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SEA CHART
PACIFIC ETHNOGRAPHIC COLLECTION
 
Catalog No: 80.0/ 3317
Locale: MARSHALL ISLANDS
Country: REPUBLIC OF THE MARSHALL ISLANDS
Date: Late 19th Century A.D.
Material: WOOD, SHELL, PLANT FIBER
Acquisition Year: 1914 [PURCHASE]
Donor: ANDERSON AUCTION CO.
Keywords: NAVIGATION CHART, SEA CHART
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The navigational skills of Micronesians were unsurpassed, for in two million square miles of Pacific Ocean, the total land area of the islands was less than 1,500 square miles. Navigators taught apprentices how to get from one island to another, using charts made of sticks and shells which represented currents and islands. This navigation chart belonged to Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island (1883), Kidnapped (1886), and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886). Stevenson and his family moved to Samoa in 1889, where he was called "Tusitala" (teller of tales), and where he convalesced until his death in 1894. The AMNH purchased Stevenson's navigation chart from his estate for $80 in 1914.


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