Pathway of the Birds explores a neglected epoch of world history, one that saw Polynesians expand their territory across the world's largest ocean in one of the most expansive and rapid phases of human migration in prehistory. Were Polynesians adept at navigating return voyages or had they settled the Pacific in a more random fashion? In an effort to find out, Crowe surveys a wealth of evidence from surprisingly diverse sources, including archaeology, palaeoecology, genetics, ethnology and linguistics, and presents it here in the context of Polynesian poetry, the long-distance migration of birds, non-instrument navigation, and wind tunnel experiments. From this, a spell-binding picture emerges of a people who have been deprived of recognition for some of their most illustrious achievements. Through an engaging narrative, integrating a diversity of research and viewpoints, and over 400 maps, diagrams, photographs and illustrations, Crowe conveys the skills, innovation, resourcefulness and courage of the people that drove this extraordinary feat of maritime expansion in a format that is both accessible to the lay reader and required reading for any serious scholar of this fascinating region.
Winner of the 2019 New Zealand Heritage Book Award for Non-Fiction. A 2019 Storylines Notable Book. Winner of two Ka Palapala Po'okela Awards 2019.
Top Reads of 2018 - Weekend Herald Top Ten Non-Fiction for 2018 - Auckland Libraries 'a masterful synthesis of the remarkable voyaging history of the Polynesians' --Patrick V Kirch, Professor Emeritus, University of California 'Wonderfully informative and entertaining' --New Zealand Weekend Herald 'a highly readable and lucid account of the early Polynesians' epic saga...will appeal to both the general reader and the specialist'. --NZ Listener
Andrew Crowe is a bestselling author with a special interest in helping make nature accessible to beginners of all ages. He has written over 40 nature books covering seashells, insects, spiders, birds and other animals and plants. Andrew has won numerous New Zealand book awards, including the Margaret Mahy Medal in 2009 for his overall contribution to children's literature and the Ashton Wylie Award in 2005 for a biography for teenagers on the Dalai Lama.