Navigational Chart, Marshall Islands
Wood, shell, fiber, paper
length 22 1/4in (56.5cm)
Joseph E. Kennedy Collection, Hawaii
Kennedy, a longtime resident of the North Shore of Hawaii was a Hawaiian archaeologist, well-known and respected as the principal of Archaeological Consultants of Hawaii and later Archaeological Consultants of the Pacific. He conducted archaeological research in American Samoa and in Micronesia, and he participated in excavations in Guatemala and in Egypt. Kennedy's archaeological survey of Waimea Valley, Oahu, in 2005 documented the importance of the valley to Hawaii's history. It led the City and County of Honolulu to take measures to preserve Waimea after initially voting to allow development there. A pristine Waimea valley is one of his lasting gifts to Hawaii.
"Fearless and adventurous voyagers as the Polynesians were in former centuries, they appear never to have studied ocean phenomena in their bearing on the science of navigation with anything like the painstaking and methodical skill which the Marshall Islanders devoted to this subject. Doubtless by observation their sailing experts could infer much from the run of the ocean swells, but this knowledge was comparatively elementary and was never detailed, tabulated, and set forth in the form of primitive charts. In the Marshall Islands, on the contrary, every chief and sea pilot possessed elaborate charts based upon his own experience and on knowledge handed down or gained from others." (Haddon, 1975: p. 372)