International Festival of Canoes, Part 4: Master Navigator Chad Kalepa Baybayan and the Hoku Akakai

June 2, 2008, 2:35 PM HST · Updated October 22, 10:34 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Aha Punanaleo’s deep sea voyaging canoe arrived in Lahaina in Celebration of the 2008 International Festival of Canoes.  We speak to Master Navigator Cad Babayan who explains the unique partnership in which the vessel is used as a tool in perpetuating the Hawaiian language to teach students and aspiring navigators about math and science from a Hawaiian paradigm.  (Posted by Wendy Osher:  Monday, June 02, 2008)

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

Hundreds of spectators gathered along Kamehameha Iki Beach Park in Lahaina over the weekend to witness the ceremonial Lunching of Canoes.  Master carvers from around Polynesia spent the last two weeks shaping their canoes out of raw albesia logs as part of the annual International Festival of Canoes.  It’s a celebration established to keep the Polynesian voyaging tradition alive.  Before the launch, each vessel was connected by a ti leaf rope to a stake in the ground, symbolizing its umbilical connection with the land.  The master carvers were then presented with a ceremonial adze with which to cut the chord and sever the canoe’s connection with the land.  The canoes were set free, signifying a symbolic birthing of the canoes, and the complete transformation of the trees into a functional vessel.  (Posted by Wendy Osher:  Monday, June 02, 2008)

***** If you enjoyed this post, you may also like our story on the HAWAIIAN ART by Maoli Artists.

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