In January 2014, the Hōkūleʻa, a replica of a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, began its voyage around the world. Launching from Hawaii, she stopped in Tahiti and Samoa, then headed south to New Zealand. Here’s the view as thousands welcome the Hōkūleʻa and her sister vessel waʻa Hikianalia. This voyage is one of discovery and the renaissance of Polynesian culture can be attributed to the spirit of the vessel and the people that braved the sea using ancient methods in this modern age.
Originally launched in 1975, it is seen by many as a symbol greater than her architectual and navigational achievements. In her original, bold quest, she set sail from Hawaii to Tahiti with a crew relying only on traditional Polynesian navigational techniques. Star navigation, observations of birds, sea life, cloud formations, and sailing for hours on end judged only by ‘dead reckoning’ sense of the navigator, she found her way South over thousands of miles to Tahiti, retracing the legendary path of Hawaiian settlement.
This was seen as the birth of the modern Hawaiian renaissance, a rekindling of culture, dance, tradition, and song.