Legendary voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa arrived at historic Yorktown, VA, on the morning of Sunday, April 24, 2016, greeted by the area’s Native American tribes and about 300 people from the community. The arrival ceremony included a cultural welcome by Virginia Indian tribal chiefs from the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Mattaponi Tribe and the Nottway Indian Tribe of Virginia.
The Hōkūleʻa crew arrived at Yorktown with the blowing of the pū (conch) and a chant to the tribes requesting permission to enter the area. The ceremony also included performances by the Native Virginia tribes and a presentation of gifts from the crew to the Virginia hosts.
The canoe will be docked at Yorktown until May 7 where tours and educational outreach activities will take place throughout the week including a crew lecture at the Mariners’ Museum on April 28. On April 29, the Museum will hold a homeschool community day conducted by Hōkūleʻa canoe members who will lead classes with hands-on activities that explore the ways in which Polynesians navigated the seas and interacted with the ocean.
On Saturday, Hōkūleʻa arrived at Newport News, VA, and docked at the James River Bridge Fishing Pier to teach the community about Polynesian voyaging and the importance of Mālama Honua (caring for Island Earth). The engagement at the Pier was part of an Earth Day Celebration organized by the Mariners’ Museum and Park.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of our partners at the Mariners’ Museum and Yorktown who have planning months to work our Hōkūleʻa’s visit into their programming,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, captain and pwo navigator. “As a result, this engagement will allow us to reach and interact with hundreds of students, teachers and other members of this part of Virginia,” he added.
After departing Yorktown on May 7, Hōkūleʻa’s next engagement stop will be Tangier Island, VA, in the Chesapeake Bay.
Beyond a daring expedition, the Worldwide Voyage is quite possibly the most important mission that Hawaiʻi has ever attempted. As people of Oceania, we are leading a campaign that gives voice to our ocean and planet by highlighting innovative solutions practiced by cultures around the planet.
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