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Tupaia: The Remarkable Story of Captain Cook's Pol
by Joan Druett

ISBN: 9781869797133
PUBLISHER: Random House New Zealand Ltd
FORMAT: Paperback

PUBLICATION DATE: 8.06.2012


DESCRIPTION:
The remarkable story of Tupaia, Captain Cook's Polynesian navigator. Winner of NZ Post 2012 Best General Non-fiction Book Award. 'We are often told what great navigators ancient Polynesians were but we've seldom had it demonstrated so convincingly or with such clarity.' Paul Little North and South Tupaia, lauded by Europeans as 'an extraordinary genius', sailed with Captain Cook from Tahiti, piloted the Endeavour about the South Pacific, and interceded with Maori in NZ. Tupaia, a gifted linguist, a brilliant orator, and a most devious politician, could aptly be called the Machiavelli of Tahiti. Being highly skilled in astronomy, navigation, and meteorology, and an expert in the geography of the Pacific, he was able to name directional stars and predict landfalls and weather throughout the voyage from Tahiti to Java. Though he had no previous knowledge of writing or mapmaking, Tupaia drew a chart of the Pacific that encompassed every major group in Polynesia and extended more than 4,000 kilometres from the Marquesas to Rotuma and Fiji. He was also the ship's translator, able to communicate with all the Polynesian people they met. As a man of high social ranking, Tupaia performed as an able intermediary, interpreting local rituals and ceremonies. Joseph Banks is famous for his detailed, perceptive descriptions of the manners and customs of the Polynesian people. Much of the credit for this belongs to Tupaia. Not only did Tupaia becom

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