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PWO Navigator Panel Discussion and Film Screening

by vrecinto on April 29th, 2014

Screening of the re-mastered The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific
 Filmmaker and PWO Navigator Panel Discussion

maus canoe photo by steve thomas resize
Hilo, Hawai‘i – In celebration of the launch of Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia’s Worldwide Voyage (WWV) sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines in Hilo Bay, the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) is partnering with ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, and the County of Hawai‘i for a special showing of the restored and re-mastered high definition film The Navigators – Pathfinders of the Pacific on Friday, May 23, 2014 at the Palace Theater in Hilo. Opening remarks by the filmmaker Sam Low and film screening starts at 5:30 p.m. Following the screening there will be a panel of Hawaiian and South Pacific Pwo (master) Navigators and voyaging leadership to speak about their teacher Master Navigator Mau Piailug and the WWV.

This Award winning film by anthropologist/filmmaker Sam Low explores ancient navigational heritage in the tiny coral atoll of Satawal in Micronesia’s remote Caroline Islands. In addition to interviews with the late Pius “Mau” Piailug in Satawal, The Navigators discusses archaeology and the accounts of explorers to examine the history of navigation and how traditional Pacific societies sustain this valuable cultural system.
The Navigators reveals the subtleties of this sea science, transmitted in part through a ceremony known as “unfolding the mat,” in which 32 lumps of coral are arranged in a circle to represent the points of the “star compass.” To master the lore of navigation was to attain great status in traditional Micronesian society. Today, few men remain with Mau’s skills, knowledge, or aspirations.

In 2007, five Hawaiian men were initiated into the order of Pwo, a two thousand year-old society of traditional deep-sea navigators by their teacher, Mau Piailug in Satawal.

The following year in 2008, four South Pacific islanders were initiated into the Pwo by Piailug. Many of these men will be involved in the voyaging leadership panel discussion.

The event schedule is as follows:
Opening remarks and introduction to the documentary by Producer Sam Low begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by remarks from Mayor Billy Kenoi and the voyaging leadership panel discussion at 6:45 p.m. Program concludes at 8:15 p.m.
The evening’s program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited on a first-come, first-served basis.  PVS will be accepting donations in support of the Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.

Sam Low served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific from 1964 to 1966 and Sam and Mau - SatawalAlphaCleanResampleearned a Ph.D. degree from Harvard (in anthropology) in 1975. In 1983, after traveling throughout Polynesia, Sam produced his award winning film, The Navigators – Pathfinders of the Pacific, which told the story of the Polynesian settlement of the Pacific on PBS nationally and internationally on television venues throughout the world. He has sailed aboard Hōkūle‘a on three voyages from 1999 to 2007. He is the author of Hawaiki Rising, Hōkūle‘a, Nainoa Thompson and the Hawaiian Renaissance and many articles on the canoe and her meaning to Polynesians.
For more information visit or call 808.969.9703

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