Sunday, April 25, 2010

Not For Centuries

Glad to See

click on the photos

Don't pay any attention to the critics,
don't even ignore them."

Samuel Goldwyn

Interesting trunk

"The real voyage of discovery
consists not in seeking new landscapes
but in having new eyes."


"Remember that what you believe
will depend very much
on what you are."

Noah Porter

"I expand and live in the warm day
like corn and melons."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Imagine seeing something
that had all but disappeared
from the face of the Earth.

What if I could show you something like that?

The Hawaiians of old
discovered and inhabited
these islands
centuries ago,
While Europeans hugged their coasts
lest they fall over the world's edge.

The great double-hulled sailing canoes
brought people, animals, plants,
and culture.

But the canoes had long since ceased sailing.
The art of navigating by the stars and currents
was thought lost.

But inspired Hawaiians built the Hokule`a,
the first such craft seen by living eyes,
and launched her on her first eventful voyage
in 1975.

"Because no Polynesians knew how to navigate in the ancient manner, Mau Piailug, a traditional navigator from the Caroline Islands of Micronesia, was chosen to guide the canoe. His method of navigating by the stars and swells was closely similar to extinct Polynesian methods.

Navigator Mau Piailug used the rising points of the stars, supplemented by observations of the sun, moon, and ocean swells, as a natural compass to guide the canoe. Even when days of solid cloud cover hid the stars, sun, and moon from sight, Mau was able to keep the canoe on course and keep in his mind an accurate picture of the canoe's progress toward Tahiti. And, obligingly, small, white fairy terns skimming over the sea, told Mau the atoll of Mataiva, just to the north-northwest of Tahiti, was near before it could actually be seen. Once this atoll had been reached, it was easy to orient the canoe for the short sail to Tahiti.

The fact that the canoe sailed from Hawai'i to Tahiti and back, and that Mau had been able to navigate to Tahiti without instruments, effectively demonstrated how Polynesian canoes and traditional navigational methods were up to the task of planned, long-distance voyaging. This voyage served to turn the tide against the Sharp hypothesis of accidental voyaging, and to develop a new appreciation for voyaging canoes and traditional ways of navigation."

PBS, Wayfinders: Polynesian History & Origin.

I have blogged about the Hokule`a before, HERE.

To Hawaiians, the Hokule`a is a link with the past,
with the ancestors, with their pride.

A people who suffered a great, almost killing wound,
the loss of their culture and sovereignty,
showed the whole world,
themselves, and especially their
that they are a great people,
with accomplishments of which anyone
would be most

Hokule`a has been joined by other canoes,
built of great tree trunks
in the rediscovered
ancient way.
When they sail together
one can imagine the great
voyaging fleets of the past!

"It was amazing, Brah.
To see just one of the canoes sailing alone
on the ocean is super cool.
But to see all three sailing together
is super powerful."

Sam Kapoi,

And now the youth are learning to sail.
They are growing in stature before our eyes.

Lately a new canoe, E Ala, has come home
to the Leeward Coast of Oahu,
where many Hawaiians live,
a place where homelessness, and poverty,
dance with amazing accomplishment
and aspiration.

Now the community will have it's own canoe to
prepare the youth for planned future voyages,
and for the voyages of their lives.

Something not seen for centuries,
(until very recently)
the greeting of a landing canoe,
awaits you below.

These kids who play video games,
who drive too fast,
who text and all the rest
are shown below
welcoming the new canoe.

What you will see
is not the organized pageant
of a chamber of commerce,
but the spontaneous and deep
behavior of souls maturing
and awakening.

"It was the best experience of my life.
I could feel all the energy from the sea
going through the canoe.
It was a great honor for me
to help bring it home."
Christian Razo,
Kamaile Academy Seventh Grader