Tupaia: Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator (Paperback)
Tupaia sailed with Captain Cook from Tahiti, piloted the Endeavour about the South Pacific and was the ship's translator. Lauded by Europeans as an "extraordinary genius," Tupaia was also a master navigator, a brilliant orator and a most devious politician. 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 4000 kilometres from the Marquesas to Rotuma and Fiji.Tupaia became one of the ship's important artists, drawing lively pictures to illustrate what he described, and he could justly be called the Pacific's first anthropologist. Despite all this, Tupaia has never been part of the popular Captain Cook legend.In Tupaia, Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator, Joan Druett brings this "extraordinary genius" to life.WINNER OF THE NEW ZEALAND POST GENERAL NON-FICTION PRIZE.