Hokule'a I by Herb Kawainui Kane
voyages sponsored by the Polynesian Voyaging Society have provided a
wealth of information for scientists, anthropologists and archaeologists
about traditional Polynesian migrations, documenting one of the greatest
achievement of humanity--the exploration and settlement of islands in an
area of over 10 million square miles during a period of over 1,000
the same time, as Hokule'a and Hawai'iloa traveled throughout Polynesia,
they inspired among Polynesians an increased awareness and native pride
in their seafaring heritage. They also sparked a revival of canoe
building and sailing, arts that had not been practiced in over a hundred
years. Hokule`a, the first modern replica of a voyaging canoe to make
the voyage from Hawai'i to Tahiti and back, became a symbol of the
richness of Polynesian culture and the seafaring heritage which links
together all of the peoples of the Pacific.
Voyage to Northwestern Hawaiian Islands: Click on top links on the
navigation bar on the left for current information.
Voyage to Rapa Nui: Hokule'a reached the far southeastern
corner of Polynesia, completing its modern exploration of the Polynesian
1995: Hokule'a's West Coast Tour / Hawai'iloa's Northwest Tour:
In the summer of 1995, the voyaging canoesHokule'a and Hawai'iloa were
shipped to Seattle; Hokule'a travelled down the West Coast to San Diego
to share the mana of the canoe with Hawaiians, native Americans, and
other Americans living there. Hawai'iloa, meanwhile, went from Seattle
to Juneau Alaska to visit the land of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tshimshian,
who donated the logs for its hulls.
1995: Na 'Ohana Holo Moana/The Voyaging Family of the Vast Ocean:
the voyaging canoes Hokule'a, Hawai'iloa, and Makali'i sailed from
Hawai'i to the Marquesas and back via Tahiti and Ra'iatea. Early
settlers to Hawai'i are believed to have come from the Marquesas because
of the similarities of the Hawaiian and Marquesan languages.
No Na Mamo/For the Children: Hokule'a sailed from Hawai'i to
Rarotoga and back via Tahiti and Ra'iatea. In Rarotonga, the canoe
participated in the Sixth Pacific Arts Festival celebrating the revival
of traditional canoe building and navigation in the Pacific. Called
"The Voyage for Education," this voyage incorporated an
educational program that allowed students to follow the canoe on its
journey through live, daily radio reports.
The Voyage of Rediscovery: took Hokule'a on a 16,000 mile journey
along the ancient migratory routes of the Polynesian Triangle--from
Hawai`i to the Society Islands, the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Tonga,
Samoa, and back home via Aitutaki, Tahiti, and Rangiroa in the Tuamotu
Archipelago. This voyage showed that it was possible for Polynesian
canoes to sail from west to east in the Pacific when the prevailing
easterly tradewinds were replaced by seasonal westerlies.
Hawai`i to Tahiti and Back: Nainoa
Thompson, who studied under Satawalese navigator Mau Piailug (see
"1976: Hawai'i to Tahiti and Back" below), became the first
Hawaiian navigator in over 500 years to guide a canoe over this
traditional route without instruments.
Voyage to Tahiti Cancelled After Canoe Swamping
In 1978, a
voyage to Tahiti was cancelled because Hokule'a swamped south of
Moloka'i in heavy seas; crew
member Eddie Aikau, who attempted to paddle on a surfboard to get
help on land, was lost at sea.
Hawai`i to Tahiti and Back; Satawelese navigator Mau
Piailug,with a Hawaiian crew, guided Hokule'a without instruments to
Tahiti, a distance of 2400 miles. Piailug was called upon to navigate
because no Hawaiian knew the ancient art of guiding canoes by the
celestial bodies and ocean swells.