Title

Navigating Spatial Relationships in Oceania

Publication Title

Structure and Dynamics

Publication Date

2016

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Cognition, Navigation, Oceania

Disciplines

Anthropology | Geography

Abstract

Recent decades have seen a revival of interest in traditional voyaging equipment and techniques among Pacific Islanders. At key points, the Oceanic voyaging revival came together with anthropological interests in cognition. This special issue explores that intersection as it is expressed in cognitive models of space, both at sea and on land. These include techniques for “wave piloting” in the Marshall Islands, wind compasses and their utilization as part of an inclusive navigational tool kit in the Vaeakau-Taumako region of the Solomon Islands; notions of ‘front’ and ‘back’ on Taumako and in Samoa, ideas of ‘above’ and ‘below’ in the Bougainville region of Papua New Guinea, spaces associated with the living and the dead in the Trobriand Islands, and the understanding of navigation in terms of neuroscience and physics.


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