The navigator and his education.
Astronomical navigation
The sea and the wind
The migration of the birds
Meteorological observations
>Background>Polynesian navigation and seamanship

The navigator and his education.
Forfatter: Administrator
Sidst revideret: 12-01-2004

Knowledge of navigation was passed on to the successive generation through songs. In most cases this knowledge was not accessible to all members of the tripe, not even to the chief. Normally the navigator taught his son, or specially chosen persons. But on some islands there were schools of navigation, where the young Polynesians could aquire knowledge of the stars, meteorology, sailing routes and so on.

The songs made it possible to remember sailing routes, even in those cases where no living persons had ever sailed that route before.

The songs tell us that the famous navigator Hui-Te-Rangi-Ora went on a voyage, in the 7th century, where he reached the Antarctic Ocean. The songs tell about frozen water and walruses. It happened that the whole tripe joined these voyages, where they used several double-canoes. The navigator functioned as leader on these cruises, and in most cases he was leading from the chief's ship.