In the course of its four-year worldwide voyage completed in 2017, the Hokulea and its crew members became symbols for a sustainable future around the globe. The historic voyage continues into 2018 as the Hokulea and its sister canoe, Hikianalia, visit Hawaii’s ports to celebrate the sailing canoe’s homecoming.
The Hokulea’s epic journey was made possible through the efforts of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, a Honolulu-based nonprofit dedicated to perpetuating traditional Polynesian voyaging methods. The Hokulea’s global sail was dedicated to the mission of malama honua, translated as, “to care for the island Earth.”
Says Nainoa Thompson, president and master navigator for the Polynesian Voyaging Society: “The mission of the Worldwide Voyage was to share and learn about how people all around the world malama honua. What we found is that everywhere, people are working toward a better future for our collective community, and in many places this work is grounded in the traditions and values of our indigenous people and ancestors.”
Sailing across the Pacific, through the Indian Ocean, around the southern tip of Africa, across the Atlantic and down the U.S. East Coast before passing through the Panama Canal, the Hokulea and its crew members exchanged traditional Hawaiian teachings with communities invested in a sustainable future. Abroad, the world was impressed to hear such impactful messages from the deck of a relatively small sailing canoe and its diverse crew of master and apprentice navigators.
“This malama honua mission remains relevant today as we continue to sail and learn how people turn inspiration into action to navigate our communities toward a better future,” says Thompson. Now at home in Hawaiian waters, the Hokulea and its crew members will continue to advance the mission of malama honua in our community, visiting local harbors and educating our keiki and kupuna on the importance of sustainability.
Green Hawaii was published as a supplement to Hawaii Home + Remodeling magazine's April 2018 issue. To find out more about how you can go green all year, visit our Green section.