Marshall Islands Stick Chart

Marshall Islands Stick Chart

Stick charts were made and used by the Marshallese to navigate the Pacific Ocean by canoe off the coast of the Marshall Islands. The charts represented major ocean swell patterns and the ways the islands disrupted those patterns, typically determined by sensing disruptions in ocean swells by islands during sea navigation. Stick charts were typically made from the midribs of coconut fronds tied together to form an open framework. Island locations were represented by shells tied to the framework, or by the lashed junction of two or more sticks. The threads represented prevailing ocean surface wave-crests and directions they took as they approached islands and met other similar wave-crests formed by the ebb and flow of breakers. Individual charts varied so much in form and interpretation that the individual navigator who made the chart was the only person who could fully interpret and use it. Use of stick charts and navigation by swells apparently ended after World War II, when new electronic technologies made navigation more accessible, and travel between islands by canoe lessened.

Read more about Marshall Islands Stick Chart:  Significance of Stick Charts To The History of Cartography, Ocean Swells Recognized By Marshallese, Stick Chart Categories, Passing On Stick Chart Knowledge

Other articles related to "marshall islands stick chart, stick charts, marshall, charts":

Marshall Islands Stick Chart - Passing On Stick Chart Knowledge
... Stick charts were not made and used by all Marshall Islanders ... in a squadron, accompanied by a leader pilot skilled in use of the charts ... He became so intrigued by the stick charts that he made a major effort to determine navigational principles behind them and convinced the navigators to share how the stick charts were used ...

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