Hōkūleʻa Docks at Nuku Hiva

Hōkūleʻa made landfall yesterday on the island of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas. The crew received a warm welcome from the community celebrating Hōkūleʻa’s journey around the world to share Polynesian culture and the Mālama Honua message of caring for Island Earth.

Upon arrival, the crew members met up with the family who welcomed the crew when Hokulea first sailed to the Marquesas in 1995 as a part of the Na Ohana Holo Moana Voyage (The Voyaging Families of the Vast Ocean).

“Returning to the Marquesas is a return to our ʻāina kupuna, our ancestral lands,” said Kaleo Wong, Hōkūleʻa apprentice navigator. “For hundreds of years, our kūpuna navigated their waʻa to and from Hawaiʻi. And here we are today still carrying on this navigation practice, using the same techniques they would have used, and traveling along the same ancestral routes.”

The Marquesas, or Henua Enata meaning “Land of Men,” are a group of volcanic islands virtually untouched since the era of European exploration. Their isolation has created an immense pride among the community, whose culture is a direct trace back to ancient Polynesian Maohi, or the indigenous cultures of French Polynesia. The two main islands of the Marquesas, Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa, are each characterized by their stunning vistas, towering mountains, and secluded lush.

The crew will reach Tahiti around mid-April, traveling throughout Tahiti and Ra’iātea to engage with the local communities in ceremony and education outreach as they celebrate the close of the nearly four-year long journey. Together with her sister canoe Hikianalia, Hōkūleʻa will head home to a welcoming ceremony at Magic Island in June 2017.

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