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Myths from the South Seas- Man Made Worlds

Myths from the South Seas- Man Made Worlds

The tiny atoll of Kapingamarangi is a Polynesian enclave in Micronesia. Touhou, the island most inhabitants are living on, is special and mysterious: it is a man-made island. Before the arrival of the Polynesians there was nothing but the ocean where today is land. Old Ersin is still able to tell that the island was created by a hero called Utamatu’a, long time ago. Archaeological research documents the truthful core of this myth: Touhou is an artificial island, steadily enlarged and expanded since the arrival of Polynesians about 700 years ago.

In Pohnpei, about 1000 kilometres afar, a similar phenomenon can be found: the former royal city of Nan Madol consists of 92 artificial islands, scattered over an area of several square kilometres within a lagoon, being linked by a network of canals. For about 2000 years the city served as the dynasties’ residence. Around the year 1850 Pohnpei was devastated by a storm of the century and Nan Madol was abandoned. The buildings decayed and mangroves began to overgrow the canals.

2008 - Festival International du Film Documentaire Oceanien (FIFO), Tahiti (
2005 - Ethnofilmfest Berlin (

Film herunterladen:

D 2005, 43 Min. (Kapingamarangi & Pohnpei, FSM)
Script: Thorolf Lipp, Martina Kleinert
Director & Photography: Thorolf Lipp
Bayerisches Fernsehen (2005)