Navigational Chart (Rebbilib)
- 19th–early 20th century
- Republic of the Marshall Islands
- Marshallese people
- Coconut midrib, fiber
- H. 35 1/4 x W. 43 1/4 x D. 1 in. (89.5 x 109.9 x 2.5 cm)
- Credit Line:
- The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of the Estate of Kay Sage Tanguy, 1963
- Accession Number:
Navigational maps, commonly known as "stick charts," were originally used in the Marshall Islands by navigators during long ocean voyages. Although stylized, the charts were functional objects providing information on the locations of individual islands as well as wave patterns.
This example consists of a gridlike structure of seven vertical sticks lashed to four horizontal ones. The corners extend outside the main grid, while three curved strips, possibly representing the patterns of ocean swells, extend from side to side. The intersections created by the slanting sticks at the corners may indicate the locations of specific islands. In some instances, small cowrie shells, absent on this example, are also used to indicate the positions of individual islands.