Hipour was a master navigator from the navigational school of Weriyeng and the island of Puluwat.

He is notable for teaching author Thomas Gladwin the art of navigation for his 1970 book, East Is a Big Bird,[1] which greatly reinvigorated interest in traditional Pacific celestial navigation.

Hipour also accompanied David Henry Lewis on his ketch Isbjorn from Puluwat to Saipan and back, using traditional navigation techniques, which helped to fuel a renaissance in voyaging between the Caroline and Mariana Islands.[2]

See also


  1. Gladwin, Thomas (1970). East Is a Big Bird; Navigation & Logic on Puluwat Atoll. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-22425-6.
  2. Michael McCoy (1973). "A Renaissance in Carolinian-Marianas Voyaging". Journal of the Polynesian Society, Auckland University. Then, in 1969, David Lewis visited the Central Carolinian island of Puluwat in his auxiliary ketch, the Isbjorn, while investigating ongoing systems of navigation throughout Oceania. Lewis had heard that the navigators of Puluwat possessed the knowledge to sail the 900-mile round-trip to Saipan, and upon arrival there asked one of the navigators, Hipour, to accompany him on the Isbjorn and navigate the vessel to Saipan and return. It was understood that only the indigenous knowledge that had been taught Hipour by the navigators of Puluwat would be used. The successful completion of this voyage, plus other factors, has led to a renaissance in Carolinian-Marianas voyaging and strengthened ties between Carolinians and their cousins on Saipan.
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