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Navigational Chart

Object Number:P3297
Current Location: Collections Storage
Provenience: Marshall Islands
Section:Oceanian
Materials:Twigs
Shell
Plant Fiber
Height: 124 cm
Length: 71 cm
Credit Line:Purchased from Mrs. Isobel Strong through Anderson Auction Company, 1914
Other Number:613 - Dealer's Number

Description

Navigational chart of the Marshall Islands constructed of thin wooden sticks, with islands represented by shells. For generations, oceangoing sailors in the Marshalls have observed patterns of ocean swells after they are deflected around islands in the group as navigational guides for confirming the location of islands that are out of sight over the horizon. As teaching aids to use when instructing apprentice navigators they have devised two kinds of wooden “stick charts.” One type (meddo) includes representations not only of ocean swells but also the islands of the Marshalls chain, the other (mattang) is a schematic, generalized representation of ocean swells as they are affected by encounters with islands. This chart is a fine old example of a meddo, collected by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1890.

Bibliography:

[Catalogue, Collection] 1965. Guide to the Collections, The University Museum.. Philadelphia. The University Museum. pg. 1-167 Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: 132View Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Davenport, William H. 1964. "Marshall Islands Cartography". Expedition: The Magazine of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Vol. 6. no. 4. pg. 10-13 Actual CitationView Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Article] Hall, Henry U. 1919. "A Marshall Islands Chart". The Museum Journal. Philadelphia. The University Museum. Vol. X. no. Nos. 1-2. pg. 35-42 Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: pp. 35-42View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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