Early days of the Hokulea, 1975.

Canoes blessed, voyaging society tests the water

By BRUCE BENSON
Advertiser Science Writer

At least a thousand people sat silent on the beach yesterday, watching a Polynesian canoe-blessing ritual not seen since the days of Kamehameha.

Then with hoots and hollers from the crowd, a hundred hands tugged on the lines to send a spanking-new double-hulled canoe down the ways and into Kaneohe Bay. After some two years of dreaming, the Polynesian Voyaging Society was afloat.

The society is a nonprofit group made up of everyone from just average folks to highly skilled artisans and scientists and they are all pursuing the same goal:

To attempt to send the 6–foot canoe launched yesterday to Tahiti and back next summer, using the methods and tools of the Polynesians who first sailed to Hawaii more than a thousand years ago. Continue reading

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More maps! Check out the awesome detailed work of Henry E. P. Kekahuna, 1900s.

Henry Enoka Palenapa Kekahuna, 1881-1969

Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

Henry Kekahuna

Henry E.P. Kekahuna was a valued contributor to Bishop Museum’s records of traditional Hawaiian culture over the many years he assisted anthropologist Kenneth P. Emory. He made detailed records of numerous archaeological sites on Hawai‘i Island for the Museum and the National Park Service, and helped gather local lore from older Hawaiians. (Read on…)