Nov 8, 2008

The Lapita Voyage

An epic 6,000 Kilometre voyage is to be undertaken to discover the origins and migration routes of the ancestors of ancient Polynesians and their animals.

The voyage will be the first ever expedition to sail in two traditional Polynesian double canoes, which attempts to re-trace the genuine migration route of the ancient Austronesians.

From November, 2008 to April, 2009, the voyage will depart from the Southern Philippines, via southern Solomon islands en-route into the Pacific.

The expedition will be undertaking research work along the way, taking hundreds of samples from animals such as dogs, cats, chickens and pigs to use in the ongoing investigations into the origin of these important farmyard animals, which the ancient Polynesians carried with them into the remote Pacific.

Called the Lapita Voyage, it will be crewed by two Polynesians, two scientists, a cameraman and the initiators James Wharram, Hanneke Boon (catamaran-designers) and Klaus Hympendahl (author and organiser of the project).

At the end of the voyage the two double canoes will be presented to the inhabitants of the small Polynesian islands of Tikopia and Anuta, acknowledging the debt owed by Western yachtsmen to the Polynesian inspiration for their modern catamarans.

Further reading: The Lapita Voyage

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