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.
Oceanic Linguistics – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 23, 2015