LAHAINA - The voyaging canoe Hokule'a, about to begin a cultural wayfinding trip around the world, got a moving sendoff from the community on Sunday with a Waters of Kane kava ceremony, with some 50 people partaking of the ceremonial drink.
The wayfarers - who will crew the first leg of the trip to Tahiti after leaving Hawaii Island - have trained for more than two years to make the voyage.
One of the Malama Honua voyages' chief purposes is to teach the world Hawaiian values, including the concept in which a people sustain themselves entirely from the resources of the land and sea.
Hokule‘a and sister ship Hikianalia visited Lahaina on Sunday. A community potluck lunch for the crew was held at Kamehameha Iki Park. The Polynesian Voyaging Society vessels on Sunday night left for Hilo, where they will depart for the first leg of Hokule‘a’s World Wide Voyage (Malama Honua). At a press conference for the journey, PVS President and Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson explained, “It’s time to go and spread this native knowledge that cared for the Hawaiian Islands and share them with the world to care for Island Earth.” Follow the canoe’s journey at www.hokulea.com/. PHOTO BY CHRIS TURNER/RIMFIRE PHOTOGRAPHY.
Keeaumoku Kapu hosted the event, in which a large crowd stood largely in silence during the long ceremony.
Sam Ka'ai told the crew members, "I am proud to be in this hale with special people. I will pray for you every day on your journey."
By going to the Polynesian Voyaging Society's website (www.hokulea.com), readers can follow the progress of the trip and read extensive information on the history of the Hokule'a.