“I loko o nā mea a pau, ʻelua ʻaoʻao i kēlā mea, kēia mea,” wahi a Kalepa Babayan, he Hope Luna Hoʻokele ma ʻImiloa. “Ka ʻaoʻao ʻepekema haole, ʻo ia ka ʻaoʻao noiʻi ʻana, eia naʻe, ko mākou ʻaoʻao, ka moʻomeheu Hawaiʻi, he pili ana kēlā i ka ʻuhane o ke kanaka.”
Ma o ka ʻike leʻa mua ʻana i kēia pilina ma waena o ka ʻepekema a me ka moʻomeheu Hawaiʻi a me kona ʻano e koʻikoʻi ai iā kākou he kanaka, pēlā nō i kipa aku ai ʻo Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia a me nā hoa holo kai i ʻImiloa iā lākou ma Hilo.
Wahi a Hanani Kane, he mea holo kai ma Hōkūleʻa, “ʻO kekahi mea nui a mākou e kālele ana ma kēia holo ʻana a puni o ke ao, ʻo ia kēia mea koʻikoʻi ʻo ka hoʻonaʻauao ʻana. Nui ko mākou makemake e pīhoihoi ka poʻe e aʻo, keu hoʻi ka ʻepekema ma Hawaiʻi nei.”
A ʻaʻohe hōʻole ʻana ko ʻImiloa Luna Hoʻokele ʻo Kaʻiu Kimura i ke waiwai a koʻikoʻi nō o kēia manaʻo ma ko kākou holomua like ʻana.
“No laila, no mākou ma ʻImiloa nei, nui ke kākoʻo i kēia ʻoiai ua like nō ka pahuhopu a me ka nuʻukia o kākou, ʻo ia ka ʻāwili ʻana i ko kākou ʻike kuʻuna Hawaiʻi a mauli ola Hawaiʻi hoʻi me ka ʻike hou loa ʻo ka ʻepekema, ʻo ke kilo hōkū.”
Ua laha loa kēia hoʻopili ʻana aku o ka ʻepekema a me ka moʻomeheu Hawaiʻi ma ʻImiloa ma o nā mea hōʻikeʻike e waiho ana i ʻō a i ʻaneʻi a puni o ua hale hōʻikeʻike nei. A me ia manaʻo hoʻi, ua kūpono nō ia no ko ka lehulehu aʻo ʻana e pili ana i kēia mau waʻa kaulua kuʻuna o kākou ma Hawaiʻi nei, keu hoʻi iā lākou e huakaʻi ana a puni ka honua.
“Koʻu ikaika, ʻo ia ka moʻolelo no ka poʻe holo kai, ka poʻe holo moana, ka poʻe hoʻokele waʻa,” wahi a Kalepa. “Makemake wau iā haʻi e hoʻolohe mai i ka moʻolelo a laila i loko o kēlā, loaʻa ka haʻaheo no kēlā kulana no ka moʻolelo o ko mākou mau kūpuna holo moana.”
“There are two sides to everything,” says Kalepa Babayan, Assistant Director at ʻImiloa. “When looking at science, it is research for some but for us, it holds a deeper connection to our culture.”
Understanding this important connection between science and culture has brought Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia and the crew to ʻImiloa during their stay in Hilo.
Haunani Kane, a crewmember aboard Hōkūleʻa says: “A big part of this upcoming voyage is education, getting people excited about education and proud, not ashamed to want to learn. I think a part of that is including science piece. Especially here in Hawaiʻi.”
ʻImiloa’s Executive Director, Kaʻiu Kimura agrees that education through science is indeed necessary for us to all move forward together.
“We share the same purpose and mission here at ʻImiloa, which is incorporating our Hawaiian culture and identity in modern science and technology, including navigation.”
ʻImiloa bridges traditional voyaging with modern science through unique exhibits. In that, visitors have the opportunity to learn about our traditional voyaging canoes even as they depart on the Worldwide Voyage.
“As a Pwo Navigator, I have gained a set of skills and stories from the waʻa,” says Kalepa. “I will continue to share this knowledge with our community at ʻImiloa so that our ancestors and their stories live on through us.”