The Pacific Islands - Part 3 - Stars and the Sky
While the diurnal position of the Sun, as well as it's distance from the equator on any day of the year, helped navigation during the day, star movement would be the most constant and precise method of keeping track of direction and staying on course. Polynesian navigators memorized constellations and could predict the motion of the planets and the moon. Some of these stars were recorded in Polynesian oral traditions. In the story The Morning Star Rises, Hawaii-loa, the discoverer of the Polynesian islands, navigated by the stars Makalii (the Pleiades), Iao (Jupiter as a morning star), and Hoku-ula (the Red Star, or Aldebaran). You can see these stars on the COELI Stella 2000 starmap below.
Besides starlore, the Polynesians also had a concept of world creation involving firstly, a "world egg" - the seed of all existence, with the earth being brought out of nothingness by Ta'aroa (also known as Tangaroa, Tangaloa, or Kanaloa) the Creator, and the earth and heaven being the source of all life in the universe. They also used astronomy for calendrical purposes. They had a lunar calendar which determined their feasting or fasting days, and a solar calendar which marked the passing of days, months, and years. The stars and astronomy played very important roles to the Polynesians.
You can find out more about this by case studying a popular island - Easter Island - with us.