TAHITI NUI by Eric de Bisschop
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TAHITI NUI

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here in a posthumous book, a Frenchman poses his theory that the Polynesians are an island ancient race and the earliest mariners of pre-history, centuries before the Mediterranean's; and that the inter-Polynesian-South American voyages were initiated by the Polynesians in days when they alone sailed the oceans of half a world, by raft, by canoe, by double-canoe, using rafts for distant trade voyages, for migrations which took them west to Micronesia and the Indian ocean and probably southeast Asia. His theory is in contradiction to both Heyerdahl, who sailed the Kon-Tiki from Peru to prove the South American source of the Polynesians; or from earlier and more numerous ethnologists who claim them to be an Asiatic people. On other points of raft construction deBisschop is at variance with Heyerdahl, and he built his raft of bamboo, with movable centerboards- guara -- in the Polynesian fashion, to serve as rudders; and he voyaged east, against constant winds and unknown currents, from Tahiti- for seven months- to Juan Fernandez, where storms and damage necessitated a tow- and subsequently a transfer for the completed voyage to Chile. The adventures of building the Tahiti Nui and the voyage undertaken with his companions- is recorded in an enthralling log which will be eagerly read by those who enjoyed Kon-Tiki, and by scientists who set their theories against those of the intrepid 65-year old Frenchman.

Pub Date: June 8th, 1959
Publisher: McDowell, Obolensky