Celebrating Hōkūleʻa at ʻUluʻulu-UH West Oʻahu, March 16-19

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Hōkūleʻa’s first launch! Hōkūleʻa helped Hawai’i to embark on a journey of cultural awakening – not just for our voyaging traditions but for our native language and for the many cultural practices that continue to be perpetuated today.

Designed by artist Herb Kawainui Kane and built by the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), the double-hull canoe was built to replicate a traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe. Hōkūleʻa’s first launch took place at Kualoa, Oʻahu on March 8, 1975. About a year later, Hōkūleʻa departed Maui for Tahiti on a historic voyage that successfully demonstrated traditional navigation techniques and proved that Polynesians purposefully voyaged long-distances (and did not accidentally settle the Pacific).

Highlights from The Return of the Hokuleʻa (1976), HKG Pilot Project Collection

Highlights from The Return of the Hokuleʻa (1976), HKG Pilot Project Collection

With each of the voyages since 1976, Hōkūleʻa continues to inspire people throughout the Pacific and around the world (see our Hōkūleʻa theme page for historic footage of past voyages and crew members). She and her crew are currently on a voyage around the world with a mission of Mālama Honua (caring for our island earth).

To celebrate Hōkūleʻa’s 40 years of accomplishments and to promote the mission of the Mālama Honua World Wide Voyage, ʻUluʻulu will be hosting a talk story series and a pā‘ina celebration at UH West Oʻahu March 16-19. All events are open to the public, we hope you will be able to join us!

Celebrating Hōkūleʻa Event FlierClick here to view event flier (pdf)

Schedule of Events:

Monday, March 16
Talk Story with Keoni Lee, Ōiwi TV
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., ‘Ulu ‘ulu, UHWO Library 1st floor

Keoni Lee, co-founder of ‘Ōiwi TV and a crew member of the Hōkūleʻa Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, will discuss the voyage and ‘Ōiwi TV’s efforts to document the journey using video, social media and other technologies. He will also discuss the importance of sharing Hōkūleʻa’s story with Hawai‘i and the world.

Tuesday, March 17
Celebrating Hōkūle‘a at UHWO
 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., UHWO Courtyard

All are invited to a pā‘ina celebration of Hōkūleʻa and her 40 years of accomplishments. Come learn about Polynesian voyaging and the many ways Hōkūleʻa has inspired people around the world. Enjoy music and light refreshments.

Wednesday, March 18
Talk Story with Hōkūleʻa crew members
 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., ‘Ulu ‘ulu, UHWO Library 1st floor

Polynesian Voyaging Society crew members will share their experiences aboard the voyaging canoe and discuss the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage and its message.

Thursday, March 19
Talk Story with Elisa Yadao and Cliff Watson
2 p.m.-3:30 p.m., ‘Ulu ‘ulu, UHWO Library 1st floor

Former television reporter Elisa Yadao and experienced camera man Cliff Watson will share their experiences documenting Hōkūleʻa’s early voyages. Both Elisa and Cliff traveled to Tahiti to record Hōkūleʻa’s arrival during the Voyage of Rediscovery (1985-87) and also covered her journey to the Cook Islands and to New Zealand as well as the nearly month long 2,800 mile sail back to Hawai‘i.

Speaker bios:

Keoni Lee is the Co-Founder of ‘Ōiwi TV, the first Native Hawaiian owned and operated television station. Founded in 2009, ʻŌiwi TV is a social enterprise that aims to create meaningful impact for Native Hawaiians and Hawaiʻi by re-establishing the Hawaiian language and worldview in daily life through media. Keoni’s focus at ʻŌiwi TV has been on digital convergence and leveraging new technologies to create a new model for community-based media in the digital age.

Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) seeks to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves and each other, and their natural and cultural environments. Established in 1973, PVS’s first project was to construct a replica of an ancient voyaging canoe – on March 8, 1975 Hōkūleʻa was built.

Cliff Watson was the videographer on the voyage of Hōkūleʻa from 1985 to 1987. He has more than 30 years experience as both a still photographer and a broadcast cameraman and has worked for local and national news organizations, PBS Hawaii and on independent documentaries. In 1989 he launched his own video production company CDW Productions.  Today he works at UH System Media Production.

Elisa Yadao began her career at KGMB News where she reported on Hōkūleʻa’s journey of rediscovery. She and cameraman Cliff Watson sailed with the crew from Hawai‘i to Tahiti in 1985. Today, Elisa is senior vice president of HMSA’s Consumer Experience division.  Her past experience included the position of chief information officer for the City and County of Honolulu’s rail transit system, a private communications consultant, executive director of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, managing editor of KHNL news and a television reporter for KGMB TV News.

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For more information about these events or how your organization might participate, please contact Shavonn Matsuda at uluulu@hawaii.edu or (808)689-2740.

Find out about additional Hōkūleʻa 40th anniversary events on the PVS website: http://www.hokulea.com/40th-anniversary-events/

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