Kon-Tiki - across the Pacific by raft
by Heyerdahl, Thor 1914-2002
pub. by Rand McNally, NY 1950    original written some time before 1948 first published in English in 1950   isbn (none) LCCN 60-014279 - black and white photos - 218 p. .
In 1947 Heyerdahl attempted to prove that people from the western coast of South America could have sailed a balsa wood raft from what is now Chile to Polynesia. He crewed his raft with a number of western European men, some friends from his WWII day. At first the raft, which was barely steerable, drifted North. Then it picked up the western moving winds and currents which are generally located south of the equator. There was considerable fear that the raft would waterlog and sink. Although a fair amount of waterlogging happened, it did float and remain lashed together until arriving with a crash on the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands. The raft was made totally of the same sort of materials that were available to pre-Columbian people of the west coast of S. America. (Inca civilization)
The fact that this could take place did not convince anthropoligists that Polynesia was settled by people from S. America. During pre WWII anthropological study on Fatu Hiva in Polynesia Heyerdahl noted that several plants originally indigenous to S. America, and certain cultural traits in Polynesia were S. American.
~ 1960 ~

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