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DVD: The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific

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Over 1,000 years ago, the scattered islands of Polynesia were settled by an ancient seafaring people. Where did they come from? How did they navigate across the vast Pacific Ocean to settle one-third of Earth's surface?

To find out, anthropologist Sam Low visited the tiny coral atoll of Satawal, in Micronesia's remote Caroline Islands, to film Mau Piailug as he guides his canoe by using subtle signs in the waves, winds and stars.

The Navigators reveals the intricacies of this sea science, transmitted in part through a ceremony known as "unfolding the mat," in which 32 lumps of coral are arranged in a circle to represent the points of the "star compass." To master the lore of navigation was to attain great status in traditional Micronesian society. Today, few men remain with Mau's skills, knowledge, or aspirations.

Color, 59 min, 1983, digitally remastered in 2014.