Video Find: Sarimanok, Bali to Madagascar in Neolithic Dugout

Writer and sailor Bob Hobman set out to cross the Indian Ocean in a 20-meter-long dugout canoe. The 65-day journey went straight across the ocean from Indonesia to Madagascar instead of along the coasts of India and Africa, the normal trade routes over the centuries. Hobsman was looking at how Austronesian-speaking peoples migrated from Southeast Asia to Madagascar.

The boat was built in the Philippines using Neolithic methods, meaning no metal or nonorganic materials. It was shaped from a single log. To add authenticity, they navigated without modern instruments, using just the stars as the ancient Austronesians would have. 

Hobsman put years of research into the ancient maritime cultures. He named their boat the Sarimanok after a Southeast Asian bird.

From the YouTube introduction:

"A film of Bob Hobman's attempt to sail across the Indian Ocean in a primitive native craft. He aimed to show that the people of Madagascar, who originally came from Indonesia 2,500 years ago, sailed, not in a series of stages, but directly across the Indian Ocean, in one of the great epic voyages of history. His voyage took 65 days." 



Orana Films

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