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East is Not a ‘Big Bird’: The Etymology of the Star Altair in the Carolinian Sidereal Compass

East is Not a ‘Big Bird’: The Etymology of the Star Altair in the Carolinian Sidereal Compass Abstract: We argue that the Micronesian constellation centered on Altair, known in Lamotrek as Mailap, has been mistakenly identified in previous literature with another constellation centered on Sirius, known as Mannap. The latter is literally the ‘Big Bird’ and is well known in parts of Polynesia as well. Confusing this Big Bird with Altair has led to much confusion in the literature on Carolinian navigational arts. We trace the history of how this error arose and why it has persisted over time, and we also suggest an alternate etymology for Mailap. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

East is Not a ‘Big Bird’: The Etymology of the Star Altair in the Carolinian Sidereal Compass

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 54 (2) – Nov 23, 2015

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9421
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Abstract

Abstract: We argue that the Micronesian constellation centered on Altair, known in Lamotrek as Mailap, has been mistakenly identified in previous literature with another constellation centered on Sirius, known as Mannap. The latter is literally the ‘Big Bird’ and is well known in parts of Polynesia as well. Confusing this Big Bird with Altair has led to much confusion in the literature on Carolinian navigational arts. We trace the history of how this error arose and why it has persisted over time, and we also suggest an alternate etymology for Mailap.

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Nov 23, 2015

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