Oceanië - water
A sea of islands


The ocean is never far away

Water is everywhere in Oceania. The ocean is both a barrier and a link between the islands and their people. Boats are therefore vital. Knowledge of navigation routes and ocean currents is also important. 

In the first exhibition space visitors get a close-up view of a number of full-size and model canoes. This is where it all started, when the first people travelled from Southeast Asia to Oceania by canoe thousands of years ago. With the exception of those who went to live in the mountains, all these people developed a close bond with the ocean. Their canoes allowed them to trade and exchange with other islands, and also to engage in warfare. People fished both in the ocean and in rivers. 

This gallery also contains a series of objects associated with seafaring, from canoe ornaments and paddles of various kinds to fishing equipment  and historical drawings.

Extraordinary navigation chart

Have you ever seen such ingenious navigation charts as these? This one comes from the Marshall Islands. It is made of thin bamboo sticks tied together in a special way, with shells here and there. To the initiated, it indicated where swell patterns, currents and islands were located. 

Navigation chart made of bamboo and shells - Marshall Islands