The extraordinary four-thousand year story of the settlement of the Pacific Ocean.
In Voyagers, the distinguished anthropologist Nicholas Thomas charts the course of the seaborne migrations that populated the islands between Asia and the Americas from late prehistory onwards: firstly the colonization by speakers of Austronesian languages of the western Pacific littoral, from around 3000 BC, of the Philippines, Indonesia, Micronesia and Melanesia; followed by the later settlement, by Polynesian peoples, of Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, the Marquesas, Easter Island and eventually New Zealand, up to AD 1250.
Alongside a compelling narrative of this remarkable sequence of long-distance migrations, Thomas describes the sea-going technologies that allowed these epic voyages to take place; the nature of the cultures that embarked on them; and the societies that emerged across Oceania in their wake.
'Beautifully written, with spell-binding vignettes. An important, original contribution to our knowledge of life in the Pacific' Dame Anne Salmond.
'Intellectually sophisticated and clearly written, this first-rate study of the experience of the Pacific Islanders provides one of the best available studies of the nature of imperial contact and violence, and of the traumas they caused' Jeremy Black.
'Islanders is not only a fine work of scholarship but also a lucid and engrossing read' Rod Edmond.