Nomads of the Wind: A Natural History of Polynesia

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9780563367079: Nomads of the Wind: A Natural History of Polynesia
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Accompanying a BBC2 series, this book tells the story of the Polynesians, a tenacious, voyaging people who sailed across the Pacific Ocean and discovered the paradise islands of the South Seas. Using the power of the wind and navigating by the stars, they crossed thousands of miles of open ocean in search of new lands such as Tahiti, Samao and New Zealand. The book explores the colourful plant and animal life which, like the Polynesians themselves, settled every speck of land in this extraordinary island world. From coral atolls alive with sharks and reef fish, to lush rain forests teeming with exotic plants, birds and insects, the islands of Polynesia have an intriguing natural history.

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Author and principal photographer Crawford is the writer and executive producer of a five-hour television series, Nomads of the Wind, scheduled for November broadcast by PBS. This companion volume focuses on the ecology and anthropology of Polynesia, those Pacific Islands bounded on the southeast by Easter Island, on the north by Hawaii, and on the southwest by New Zealand. Crawford traces the migration of plants, animals, and human beings from island group to island group, looking at how settlers changed the indigenous habitat by bringing important food plants and livestock with which they established sustainable colonies. In some cases, settlers totally altered the native ecosystem. Crawford's text rambles and repeats itself a bit as he "island hops" from Tahiti westward to Fiji, eastward to the Marquesas, and northward to Hawaii, ending in New Zealand, the most recently settled Polynesian Islands. Public libraries can expect the TV tie-in to generate demand for the book.-Laurie Tynan, Montgomery Cty.
Norristown P.L., Pa.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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