White-Skinned Gods: Thor Heyerdahl, the Kon-Tiki Museum, and the Racial Theory of Polynesian Origins

@article{Magelssen2016WhiteSkinnedGT,
  title={White-Skinned Gods: Thor Heyerdahl, the Kon-Tiki Museum, and the Racial Theory of Polynesian Origins},
  author={Scott Magelssen},
  journal={TDR/The Drama Review},
  year={2016},
  volume={60},
  pages={25-49}
}
Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 performative experiment, to sail a raft from Peru to Polynesia, was lauded as a feat of ingenuity and endurance. Largely undertreated is the racially motivated theory undergirding Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki project—that the first settlers in Polynesia were a race of bearded, white-skinned supermen who remained deities in both South American and Polynesian mythology. Contemporary commemorations, however, emphasize feel-good stories of human achievement over Heyerdahl’s racist… Expand
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From the late 1930s to his death in 2002, Norwegian adventurer and amateur ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl struggled to find academic acceptance for his Pacific Islands settlement theory. He even went asExpand
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