Pacific Voyagers enter Kaunakakai Harbor for historic meeting between Polynesian brothers and sisters
This historic event can be best experienced through these videos:
First vaka entering Kaunakakai Harbor
Lei greeting for Pacific Voyagers
Pacific Voyagers greeting protocol
It has taken 35 years for Tahitian sailing canoes to visit Hawaii. Yesterday it was Molokai’s turn to say “Aloha!”
Molokai showed its appreciation of this historic meeting of Polynesian cultures by turning out en mass for the seven sailing canoes, or vaka moanas, that entered Kaunakakai Harbor.
Showing the true aloha spirit of Molokai were local kupuna, kumus and students in traditional Hawaiian regalia. As each double-hulled canoe tied off on the wharf, Molokai High School ike Hawaii teacher Ghandi Ross split coconuts and offered them to the crews.
The island communities of Aotearoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, and Tahiti were each represented with their own vaka and crew. Two vaka were crewed by people from Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
(Click on “More Molokai Photos” in the left column to see additional photos from yesterday on the Flickr photostream.)
After students from Molokai’s Hawaiian Language Immersion Programs chanted a traditional greeting to the Pacific Voyagers, Kumu Anakala Pilipo Solatorio came forward with the traditional greeting protocol for Molokai including the presentation of a hookupu, or gift, to the crews of the sailing canoes that ventured from Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands to Hawaii in 12 days.
The Te Mana o Te Moana voyage was originally scheduled to sail from Hilo directly to Oahu. Fortunately, the expedition detoured to Maui and Molokai.
“It was truly a blessing to have visited Maui and Molokai. These islands and their communities are so different from each other but they bring an added dimension of understanding to the experience of our voyage,” wrote one of the crew members.
“It is during times like these that you understand the true sense of community and how our Hawaiian brothers and sisters went beyond the call to make us feel so special and so appreciated.”
Dedicated to raising environmental and cultural awareness of issues affecting the Pacific Ocean, the members of the Te Mana o Te Moana voyage will attend The Kava Bowl Ocean Summit 2011 this week on Oahu.