a bit larger and a bit finer than most seen on the market in the last decade. It was collected in the early 1950s by a scientist working for Bell Laboratories—you don’t have to dig too deep to figure out what project Bell Labs was associated with at the time. The chart shows good age and is very refined. It measures 25 ½" (64.8 cm) in width by 26 ¼" (66.7 cm) in height

This is a superb Micronesian navigational chart from the Marshal Islands. It is a bit older, a bit larger and a bit finer than most seen on the market in the last decade. It was collected in the early 1950s by a scientist working for Bell Laboratories—you don’t have to dig too deep to figure out what project Bell Labs was associated with at the time. The chart shows good age and is very refined. It measures 25 ½" (64.8 cm) in width by 26 ¼" (66.7 cm) in height

Marshall Islands Stick Chart, Marshall Islands, Kwajalein. The bamboo slats represent routes to specific places marked by the shell, such as islands. Reproduction, The Mariners’ Museum.

Marshall Islands Stick Chart, Marshall Islands, Kwajalein. The bamboo slats represent routes to specific places marked by the shell, such as islands. Reproduction, The Mariners’ Museum.

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