For generations, the starry heavens guided deep-sea voyagers from island to island across Polynesia. In 1976, the Polynesian Voyaging Society built and launched an iconic twin-hulled sailing canoe, Hōkūleʻa, to research and revive the oceanic traditions of the early explorers who settled the islands of Oceania. Currently visiting the East Coast from the Everglades to New England, Hōkūleʻa is in the midst of a 47,000-nautical-mile worldwide voyage to celebrate indigenous cultures and to raise awareness of the need to steward the Earth’s resources. On behalf of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, Hōkūleʻa captain and navigator Chad Kālepa Baybayan and apprentice navigator Celeste Manuia Haʻo introduce the art of wayfinding the ocean with a system of non-instrument navigation and share their knowledge that “in losing sight of the land, you discover stars.”
To learn more about the Hōkūleʻa Worldwide Voyage http://www.hokulea.com
Chad Kālepa Baybayan is among an elite society of traditional wayfinding astronomers called “Master Navigators.” Skilled in the study of Hawaiian star lines and the celestial sphere, and trained by traditional Satawalese Master Navigator Mau Piailug, he shares the title of Pwo Master Navigator with only four others in Hawaii. He has served as captain and navigator aboard the Hawaiian deep-sea voyaging canoes Hōkūle‘a, Hawai‘iloa, and Hōkūalaka‘i.
Celeste Manuia Haʻo was invited to help navigate the famed voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a from Aitutaki, Cook Islands, to her family village in Samoa as a part of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. This became a historic event for Samoa as she was the first woman of Samoan descent to return to her ancestral homeland the way her ancestors traveled—by way of sea and stars.
Presented in collaboration with the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii and the Polynesian Voyaging Society.