Traditional and nineteenth century communication patterns in the Marshall Islands

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Abstract

In the atoll world of Micronesia, any traditional communication between the populations within an atoll and especially between atolls relied on sea voyages by canoe. This paper considers the situation in the Marshall Islands, a group of atolls arranged in two parallel chains. The paper sets out the (re-)construction of communications networks based on graph theory and then provides a discussion of the evidence on communications in the early Marshall Islands. This draws together data as diverse as traditional stick charts, known voyages and their durations, as well as linguistics, epidemiology and biogeography. Based on a combination of these data a network model is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-51
Number of pages27
JournalMicronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Volume4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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