A special Happy Birthday to Hōkūleʻa, the iconic canoe of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. After sailing for three years and visiting over 150 ports in 28 nations to create a “lei of hope” around the globe, Hawaiʻi’s legendary canoe is currently just three months from her return to Hawai’i.
Since her last birthday, Hōkūleʻa has has visited a number of iconic ports including Cuba, Washington D.C., New York and the Statue of Liberty, the United Nations and Canada. She has traversed the Panama Canal and reentered her home waters of the Pacific Ocean after nearly a year and a half. After an unparalleled educational journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Marine site of the Galapagos Islands last month, she is today on the west shore of Rapa Nui 4,500 miles away.
Today marks the 42nd birthday of the traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, designed by artist and historian Herb Kawainui Kane. Hōkūleʻa was first launched from the sacred shores of Kualoa in Kāne‘ohe Bay, O’ahu, on March 8, 1975.
Today also marks a special day for the people of Hawai’i. The launch of Hōkūleʻa helped begin a generation of renewal for Hawai‘i’s people that, along with the revitalization of voyaging and navigation traditions, introduced a newfound respect and appreciation for Hawaiian culture and language in the state of Hawai‘i and beyond.
Forty two years later, the wa’a continues to push the limits of traditional navigation while teaching us more about who we are and what our place is in this world. She has carried us thousands of miles from home, yet her presence and her mana resonates with people all over the world who embrace Hōkūleʻa and her crew like family, reinforcing the idea that home is not so far because we are all home on this island Earth that we share.
Check out the video below for an exciting overview of Hōkūleʻa’s accomplishments in 2016:
Hōkūle‘a Homecoming – Save the Date
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in June 2017!