When we were last in Valparaiso
(one way to begin a story!) we came across something fascinating in the Vina del Mar museum
I listened to our guide tell us a little about this polynesian seafarers’ chart as we passed swiftly through the museum, returning to take a closer look and to think about it. I commented on my blog that day how such non-verbal interpretations really do pique my interest and added a few notes to my journal together with my intention to find out more. As is the way of things, however, over a period of weeks travelling, the list of subjects to investigate further gets increasingly longer and some things just get overlooked.
My hero was sitting reading last evening.
But turning the page, look what he came across:
An article about those stick charts!
Now one of the challenges in finding out more about them was my inability to read the caption in the museum and the scant information I had at the time. Now, I could google “Marshall Island Stick Charts” and find out all I wish to know.
There’s a whole new language for me to learn: rilib, kaelib and bungdockerik swells and there are mattang, meddo and rebbelib charts. I look forward to sitting and reading more, to following up one or two links and extending my knowledge of such things. I may be inspired to create something along these lines for myself, just to see how it could work.
What gently intrigues me is the description of the concept in one of the many online articles as “lost knowledge”. Just how much knowledge have we lost along the way?