Tupaia: The Remarkable Story of Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator

Tupaia: The Remarkable Story of Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator

Paperback

By (author) Joan Druett

Currently unavailable
We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist
OR try AbeBooks who may have this title (opens in new window)

Try AbeBooks

Additional formats available

Format
Paperback $39.45
  • Publisher: Random House New Zealand Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 439 pages
  • Dimensions: 1,035g
  • Publication date: 8 June 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Auckland
  • ISBN 10: 1869797132
  • ISBN 13: 9781869797133

Product description

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. His story has never been fully told. 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, like all Polynesians, 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, the botanist with the expedition, 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 become one of the ship's important artists, drawing lively pictures to illustrate what he described, but he could justly be called the Pacific's first anthropologist. Despite all this, Tupaia has never been part of the popular Captain Cook legend. This is largely because he died of complications from scurvy seven months before the ship arrived home. Once he was gone, his accomplishments were easily forgotten - indeed, by removing Tupaia from the story, what the Europeans had achieved seemed all the greater.

Other people who viewed this bought:

Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

Author information

Joan Druett is an independent maritime historian and writer associated with the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies, Wellington. She had published many award-winning maritime studies, including In the Wake of Madness (2003) and Island of the Lost (2007), and is also the author of the popular Wiki Coffin mystery series.