"Meddo" Sea Chart-Marshall Islands
Date of Creation:
This ‘Meddo’ sea chart from the Marshall Islands, where navigation was, and still is, an essential survival skill, was a closely guarded secret and only passed on within a small number of families. In order to memorise the main navigational features between the islands, sailors built special maps with sticks, coconut fibres and shells, to describe the archipelagos. They were created for personal use, and only the sailor who built them could wholly understand their meaning. Consultation would happen exclusively on land, as once at sea the sailor could not show any kind of uncertainty in the route, as that would have questioned his capacity and consequently undermined his social status.