The Kon-Tiki Museum have two publication series for research. Occasional Papers, a traditional museum monograph open to all reseearchers, and Field and Archive Reports Series, in which research funded by the museum is published. Additional research done by museum staff or associated researchers are also presented below. Most of these volumes are available for purchase.

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Kon-Tiki Museum Occasional Papers

The Kon-Tiki Museum established in 1988 a research monograph publiction series entitled Occasional Papers. The objective of the Occasional Papers is to make reports of current research performed or supported by the museum available to the professional community.

The series, which is awards publication points in the Norwegian academic system, is open to all researchers who are interested in submitting a manuscript.

The main topics are Pacific archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics, but manuscripts documenting research in maritime experimental archaeology and connections between cultures are welcomed for consideration.

The publication may be purchased from The Kon-Tiki Museum store. To order, or send your submissions, please contact the museum curator Reidar Solsvik.

A. Skjølsvold, T. Heyerdahl, and K. M. Haugland, during a board meeting on Rapa Nui in 1986. This was the year when the Kon-Tiki Museum established an independent research departement and the Kon-Tiki Museum Occasional Papers.

  • Volume 1-1: An Attempt to Date a Unique, Kneeling Statue in Rano Raraku, Easter Island

    An Attempt to Date a Unique, Kneeling Statue in Rano Raraku, Easter Island, Vol. 1, 1989, 64 pp. Arne Skjølsvold and Gonzalo Figueroa.

    The most interesting discovery during the course of the excavations carried out by “The Norwegian Archaeological Expedition to Easter Island and the East Pacific” in 1955-56 was a unique kneeling statue found at the extreme sout-west of the locality Kanapu in Rano Raraku. The statue, which was not formerly known, received the name Tukuturi (i.e. The squatting one) in the local language.

    The excavation of the statue in 1955-56 provided no reliable basis for dating and relative chronology. Quarrying-tools of the usual pointed- and more adze-like types were found in the debris surrounding the statue, but these artefacts were unfit for dating purposes.

    In the discussion of the probable age of the kneeling statue, the archaeologists tried, on the basis of reasoning and stylistical considerations, to link the statue with one of the three architectural periods established by the expedition. As a provisional hypothesis, the kneeling statue was regarded as associated with the Early period.

    Since the kneeling statue is of considerable interest for the understanding of the development of the Easter Island megalithic stone sculpture, a renewed and more extensive examination of the refuse deposit around the statue seemed desirable in order to find dating material clearly associated with the stone-carving activity.

    In 1982 the authors got the opportunity through a financial grant from the Kon-Tiki Museum. Work started October 25th with local laborers who had previous experience with archaeological field work.

    Since our excavation yielded only very small amounts of charcoal which were unsuited for traditional 14C analysis, three samples were submitted to Laboratory for Radiological Dating in Trondheim, Norway, to Beta Analytic Inc. in Florida, US, and to the Svedberg Laboratory, University of Uppsala, Sweeden.

    One curved, pointed stick was at the southern end of the main trench, on which two separate radio-carbon datings were performed, T-5006 and T-6258. In the northern part of the trench two small saples of scattered charcoal was collected in and on top of a layer of puverized maoi stone. The uppermost sample is Beta-13130 and the lower most sample is Ua-618.

    • T-5006: 180±40 b.p., cal. AD 1715±85 years.
    • T-6258: 230±60 b.p., cal. AD 1605±155 years.
    • Beta-13130: 540±90 b.p., cal. AD 1303 to 1437.
    • Ua-618: 1040±90 b.p., cal. AD 894 to 1035.

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  • Volume 1-2: The Walking Moai of Easter Island

    The first empiric experiments in carving and maneuvering Easter Island monolithic statues (moai) were conducted by the Norwegian Archaeological Expedition in 1955-56. A group of direct descendants from the prehistoric sculptors demonstrated convincingly how it was possible to carve a moai from the tuff in the abandoned image quarries of the Rano Raraku crater walls using only the basalt hand-picks (toki) left in profusion everywhere in the quarries.

    The same islanders demonstrated with equal success how their ancestors had erected their statues quite simply by pushing a slowly growing pile of stones underneath while prying the monolith up in tiny jerks with wooden poles. 18 days sufficed for 12 islanders to lift a twenty ton moai lying on the ground up to a level of an image platform (ahu) and tilt it into an upright position.

    Each of these two experiments followed methods preserved in local traditions. However, when the same islanders were asked how the statues had been transported from the quarries to the various ahu on the island, the answers were invariably that the moai had “walked” by supernatural power.

    Asked by us if there was no other and less supernatural method, the islanders replied that their ancestors sometimes transported big building blocks on a sledge made of a forked tree (miro maunga erua). Consequently an experiment was carried out by our expedition on the landward side of Ahu Nau Nau in Anakena, where a medium-size moai placed on such a sledge was dragged a short distance across the sand by 180 islanders pulling in two parallel ropes. The experiment proved cumbersome and not very convincing, and the islanders continued to insist that their ancestors had made the statues “walk”.

    When Heyerdahl and Skjølsvold in 1985 announced their plans to return to Easter Island to conduct more field work, they received a letter from a Checkoslovakian engineer, Pavel Pavel. He wrote that he had become interested in the technical problems of transporting the megalithic stone statues on Easter Island because of certain statements in Heyerdahl’s book and film of the expedition. He had noticed that Heyerdahl did not believe in the Easter Islanders’ claim that the statues had walked. In 1981 Pavel had therefore begun his experiments by first making a 26 cm tall moai of clay and was surprised to discover how stable it was. The reason for this stability was found to be the special design of the moai. They have a large circumference at their base, but narrow upper section, in such a way that the centre of gravity occurs at 1/2 of the toal height. Later Pavel experimented on a 4,5 m tall statue of concrete weighing 12 tonns.

    Pavel Pavel join in on the 1986 expedition to Easter Island.

    Field studies was carried out on Easter Island that greatly strengthened the assumption that statues were transported in an upright position, we decided to attempt empiric experiments with authentic moai.

    Our permission from Consejo del Monumentos Nacionales in Chile was restricted to statues that had been displaced from their original sites or context in meodern times. After initial testing with a very small statue in Hangaroa village, the experiment were repeated on a bigger moai erected in Tongariki recently, after having been brought to Japan for an exhibition.

    The Walking Moai of Easter Island, Vol. 1, 1989, 64 pp. Thor Heyerdahl, Arne Skjølsvold, and Pavel Pavel.

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  • Volume 2-1: Archaeological Test-Excavations on the Maldive Islands

    The following is a report on archaeological test-excavations carried out during Thor Heyerdahl’s expeditions to the Republic of Maldives in 1983 and 1984, which lasted for about three weeks each year, in January and February.

    The expeditions came about as a result of an invitation from the President of the Republic of Maldives, His Excellence Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. The expeditions were organized as a joint project wetween the Kon-Tiki Museum and the Maldivian government.

    The expedition’s professional team consisted of Thor Heyerdahl, Arne Skjølsvold (archaeologist) and Øystein Johansen (archaeologist), Egil Mikkelsen (archaeologist, only 1984), and Mohamed Ibrahim Loutfi, Director of the National Centre for Linguistic and Historical Research in the Maldives.

    The intention of our brief expeditions was to get an idea of the character of the pre-Muslim archaeology of the islands. For this reason the expedition visited as many islands as possible within the limited time we had at our disposal. Excavations were limited to the uncovering of two fragmentary constructions embodied in havitta (the Maldivian word for temple mound) mounds on the islands of Nilandu and Gaaf Gan respecively, and to a few exploratory trenches.

    Archaeological Test-Excavations on the Maldive Islands, Vol. 2, 1991, 201 pp. Arne Skjølsvold.

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  • Volume 2-2: An Archaeological Pottery Sequence from Nilandu, The Maldive

    This reports the first archaeological excavation ever done on the Maldive Islands with a stratigraphically documented pottery and artefact sequence.

    As part of the archaeological test-excavations on Nilandu, The Maldive Islands, in 1984, a trench was cut through the edge of the elevated temple area north of the main havitta. According to the local tradition, the wall surrounding the old Buddhist temple area was located at this place. Potsherds were found on the surface here, on the top of a slight elevation.

    A trench, 9.4 m long and 1 m wide and orientated N-S was cut with the southern end being located 36 m north of the havitta. The excavation was carried out in 10 cm levels, and from layer 4 onwards, all the soil and sand was screened through a fine-meshed screen. Eleven layers were surveyed.

    The excavation of structure IV is briefly mentioned in Skjølsvold’s article. Here a more detailed account is put forward with special importance attached to the artefact and pottery sequences.

    An Archaeological Pottery Sequence from Nilandu, The Maldive Islands, Vol. 2, 1991, 201 pp. Egil Mikkelsen.

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  • Volume 3-1: Archaeological Investigations at Anakena, Easter Islands

    Between 1986-88, Thor Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki Museum carried out extensive archaeological excavations in Anakena, Easter Island. This report details the excavation of ahu Nau Nau, where three superimposed architectural phases were found, and of investigations of ahu Ature Huki.

    The archaeological excavations at Anakena, Easter Island, were carried out in collaboration with the Museum in Hangaroa.

    In 1978 Sergio Rapu Haoa, archaeologst and later governor of Easter Island, carried out reconstruction work on ahu Nau Nau in Anakena. Here, he had uncovered, but not dated, an ahu wall and a pavement which were primary to the present ahu Nau Nau.

    The main goal for the Kon-Tiki Museum’s investigations in Anakena in 1986-88 was to reopen and widen the trench with the ahu-wall and pavement, in order to get more information about this early ahu phase and to search for material for radiocarbon datings.

    The Kon-Tiki Museum intention was furthermore to open other exploratory trenches in the vicinity of ahu Nau Nau in the hope of gaining additional knowledge of the prehistoric milieu surrounding the ahu.

    Do you have a Norwegian IP address? Read the book here.

    The report also details the excavation of a very early habitation site underneath ahu Nau Nau, perhaps the earliest on the island.

    Archaeological Investigations at Anakena, Easter Islands, Vol. 3, 1994, 216 pp. Arne Skjølsvold.

  • Volume 3-2: The Settlement/Activity Area Ahu Nau Nau East at Anakena, Easter Island

    One of the intentions of the archaeological test excavations at Anakena was to locate settlements. The settlement/activity area named Nau Nau East was found at Anakena during test excavations performed by The Kon-Tiki Museum in January and Febuary 1987. A test trench N was excavated and exhibited a brown soil layer, which contained scattered cultural remains, bone debris and a refuse pit. In order to investigate the extension of this cultural layer, three other trenches were opened in the area. They were named S, R and P.

    During the extended excavation performed by the Kon-Tiki Museum in January and February 1988, a total of 68 square meter was investigated. The purpose of the extended excavation was to obtain closer information concerning the extension of the cultural layer, its appearance and composition, related constructions and features and the composition of artifacts and bone remains.

    The cultural layer was dated by two charcoal samples from trench N. One sample was obtained from the bottom of the cultural layer (B.P. 810±80, A.D. 1126-1272) and the other from the bottom of the pit, F-25, dating to B.P. 8100±70, A.D. 1153-1268.

    The Settlement/Activity Area Ahu Nau Nau East at Anakena, Easter Island, Vol. 3, 1994, 216 pp. Helene Martinsson-Wallin and Paul Wallin.

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  • Volume 4: The Symbolism of Polynesian Temple Rituals

    This study of Polynesian temple rituals may be seen as a compliment and continuation of my Ph.D. thesis Ceremonial Stone Structures. The Archaeology and Ethnohistory of the Marae Complex in the Society Islands, French Polynesia (1993), which was an archaeological study of the marae structures in the Society Islands. The focus of Ceremonial Stone Structures were on archaeological problems in connection to marae variations. The ethnohistorical records were used in my interpretations of archaeologically based observations, but I was only touching at described rituals and their meanings. Anyway, my interest was awakened, and I am now glad to have the possibility to present my view concerning Polynesian temple rituals.

    The Symbolism of Polynesian Temple Rituals, Vol. 4, 1998, 66 pp. Paul Wallin.

  • Volume 5: Essays in Honour of Arne Skjølsvold 75 Years

    The Norwegian archaeologist Arne Skjølsvold was a long-time companion on Thor Heyerdahl’s many archaeological expeditions to the Galapagos Islands, to Easter Island and other islands in Polynesia, to the Maldives Islands and during the archaeological investigation of a pyramidal complex in Tucume, Peru. His main career was in Norwegian Iron-Age archaeology, and he ended his academic career as head of Department of Antiquities, at the University of Oslo.

    Do you have a Norwegian IP address? Read the book here.

    Arne Skjølsvold (left) with director Knut M. Haugland in the library of the museum.

    This festschrift contains papers on the Galapagos Islands, Easter Island, other islands in Polynesia and Melanesia, Peru, and the Maldives Islands, celebrating Arne Skjølsvold’s 75 years anniversary.


    • Archaeology on the Galapagos Islands. Thor Heyerdahl.
    • The osteological evidences for Rapa Nui origins reexamined. Patrick Chapman.
    • Stone chicken coops on Easter Island. Edwin Ferdon.
    • “No stone unturned”. A reflection on the recycling of worked stones on Rapa Nui. Helen Martinsson-Wallin.
    • Prehistoric basalt mining in the La Pérouse area of Easter Island. Christopher Stevenson, Sonia Haoa, and Michael Glascock.
    • The advent chronology of South Polynesia. Atholl Anderson.
    • Religious structures of southeastern Polynesian: Even more marae later. Roger C. Green.
    • Three special sites in East Polynesia. Paul Wallin.
    • Aestetics. Ingjerd Hoëm.
    • The Pacific Archaeology Teaching Project. An experiment in remote delivery of archaeological results to a classroom context. Matthew Spriggs.
    • A loanword from Mapudungun in Mochica. Even Hovdhaugen.
    • Modus vivendi within Polynesian archaeology in relation to the connection Easter Island-Peru. Øystein Koch Johansen.
    • Archaeological excavations of a Buddhist monastery at Kaashidhoo, The Republic of Maldives. Egil Mikkelsen.
    • Bibliography of Arne Skjølsvold.

    Essays in Honour of Arne Skjølsvold 75 Years, Vol. 5, 2000, 178 pp. Paul Wallin and Helene Martinsson-Wallin (eds.).

  • Volume 6: The Prehistory of Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, Republic of Kiribati – Excavations and Analyses

    The project “Human and Environmental Prehistory of Kritimati Island, Kiribati”, August-September 1999, was undertaken jointly by the Kon-Tiki Museum, Oslo, and the Department of Archaeology and Natural History, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.

    In addition to reports on the archaeological surveys and excavations undertaken on Kiritimati, this volume presents the following appendecies:

    • Characterisatin and sourcing of archaeological basalt from Kritimati (Christmas) Island. Barry Frankhauser.
    • The late quaternary of Kiritimati (Christmas) Island. Kiribati. Geoffrey Hope.
    • The shellfish collection from Kiritimati Island. Lyn Schmidt.
    • Fossil bird and rat bones from Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, Kribati. Alan Tennyson.

    The Prehistory of Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, Republic of Kiribati – Excavations and Analyses, Vol. 6, 2002, 144 pp. Atholl Anderson, Helene Martinsson-Wallin, and Paul Wallin.

  • Volume 7: Pileni Texts with a Pileni-English Vocabulary and an English-Pileni Finderlist

    The Pileni language is a Polynesian language spoken in the easternmost part of the Solomon Islands, in the province Temotu. It is spoken by approximately 1.000 people on the small coral islands of Pileni, Nifiloli, Matamã, Nukapu and Nupani, as well as on a couple of settlements on the larger island of Santa Cruz. The language of the nearby Duff Islands, with another 1.000 speakers, is also a dialect of Pileni.

    This is the first major collection of texts in the Pileni language. These texts presented here were recorded on Pileni and Nifiloli in February 1997 and in July 1998 by Ingjerd Hoëm (1997), Even Hovdhaugen (1997, 1998) and Åshild Næss (1998). The informants were mainly from Pileni, but a few were from Nukapu and Nifiloli. Most of the texts were transcribed on Pileni with the help of the storytellers and of our main informants Jenny Mapolu, Luapaly Cherry and Charles Bice Mate. In September 1999 Charles Bice Mate came to Norway and spent some weeks working on the analysis and translation of all the texts published in this book together with Åshild Næss. He helped us to understand and correct a number of unclear points both with respect to the content of the stories, the meanings of single words and the grammatical constructions used. Without the extensive help charles gave us both on Pileni and in Oslo this book would not have been possible.

    Except for one text, which is a farewell speech given at a party when Even Hovdhaugen and Ingjerd Hoëm left Pileni in 1997, all the other texts are lalakhai‘s. A lalakhai is a traditional fairy tale, but it may also contain legendary material, and in most cases the geographical setting of the stories is a spcific place in the Pileni-speaking islands. Five of the stories are so-called animal stories, which are well known from many other Polynesian societies. Some of these animal stories have topics also found elswhere in Polynesia. Unlike the other lalakhai‘s, these animal stories are not placed in specific geographical settings.

    Most people on Pileni are able to tell lalakhai‘s and the narrators are both men and women, old and young. Telling stories is the main form of entertainment on the island – the entire population on Pileni is about 120 people – and it can take place at any time of the day. A number of the stories in this book are of high literary quality, and the narrators are artists of high standard.

    These stories also give important information about the little-known culture on Pileni and neigbouring islands. They contain important details about magic and traditional medicine (kastom medicine), about fishing and marriage customs, about fighting and sea journeys. In some cases, the narrators used the opportunity to explain in detail aspects of Pileni culture when telling us stories; on certain points the stories probably have more such details than are found when the audience consists of only locals. On the other hand, not a single story was told us alone. There were always a few adults and numerous children listening in, and the children could be rather critical even towards experienced and old narrators, criticising them when they made errors or forgot important points in the story.

    The book contains a collection of twenty stories collected with orthography used by people on Pileni and translated into English. The book also contains a Pileni-English vocabulary and an English-Pileni finderlist.

    Pileni Texts with a Pileni-English Vocabulary and an English-Pileni Finderlist, Vol. 7, 2002, 251 pp. Even Hovdhaugen, Åshild Næss, and Ingjerd Hoëm.

  • Volume 8: Wogeo Texts. Myths, songs and spells from Wogeo Island, Papua New Guinea

    Wogeo is an Austronesian language spoken on the islands of Wogeo and Koil in East Sepik Province on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. It belongs to the small Manam group within the Oceanic language family. According to the 2000 census, 1.624 people of whom most adults are Wogeo speakers inhabit the two islands. Apart from a small collection of Wogeo songs and spells that was published in the journal Oceania by the prominent Wogeo leader Bernard Gagin Dalle (1972), this book is the first collection of texts to be published in the Wogeo language.

    This book contains a collection of eight stories transcribed in Wogeo by Exter together with Albert Kulbobo Bo, Conny Tarere Kauni and Michael Ganem Iaronga. These stories, or myths, concern the doings of mythical beings (nanaranga) and those that are spoken of as the first people on the island. Each of the stories belongs to a particular village on the island and should ideally be told only by people belonging to that place.

    We have also included various traditional Wogeo songs. It was the performers themselves who chose the songs to sing, and these represent eight different generes of songs.

    Wogeo Texts. Myths, songs and spells from Wogeo Island, Papua New Guinea, Vol. 8, 2005, 94 pp. Astrid Anderson and Mats Exter.

  • Volume 9: Stories from the Reef Islands. Äiwoo text with translations

    The stories presented in this book have been collected from speakers of the Äiwoo language spoken in the Reef Islands in Temotu Province, Solomon Islands. Äiwoo belongs, together with the Natügu and Nagu languages of Santa Cruz, to the so-called ‘Reefs-Santa Cruz’ group of languages.

    The purpose of this book is to contribute to the documentation of the oral tradition and language of the Reef Islands, with two main audiences in mind. Firstly, it is hoped that the book will encourage the people of the Reef Islands to read and write their language, by providing texts for people to read and use as a basis for literacy training. Secondly, as very little published material is available in or about the Äiwoo language, linguists interested in the language may find the text material collected here useful.

    With a couple of exceptions, all the texts in this book were first recorded on tape, then transcribed and translated with the help of Äiwoo speakers. Most of the recordings were made by Åshild Næss in Honiara, Nenubo, and on Pigeon Island, while a few texts were recorded by Even Hovdhaugen and Anders Vaa, both in Tuwo, and by Samuel Paikai in Honiara. Nearly all the people who contributed stories come from either Nenubo on Lomlom/Ngäälo or Tuwo on Fenua Loa/Ngäsinuwe.

    About the texts

    The fourteen texts collected here are presented in a loosely thematic order. The first four stories are short animal fables explaining, among other things, why it is that the flying fox hangs upsidedown from the trees and why the heron always stays in the shallows when fishing. A variant of the story about the heron who gets his leg caught in a clam-shell has previously been recorded on Pileni island, and is reproduced in the local Polynesian language in Hovdhaugen et. al. (2002, KTM Occ. Papers Vol. 7).

    The next seven texts are longer, more complex custom stories whose themes include magic, spirits and supernatural beings. They also provide a great deal of insight into various aspects of traditional life in the Reef Islands, of methods of fishing and cooking, of brideprice and marriage, of conflict, revenge and reconciliation. The theme of childlessness and adoption which starts off the story about Moliki seems to be a recurring one.

    The story about Temââ (the Duff Islands) has several interesting themes. The motif of the lost children who return to their parents who believed them dead is very common in the custom stories or lalakhai‘s of the Polynesian islands in the Reefs, cf. Hovdhaugen et al. (2002, KTM Occ. Papers Vol. 7). The structure of the story, where several brothers refuse to help an old woman and as a consequence meet with terrible fates, until the youngest comes along and does everything right, is similar to that found in certain Northern European fairytales. The magical appearance of an aboundance of goods and beautiful women is also a common theme in the stories from the Polynesian islands.

    The story about the delphins is one of the stories associated with the twelve clans into which the people of the Reefs are divided. There is a story for each clan, and this one tells of how the pelowe clan became linked with the dolphins through a pair of children who swam so far out to sea that they were transformed into dolphins. Therefore, dolphins are still counted today as members of the pelowe clan, and are said to beach themselves in grief when a pelowe dies.

    The story of Pale is interesting because it mixes modern elements such as European food and beer, church service and Christian priests which traditional themes of magic and “little people” living in the forest. It is claimed to be a true tale and to have taken place fairly recently, as opposed to the stories preceding it which are, for the most part, not presented as fact.

    The last two stories are presented as accounts of historical events. The first treats the colonisation of the Reef Islands from a particular village on Santa Cruz. While of course the details of this story cannot be verified, it is safe to assume that the first people in the Reefs did at some point arrive from Santa Cruz, the only larger island in the aread. It is located some 70 kilometres to the south-east of the Reef Islands, and while this hilly island is clearly visible from the Reefs, one must travel a considerable portion of the distance from Santa Cruz before the low coral islands of the Reefs appear to the naked eye. The story was apparently presented as evidence in a land-claim dispute on Santa Cruz, to establish the rights of Reef Islanders from Nenubo to certain land areas on the bigger island.

    The final story concerns a war between the two villages of Tuwo and Nubulââ on Fenua Loa or Ngäsinuwe island. Until fairly recently, such wars were not uncommon. The narrator is an elderly man whose father participated in the war.


    The stories have been written down as they were told, with only obvious errors and hesitations corrected. English words have been retained where they were used in the recording, and repetitions and variation have for the most part been kept. This is done to represent as accurately as possible the language use and narrative style in the Reef Islands today. The author is aware that some people might have preferred to see these stories printed in a more standardised, corrected tyle, but it has been impossible with the time and resources available to the author to create “authorised” versions of the texts. In any case the author believe that documentation of the language as it is actually spoken is a valuable effort in itself.

    This book is produced as part of an ongoing linguistic research project in the Reef Islands. As research on Äiwoo is still at an early stage, there is still much about the language which is poorly understood, both at the level of grammar and vocabulary. Although most of the texts in this book have been checked twice with Äiwoo speakers, it is therefore highly likely that there will be errors or inconsistencies remaining in the texts and their translations. The author apologise for this to all users of the book; the decision to publish the book as it now stands is the result of a wish to make the preliminary results of our research available to interested readers as soon as possible, rather than put off the publication to some hypothetical future date when all problems have been solved.


    This volume has come about through the efforts of many people. Thanks are first and foremost due to the people who told the stories to the author and her colleagues; their names are given at the start of each text. Furthermore, a number of people spent many patient hours working with the author to transcribe and translate the texts, and helping her acquire some degree of understanding of the Äiwoo language: Samule Paikai, Ataban Paulusi, Jackson Labaki, Martinson Collins, Patrick Bwakolo, Geoffrey Vili, Brown Nupani, and Patrick Gudena also deserves thansk for their help in my work on a draft word list which greatly clarified the meanings of many of the words and expressions found in these texts. Many thanks also to John Rentz for helpful discussions on orthography. Any mistakes still remaining are entirely the author’s own responsibility.

    The author would also like to thank Geoffrey Vili, Paramount Chief of Nenubo village, for his hospitality towards me and other members of our project, and John Akeso and his family in Tuwo for a similar generous reception there. Ikuwâklalou-manawâ ngâgumi.

    Stories from the Reef Islands. Äiwoo text with translations, Vol. 9, 2006, 122 pp. Åshild Næss.

  • Volume 10: Stories from Vaeakau and Taumako. A lalakhai ma talanga – o Vaeakau ma Taumako

    After the publication of Pileni texts (2002, KTM Occ. Papers Vol. 7) many people in Vaeakau and Taumako have asked for more reading material in their language. This book is published to meet that need, and it is especially designed for use in the schools. In addition to traditional stories (lalakhai‘s) it also contains stories related to the history of the area, like the stories about the cyclone in 1993 and the story about the death of bishop Patterson.

    There are three main dialects of the Vaeakau-Taumako language: The Nupani dialect, the Taumako dialect and the Vaeakau (minus Nupani) dialect. While Pileni Texts (2002, KTM Occ. Papers Vol. 7) only contained material from some islands in Vaeakau, this book covers all islands and all dialect areas.

    The first 12 stories from Vaeakau have been transcribed from tape-recordings and edited. The next four stories are from Taumako. The first two are transcribed from tape-recordings, while the last two have been written and translated by Noel Hatu. Finally, there are four stories from Nupani written and translated by Christian Tekilamata.

    All the stories have been slightly edited with regard to orthography and word division. Some repetitions and plain errors have been removed. The orthography is based on the norm chosen for A Short Dictorionary of the Vaeakau-Taumako language (2006, KTM Occ. Papers, Vol. 11), but individual variation has for the most part been retained.

    In the stories from Taumako and Nupani, the characteristic features of the Taumako dialect (th > s, the causative formatives haka- and ha- instead of hua-, etc.) have been retained. The story by Sera Vaoli about the Tongan attack on Nukapu contains many old words and grammatical forms that are unknown to most people today. Her archaic language has not been normalized and stands as a unique documentation of an older stage of the language.


    The first persons to thank are of course the storytellers. Without them the book would not have been possible: Elison Laura, Salome Olipi, Aliki Toitua, John Vahi (Matema), John Hatia, Edward Makiu (Nifiloli), Henry Leni, Silas Loa, Sera Vaoli (Nukapu), Juda Kionoi (Nupani/Pileni), christian Tekilamata (Nupani/Minevi), Michael Mapolu, Gloria Menenga (Pileni), Barnabas Bolami, Noel Hatu, and Mathilde Longolua (Taumako).

    Stories from Vaeakau and Taumako. A lalakhai ma talanga – o Vaeakau ma Taumako, Vol. 10, 2006, 141 pp. Even Hovdhaugen and Åshild Næss. Assisted by John Hatia, Edward Makiu, Jack Vahi, Charles Bice Mete, Christian Tekilamata, Mostyn Vane, and Noel Hatu.

  • Volume 11: A Short Dictionary of the Vaeakuau-Taumako Language

    Even Hovdhaugen and Åshild Næss started work on the Vaeakau-Taumako language in 1997. Their main aims were to collect texts to document the language and to write a grammatical description of it.

    In 2000 Næss published a short grammar, and in 2001 Hovhaugen and Næss together with Ingjer Hoëm published Pileni Texts (KTM Occ. Papers, Vol. 7), a collection of traditional stories with translations. The book also has a vocabulary, which, however, due to several unfortunate circumstances, contains too many errors and ghost words.

    When Hovdhaugen returned to Vaeakau in 2003 the Vaekau-Taumako-speaking communities expressed their interest in a dictionary of their language. Hovdhaugen had never worked on lexicography before but agreed to help the people in Vaeakau and Taumako produce a short dictionary.

    Many persons both young and old from Vaeakau and Taumako have contributed material to the dictionary. Particularly, the members of the dictionary committees on Nifiloli (Edward Makiu, Holland Natei, Gabriel Tavake) and on Taumako (Moris Likiopu, Selwyn Skito, Gabriel Vakatau, Mostyn Vane and later David Donald, Noel Hatu, Dudley Kio, and Inni Taupea) and also Charles Bice Mete (Pileni/Isabel) and Christian Tekilamata (Mupani/Minevi) deserve to be mentioned.


    To a great extent this dictionary is based on a corpus of tape-recorded and later transcribed oral texts. We thank the narrators of these texts for the invaluable material they provided. Thanks to Elison Laura, Salome Olipi, Aliki Toitua, John Vahi (Matema), John Hatia, Edward Makiu, Clement Natei (Nifiloli), Henry Laki, Henry Leni, Silas Loa, Sera Vaoli (Nukapu), Christian Mapolu, Thomas Mele, Gloria Menenga, Charles Bice Mete, Cecil Paile, Madeleine Teanu, Ellen Uka, Jack Vahi, Roy Voia (Pileni), Barnabas Bolami, Cruso Kavea, Mathilde Longolua, Oliver Ningaolo (Taumako).

    In additionto the oral texts, we have received about a hundred pages of written texts provided by Noel Hatu and Selwyn Skito in the Taumako dialect and by Christian Tekilamata in the Nupani dialect. John Tealikilava (Pileni) has given us access to his Christmas carols in the Nupani dialect (written by John Nieva and Christian Tekilamata) has also been included in our corpus.

    We wold like to thank the Norwegian Research Council, the University of Oslo, and the Kon-Tiki Museum (Oslo) for financial support, and the Max Planck-institute, Nijmegen, for allowing us to use some of their material for data elicitation. Finally, thanks to Jan Engh and Oddrun Grønvik who have both been generous with lexicographic advice.

    This book undoubtedly has many errors and omissions. We who have worked on the dictionary hope that people in Vaeakau and on the Duff Islands will help us to correct errors and to add more lexical material for future editions of this dictionary.

    A Short Dictionary of the Vaeakuau-Taumako Language, Vol. 11, 2006, 165 pp. Even Hovdhaugen. Assisted by: Åshild Næss, Edward Makiu, Holland Natei, Gabriel Tavake, Christian Tekilamata, Charles Bice Mete, David Donald, Noel Hatu, Dudley Kio, Moris Likiopu, Selwyn Skito, Inni Taupea, Gabriel Vakatau, and Mostyn Vane.

  • Volume 12: Identity matters movement and place

    This volume presents results and some of the main findings from a multi-disciplinary research project on Oceania, funded by the Norwegian Research Council, and carried out with support from The Kon-Tiki Museum and The Museum of Cultural Heritage, University of Oslo, between 2001 and 2008.

    The project included researchers from the fields of social anthropology, linguistics and archaeology – in a manner common to subject divisions within American academia – but still unusual in Norwegian or European research traditions.

    The research project was called Identity Matters: Movement and Place. This title refers to our common conviction that identity, in the sense of cultural allegiances and practices, ethnicity and relationships of attachment through various social groups and institutions, matters very much to all people. Also, it refers to the fact that the material aspects of existence matters, as they form our living conditions, and constitute the material from which we give particular shape to our life-worlds. Finally, the two poles, movement, as in historic navigational feats and today’s transnational migrations, accompanied by a remarkably persistent attachment to place, is seen as constituting the dynamics from which Pacific cultures have evolved and still come into existence in yet new shapes and in new places.

    This volume consists of three main parts:

    1. Life on land – and across the ocean.
    2. Contacts and contrasts.
    3. New journeys, new places?

    The contributions all share a focus on connections, within and between islands, within and across regions, across ethnic divides, and in the contemporary Pacific and in networks of ­– sometimes global – extension.

    The first part

    Life on Land – and Across the Ocean concerns the relationship between the spatialization of social memory and the significance of relationships and journeys outside of the immediate environment.

    Ingjerd Hoëm’s chapter “Narratives of Origin. Some Insights from Pacific Ethnography,” discuss the common scientific tendency to focus on monogenetic models of cultural and linguistic origins. In order to demonstrate the significance of conceptions of multiple origins in the Pacific, she draws connections between historical practices of long standing, contemporary conceptions of genealogies and patterns of sociality in general.

    Reidar Solsvik’s chapter “The Place of the Land and the seat of the ancestors: Marae and social identity in Society Islands culture,” discuss the role of ceremonial places in the shaping of social identity in a general and historical perspective.

    Helene Martinsson-Wallin’s chapter describes the archaeological investigation of the Pulemelei ceremonial mound in Savai’i: “The Samoa Project: archaeological results, local participation and intercultural exchange.”

    Finally, she also presents an account of the effects of – and identifications related to – the ongoing archaeological engagement with Rapa Nui, Easter Island, on behalf of the Kon-Tiki Museum, counting from the early expeditions led by Thor Heyerdahl to her own and her associates’ ongoing investigations in the chapter: “Belonging to a Small, Remote and Special Place – Rapa Nui, the Long Term Perspective.”


    HIstorical photo from Papaete.

    The second part

    Contacts and Contrasts, explores relationships across ethnic, linguistic and cultural divides.

    In the chapter: “Letters from Homes. Maintaining Global Relationships in the Victorian Age,” Thorgeir Storesund Kolshus discuss and documents how multiple allegiances, reaching across the globe, developed during missionary engagement in Vanuatu in the Victoria era.

    Åshild Næss’ chapter, “Reefs-Santa Cruz: Reclassifying a Language Group” present nothing less than evidence, gathered together with Professor Even Hovdhaugen,for the reclassification of a Language Group from Papuan to Austronesian, thereby changing the common theoretical conceptions of the settlement of remote Oceania.

    Paul Wallin and Reidar Solsvik’s contribution in their joint chapter called “The Place of the Land and the Seat of the Ancestors: Temporal and Geographical Emergence of the classic East Polynesian marae complex,” discuss common conceptions and put forward a hypothesis concerning the dating of the emergence of this complex. They also present possible reasons for this local development.

    Scene from Papete harbour in 1956.

    The third part

    New Journeys, New Places?, consists of three contributions that all present contemporary, ethnographically based discussions of the relationship between conceptions of past and present practices in Pacific (Polynesian) societies.

    Arne Aleksej Perminow’s chapter “ ‘It is a tree that fights.’Engaging notions of qualitative difference in Tonga,” discuss how, through engagement with local craft-making practices, we can gain an intake to classifications that can be seen as gendered, deep seated orientations, that also shape perceptions of the material world.

    Morten Kjeldseth Pettersen’s chapter “How to Study Kapa Haka?,” draws its ethnography from Maori expressive culture and discuss how identification is achieved through the practices associated with the so-called action song dances.

    The concluding chapter, by Olaug Irene Røsvik Andreassen: “When Home is the Navel of the World. A study on young Rapa Nui between home and away,” discuss contemporary patterns and dilemmas of identification for young generations on Easter Island.

    There were more participants in the project than the contributors to this volume: the then MA-students Benedicte Frostad and Anders Vaa both produced excellent linguistic studies based on data collected during fieldwork in the Reefs-St. Cruz area of the Solomon Islands. Both have gone on to further doctoral studies in their chosen field. The common findings were also presented in an exhibition, created with Arne A. Perminow as the scientific director. The exhibition was called: Starpaths across the Pacific, Narratives of origin in Oceania.

    Identity matters movement and place, Vol. 12, 2011, 177 pp. Ingjerd Hoëm and Reidar Solsvik (eds.).

  • Volume 13: Manus Canoes Skill, Making, and Personhood in Mbuke Islands (Papua New Guinea)

    This book describes a detailed study of the traditional outrigger canoes of Manus Province in Papua New Guinea, and simultaneously takes the perspectives of
    anthropology and craft.

    The book documents the craft of building and rigging Manus outrigger canoes in a highly practical and technical way, while also providing anthropological reflections on concepts and practices of knowledge and personhood related to canoe building. It is therefore structured to mirror these two different perspectives on the craft, though they inevitably intermingle throughout the book.

    The first part documents this vanishing art, partly because I have been urged by the practitioners to do so, but also because the actual making of canoes and their sailing abilities are relevant to the understanding of Pacific sailing practices and migrations more generally, and should therefore be of some comparative interest to archaeologists working in the Pacific and beyond.

    In the second part of the book, specific concepts of knowledge and personhood involved in the craft are discussed in the hope of providing a contribution to the anthropological understanding of craft, a somewhat neglected field. In other words, the book comprises of anthropological discussions alongside more practical descriptions, pictures, illustrations, and technical drawings. It is through this seemingly excessive attention to detail at the expense of a wider contextualization that I offer original anthropological understandings of craft and personhood, while also providing an important document on the cultural heritage of Papua New Guinea.

    The study is based predominantly on my studies of canoe building on Mbuke Islands, a small group of islands in Manus Province. The biggest Mbuke outrigger canoes can carry more than 20 people and their luggage over long distances. I have only used the term ‘canoe’ because that is the term used locally in English and Tok Pisin (Papua New Guinean Pidgin English), since the connotations that word brings to mind are entirely misleading: these are sailing vessels or sailing boats, and actually thinking of them as
    canoes makes as little sense as calling Viking ships canoes simply because they may share certain appearances (to the untrained eye) in terms of shape, with what are otherwise referred to as canoes. The inhabitants of the very last part of Manus where canoes of this size are still regularly being built, namely Mbuke Islands, refer to them as n’drol. The remaining part of this introduction contextualizes canoe building culturally and historically.

    Manus Canoes Skill, Making, and Personhood in Mbuke Islands (Papua New Guinea), Vol. 13, 2013, 116 pp. Anders Emil Rasmussen.

  • Volume 14: Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki in New Light

    Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002) climing the mast as captain of the Kon-Tiki raft during the voyage from Peru to French Polynesia in 1947.

    This volume presents Thor Heyerdahl’s work, related to his thinking about what he saw as a mystery — the peopling of the Pacific. The enormous expanse of the Pacific Ocean, blessed with a multitude of large and small islands, was the last large ocean to be settled by humans. The feats performed by the first waves of explorers and navigators never cease to amaze, and inadvertently, Thor Heyerdahl with his renowned Kon-Tiki expedition has been added to those spectacular exploits.

    A varied group of scholars, engaged in subjects ranging from anthropology and archaeology to marine biology and DNA research has come together in a true multi-disciplinary spirit in this volume, in order to shed light on Heyerdahl’s work on the origin of the Polynesian peoples, with the benefit of hindsight provided by contemporary science.

    This volume presents a previously unpublished manuscript by Thor Heyerdahl, which was to have been  the opening chapter of an updated, revised version of his original thesis called American Indians in the Pacific. The theory behind the Kon-Tiki Expedition (Heyerdahl 1952). This manuscript is entitled: Stormy Wakes of A Raft, and can be downloaded as a PDF-file below.

    His first scientific article on the subject, “Did Polynesian Culture originate in America?” (Heyerdahl 1941) has been out of print for a long time, and as many of the authors refer to it in their discussions, this article has also been included here. The first part of this volume, written by Egyptologist Donald Ryan has the title Thor Heyerdahl in the 21st Century: The Evolving Legacy of a Global Explorer and Scholar. Ryan worked for many years as Heyerdahl’s scientific assistant, and brings this experience to bear on the development of Heyerdahl’s thinking as it evolved throughout his career. In the second part, Kon-Tiki in New Light, the theory behind the Kon-Tiki expedition is placed under critical scrutiny by expert scholars. This section includes a discussion of Heyerdahl’s methods by Political Scientist Willy Østreng, Archaeologist Paul Wallin revise the botanical evidence related to culture contact in the Pacific. Archaeologist Helene Martinsson-Walin presents archaeological evidence from Easter Island. Immunologist Erik Thorsby presents new analyses of biological evidence from Easter Island. Biologist Erika Hagelberg present recent DNA research of relevance to populations in the Pacific, Archaeologist Grant Keddie discuss historical connections between the North Americas and the Pacific, and Archaeologist Reidar Solsvik presents us with an analysis of Heyerdahl and the Kon-Tiki Expedition as a public narrative and media event. Finally, Archaeologist Matthew Spriggs engages with the above mentioned contributions and discuss in what respects our understanding of the Polynesian mystery can be considered to be solved, and what new puzzles that remain.

    It has been amazing to work as an editor of this volume, seeing how the potential of a multi-disciplinary group has resulted in a volume that allow us to see Thor Heyerdahl’s work on the peopling of the Pacific in a completely new light!

    Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki in New Light, Vol. 14, 2014, 254 pp. Ingjerd Hoëm (ed.).

  • Volume 15: The Salvesen Ami Dance: Custom, Christianity and Cultural Creativity in South Malekula

    This book presents and discusses the Salvesen ami dance, a treasured song and dance performance of South Malekula in Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Developed by local Christian converts during the first decades of the 20th century, the dance combines English Christian hymns with indigenous custom dance and military drill. The book takes as its particular vantage point the Salvesen ami tradition on the small island of Ahamb, just off central South Malekula. The first part of the book discusses the historical and cultural context for the dance’s dissemination. This is a story of creative indigenous Christian teachers – recruited by the Presbyterian mission – who aimed at converting their neighbours by bringing together the new religion and elements of local custom. The second part of the book presents the 63 Salvesen ami songs that are currently being sung on Ahamb Island. By focusing on the creativity and improvisation of the Salvesen ami founders, the author demonstrates the general adaptability of culture and how people in Melanesia, as everywhere, continuously work out social and cultural life as they go along.

    The Salvesen Ami Dance: Custom, Christianity and Cultural Creativity in South Malekula , Vol. 15, 2018, 112 pp. Tom Bratrud.

    ISBN 978-82-92967-18-8

The Kon-Tiki Museum Fieldwork and Archival Series

The Kon-Tiki Museum Feildwork and Archive Report Series is a traditional research report publication for research supported by the Kon-Tiki Museum.

  • Volume 1: Archaeological Excavations at the Ahu Heki´i Complex, La Perouse Easter Island, October–November 1996

    Archaeological Excavations at the Ahu Heki´i Complex, La Perouse Easter Island, October–November 1996. Vol. 1, 1997, 37 pp. Paul Wallin and Helene Martinsson-Wallin.

    Detailed report on the archaeological excavations carried out by researchers from the Kon-Tiki Museum, at the ahu Heki’i (31-299) complex with a settlement/activity area, and an un-named ahu (31-286), Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in 1996.

  • Volume 2: Archaeological Excavations at the Ahu Ra’ai, La Perouse Easter Island, October–November 1997

    Archaeological Excavations at the Ahu Ra’ai, La Perouse Easter Island, October–November 1997, Vol. 2, 1998, 67 pp. Helene Martinsson-Wallin, Paul Wallin and Reidar Solsvik.

    Detailed report on the archaeological excavations carried out by researchers from the Kon-Tiki Museum, at ahu Ra’ai (31-19), with an adjacent house site, and ahu Hanga o Miti (31-14), Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in 1997.

  • Volume 3: Archaeological Excavations on Christmas Island, The Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific, August-September 1999

    Archaeological Excavations on Christmas Island, The Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific, August-September 1999, Vol. 3, 2000, 40 pp. Paul Wallin and Helene Martinsson-Wallin.

    Detailed report of survey and archaeological excavations carried out by the Kon-Tiki Museum on Christmas Island, The Republic of Kiribati, in 1999.

  • Volume 4: Marae Suvery (2001-2002), (Huahine and Mo’orea)

    Marae Suvery (2001-2002), (Huahine and Mo’orea), Vol. 4, 2003, 128 pp. Paul Wallin and Reidar Solsvik.

    Fieldnotes on the architecture of, and the surrounding landscape at, marae sites on Huahine and Mo’orea, in the Society Islands, 2001 and 2002.

  • Volume 5: Test Excavation of Marae ScH-2-62-3 and ScH-2-65-2, Te Ana, Maeva, Huahine, French Polynesia, August 2002

    Test Excavation of Marae ScH-2-62-3 and ScH-2-65-2, Te Ana, Maeva, Huahine, French Polynesia, August 2002, Vol. 5, 2003, 49 pp. Reidar Solsvik.

    Detailed report of archaeological excavations carried out by the Kon-Tiki Museum at marae ScH-2-62-3 and ScH-2-65-2, Huahine in the Leeward Society Islands 2002.

  • Volume 6: Test Investigations at the Pulemelei Site, Vaitoa, Savai’i, Samoa, September 12th to October 10th), 2002. Preliminary report

    Test Investigations at the Pulemelei Site, Vaitoa, Savai’i, Samoa, September 12th to October 10th, 2002. Preliminary report, Vol. 6, 2002, 50 pp. Paul Wallin, Geoffrey Clark, and Helene Martinsson-Wallin

    Detailed report from the archaeological investigations at the Pulemelei site, Savai’i, in Samoa by the Kon-Tiki Museum and National University of Australia during the field-season of 2003.

  • Volume 7: Preliminary Report and Further Perspectives Concerning the Archaeological Investigations at Pulemelei, Savai’i, Samoa

    Preliminary Report and Further Perspectives Concerning the Archaeological Investigations at Pulemelei, Savai’i, Samoa, Vol. 7, 2003, 29 pp. Helene Martinsson-Wallin.

    Detailed report from the archaeological investigations at the Pulemelei site, Savai’i, in Samoa by the Kon-Tiki Museum, National University of Australia, and Thor Heyerdahl Research Center during the field-season of 2003.

  • Volume 8: Excavations of on Habitation Site and Various Marae Structures on Land Fareroi, Te Ana, Tehu’a, Tearanu’u and Tetuatiare in Maeva, Huahine, Society Islands, French Polynesia, 2003

    Excavations of on Habitation Site and Various Marae Structures on Land Fareroi, Te Ana, Tehu’a, Tearanu’u and Tetuatiare in Maeva, Huahine, Society Islands, French Polynesia, 2003, Vol. 8, 2004, 173 pp. Paul Wallin, Eric Komori, and Reidar Solsvik.

    Detailed report from the archaeological investigations carried out by the Kon-Tiki Museum in collaboration with Eric Komori, at seven marae sites on Huahine in the Leeward Society Islands, including marae Manunu and marae Mata’ire’a Rahi, in 2003.

  • Volume 9: Test Excavations of Marae Structures on Huahine, Society Islands, French Polynesia, October and November 2004

    Test Excavations of Marae Structures on Huahine, Society Islands, French Polynesia, October and November 2004, Vol. 9, 2004, 52 pp. Paul Wallin and Reidar Solsvik.

    Detailed report of archaeological excavations carried out by the Kon-Tiki Museum at marae Tiamaue (land Tiamaue, district of Fare), marae Tuiuirorohiti,(land Fa’ahia, district of Fare), including a fare pote, and marae Haupoto (land Haupoto, district of Maeva) on Huahine, in the Leeward Society Islands 2004.

  • Volume 11: Drift Voyages across the Mid-Atlantic

    Drift Voyages across the Mid-Atlantic, Vol. 11, 2009, 19 pp. Richard T. Callaghan.

    Report on computer simulations of drift voyages across the Mid-Atlantic Ocean.

  • Volume 12: Manual. Collections, archives and library

    Manual. Collections, archives and library, Vol. 12, 2017, 79 pp. Reidar Solsvik.

    Manual detailing document archives, photo collections, book collections, clip collections, and artefact collections and procedures for storing, organizing, indexing and digitizing these collections.

  • Volume 13: Edwin N. Ferdon Archive. Detailed ICA description

    Edwin N. Ferdon Archive. Detailed ICA description, Vol. 13, 2012, 98 pp. Paloma Lopez Delgado, Reidar Solsvik, and Marit Bakke.

    A detailed description of the manuscripts, papers, correspondence and documents in the Pacific Archive of archaeologist Edwin N. Ferdon, including his Polynesian Ethno-history project, according to the format of the International Council of Archives.

  • Volume 14: Bengt Danielsson Archive. Preliminary catalogue, August 2017

    Bengt Danielsson Archive. Preliminary catalogue, August 2017, Vol. 14, 2017, 176 pp. O.E. Johannes Stenberg, Anton Olof Öhman, and Reidar Solsvik.

    A preliminary catalogue of the documents in the Bengt Danielsson Archive, including documents related to the French nuclear testing on Mororu’a and the development of the Tahitian independence movement.

  • Volume 15: The Thor Heyerdahl Archive, part of the UNESCO Memory of the World List. Detailed ICA description

    The Thor Heyerdahl Archive, part of the UNESCO Memory of the World List. Detailed ICA description, Vol. 15, 2018. Reidar Solsvik, Camilla Ledda, and Tatjana Kharmalova.

    A detailed description of the manuscripts, papers, correspondence and documents in the Thor Heyerdahl Archive, inscribed into the UNESCO’s Memory of the World List, according to the format of the International Council of Archives.

No Barriers Seminar Papers

The No Barriers Research Grant of US$ 15.000 was awarded by the Kon-Tiki Museum and it’s sponsor at the time, Telenor International, to inovative research in the field of archaeology and anthropology between 1998 and 2000.

The first winner in 1998 was Matthew Spriggs for the project “Remote delivery of archaeological discovery results to a classroom context“.

The second winner in 1999 was Christopher Stevenson for the project “The intensification of agriculture in Early Rapa Nui [Easter Island] Society“.

The third winner, in 2000, was Dr. Jonathan A. Friedman, professor at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Lund, and Dr. Edvard Hviding, professor of the Department of Social Anthropology, Univerity in Bergen, for their project “Islands Connected: Making Pacific Worlds“.

  • Volume 1: Archaeology, Communication, and Language

    Volume 1: Archaeology, Communication, and Language (ed. Paul Wallin). Oslo: The Kon-Tiki Museum.1998.


    • Preface, p. 3. Wallin, Paul and Knut Nordby.
    • Speech by Thor Heyerdahl on the Occasion of the Award of the No Barriers Grant, 28th April 1998, p. 4. Heyerdahl Jr., Thor.
    • Speech in Reply, p. 4. Matthew Spriggs.
    • Remote Delivery of Archaeological Discovery Results to a Classroom Context, pp. 5-7. Spriggs, Matthew.
    • Ancient Mitochrondrial DNA, is it Reproducibly Detectable? – A Comment to Current Methodology, pp. 8-10. Preus, Hans.
    • Material Culture and Communication – An Example of Archaeological Research on Ceremonial Sites in Polynesia, pp. 11-13. Martinsson-Wallin, Helene.
    • Oral Traditions and Archaeology: Modeling Village Settlement in Palau, pp. 14-23. Wickler, Stephen.
    • Language and Communication in Tokelau, pp. 24-26. Hoëm, Ingjerd.
  • Volume 2: Archaeology, Agriculture, and Identity

    Volume 2: Archaeology, Agriculture, and Identity (ed. Paul Wallin). Oslo: The Kon-Tiki Museum. 1999.


    • Preface, p. 3. Martinsson-Wallin, Helene, Paul Wallin and Knut Nordby.
    • Diminishing Agricultural Productivity and the Collapse of Ranked Society on Easter Island, pp. 4-12. Stevenson, Christopher and Sonia Haoa.
    • The Rapa Nui Project: A Centre for Local Traditions, p. 13. Haoa, Sonia.
    • The Importance of Cross-Diciplinary Collaboration in the Reconstruction of the Human Past – With Focus on Ethnobotany, pp. 14-16. Heyerdahl, Thor.
    • Taro Irrigation, Arboriculture and Stratified Polities in Coastal Melanesia: Evidence from the Pre-Colonial Agricultural Systems of New Georgia, pp. 17-24. Hviding, Edvard.
    • The Sweet Potato in Pacific Context – Sweet and Soft, but Still a ‘Hard Fact’, pp. 25-27. Wallin, Paul.
    • Cultivating an Identity: Horticulture and Social Space in Hanatekua Valley, Hiva Oa, Marquesas Islands, pp. 28-32. Solsvik, Reidar.
    • The Roots of Precedence in Tonga – ‘Leading’ and ‘Following’ as Naturalised Concepts, pp. 33-38. Perminow, Arne Aleksej.
  • Volume 3: Migrations and Exchange in a Historical Perspective

    Volume 3: Migrations and Exchange in a Historical Perspective (ed. Paul Wallin). Oslo: The Kon-Tiki Museum. 2000.


    • Preface, p. 3. Wallin, Paul, Ingjerd Hoëm and Knut Nordby.
    • Islands Connected: Making Pacific Worlds (Project presentation), pp. 4-9. Friedman, Jonathan and Edvard Hviding.
    • When migration failed – On Christmas Island and other Mystery Islands in the Pacific, pp. 10-13. Wallin, Paul and Helene Martinsson-Wallin.
    • The origins and evolution of the principal human lineages in the Pacific determined by analysis of mitochondrial DNA, pp. 14-17. Hagelberg, Erika.
    • The Trobriand Islanders – Original Settlers or Later Migrants, pp. 18-26. Burenhult, Göran.
    • Historical perspectives of prehistoric seafaring in the Pacific, pp. 27-31. Ryan, Donald P.
    • The Importance of the Kon-Tiki Legend in a Historical Perspective, pp. 32-34. Heyerdahl, Thor.