The Pacific islands were explored and settled without navigation instruments, but with the help of sophisticated nautical technology based on the observation of natural phenomena: reading the sea, the sky, the winds and the land, interpreting their manifestations and memorising their variations. For the Pacific Islanders, the ocean was not empty, but full of signs to help them get their bearings and locate invisible lands. The ocean was not an obstacle, but a path linking the islands to one another.
In recent decades, there has been a strong upsurge of interest in the art of navigation, now seen as a way of reasserting identity and shared ancestral heritage.
© 2021 Musée d'ethnographie, Genève