For more than a millennium, Polynesians occupied the remotest islands in the Pacific Ocean, an enormous triangle stretching from Hawaii to New Zealand to Easter Island. Polynesians today can trace their roots back to a group of epic voyagers who first explored this vast expanse Sailing in large, double-hulled canoes, they were the first and, until the era of European discovery, the only people ever to have reached this part of the globe. Today, they are widely acknowledged as the world's greatest navigators.
But how did these ancient mariners find all these islands? How did they reach them? Diving deep into the history of the Pacific, Christina Thompson uncovers who these voyagers were, where they came from, and how they managed to colonise every habitable island in Remote Oceania. A thrilling intellectual detective story, Sea People combines the thrill of exploration, the wonder of pursuit, and the drama of a gripping historical puzzle.
About the Author
Christina Thompson is the editor of Harvard Review and the author of Come On Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All, which was shortlisted for a NSW Premier's Literary Award for Nonfiction. A dual citizen of the US and Australia, she lives outside of Boston with her family.
`I loved this book. I found Sea People the most intelligent, empathic, engaging, wide-ranging, informative, and authoritative treatment of Polynesian mysteries that I have ever read. Christina Thompson's gorgeous writing arises from a deep well of research and succeeds in conjuring a lost world'
Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and The Glass Universe
`To those of the western hemisphere, the Pacific represents a vast unknown, almost beyond our imagining; for its Polynesian island peoples, this fluid, shifting place is home. Christina Thompson's wonderfully researched and beautifully written narrative brings these two stories together, gloriously and excitingly. Filled with teeming grace and terrible power, her book is a vibrant and revealing new account of the watery part of our world'
Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan
`Who hasn't stayed up late reading South Sea tales? Christina Thompson's Sea People is a South Sea tale to top them all - the exploration and settlement of the vast Pacific Ocean by stone-age Polynesians - and every word is true. It's a compelling story, beautifully told, the best exploration narrative I've read in years'
Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb
`The ten-million square miles known as Polynesia was the last area to be settled by humans and is still the least understood chapter in history. With a flair for making the past live again, Christina Thompson give us a comprehensive story of Polynesia and of those who have studied it. Sea People tells the story of a unique geographic, cultural, and intellectual voyage across water and through time. Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Polynesia, the Pacific, or the spread of humanity around the globe'
Jack Weatherford, author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World