Retracing Ancestral Connections
The 2014 ‘Imiloa Wayfinding & Navigation Festival sponsored by Matson began with a simple story of ‘ohana waʻa, the countless connections created as a result of the 140,000 nautical miles Hōkūleʻa has traveled during 39 years of its lifetime. Celeste Manuia Ha’o, festival director, made reference to the importance of knowing ones own familial connections as she set the day’s theme, “Moananuiākea: Retracing Ancestral Connection” with her inspirational story titled, Seeking Samoa: A Taupou’s Voyage Home.
Celeste was bestowed with the highest title a woman can have in Samoa’s traditional society – a “taupou”- someone responsible for looking after the well being of her village, at the age of 17. A Hilo native and apprentice navigator, Celeste recounted the heartbreak and triumph of her epic return to Faleapuna, her village of Samoa.
From Kaimana Barcarse’s presentation on reconnecting the Hawaiian navigation traditions to the present day mission of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, celebrating through the rhythms and dance of the South Pacific ka moana nui ākea, the vast expansive ocean as the highway that connects us, researching and finding ancestors at the ‘Ohana Discovery Lab hosted by the Hawaii Family History Center, to the final presentation of the crew members aboard the voyage leg from Tahiti to the Cook Islands then to Samoa, each activity resonated this theme of connection.
Over one thousand visitors participated in day’s presentations and activities celebrating the “Spirit of the Sea.” Mahalo to Matson for their title sponsorship of the 2014 ʻImiloa Wayfinding & Navigation Festival.
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Mahalo to Matson for their title sponsorship of the 2014 ʻImiloa Wayfinding & Navigation Festival and the Wayfinding Talks.