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}
}
  • Scott Magelssen
  • Published 2016
  • Art
  • TDR/The Drama Review
  • 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… CONTINUE READING

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