VIDEO: Hōkūle‘a Re-Visits Mataiea For 1st Time in 40 Years
Hawaiʻi’s legendary Polynesian voyaging canoes Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia visited Mataiea where they were greeted by dignitaries and more than 500 students.
It’s been over 40 years since Hōkūleʻa first arrived in Mataiea, which is known for its rich cultural heritage and abundance of natural beauty. “They are doing a lot of really good things here and we are witness to that,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, pwo navigator of the Hōkūleʻa. “I see us coming back with future generations to engage, because that is what the voyage is about. It’s about discovering.”
The stop at Mataiea is part of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage to share in a vision of caring for the oceans and land for future generations. The Hawaiʻi crew was greeted by Mayor Alpha Teariʻi and with an overwhelming show of support by the community.
Joining in the ceremony were hundreds of students from Mairipehe Primary School, Nuutafaratea Primary School, Matairea Primary School, and Teva I Uta College.
The next day, following a community breakfast and coconut tree planting ceremony with local children, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia departed for Tautira on Tahiti’s south-east coast.
The sister canoes will continue to travel throughout Tahiti and Raʻiātea to engage with the local communities in ceremony and education outreach as they celebrate the close of the nearly four-year long journey.
Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia are making their way back to Hawaiʻi together for a homecoming ceremony at Magic Island in June 2017.